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ZDF Heute (2009).jpg
Part of the heute opening sequence. The sequence is integrated into the virtual studio.
Also known as 'heute journal (21:45)
heute nacht (late-night)
heute in europa (Today in Europe, 16:00)
heute in deutschland (Today in Germany, 14:00)
heute mittag (Today at Midday, 12:00)
Presented by Petra Gerster
Christian Sievers
Barbara Hahlweg
Country of origin Germany
Original language(s) German
Producer(s) ZDF
Running time Main bulletin: 20 minutes
Original network ZDF
Original release 1963 – present

heute (German for 'today') is a television news program on the German channel ZDF. The main program is broadcast at 19:00, and includes news, with an emphasis on political news from Germany, Europe and the world, plus 'mixed' news from cultural life or entertainment, and the sports news with an extra presenter. The weather forecast comes up about 19:22 after a break with commercials. The opening sequence of each broadcast features an analogue clock, a signature element of the program.

The newscast heute of ZDF and the 20:00-Tagesschau of ARD/Das Erste are the main broadcasts of German public TV starting the evening programme. Advertisement can not be shown in public TV after 8:00 pm.


The first heute broadcast took place on 1 April 1963, the day ZDF itself started broadcasting.

heute was originally broadcast from 19:30 to 20:00 CET; on 1 February 1965, the show was split into two parts - heute (19:30 to 19:45 CET) and themen des tages (themes/headlines of the day) (19:45 to 20:00 CET). From 1 January 1969 the themen des tages was dropped so the evening programs could start earlier.

In 1973, its airtime was moved to 19:00, where it remains today.


The main program usually has a length of 20 minutes (including a weather forecast). It is also broadcast on 3sat. Around 21:45 CET, a longer, more in-depth show called heute-journal is broadcast, which is similar to Tagesthemen airing on Das Erste alongside the Tagesschau.


For most of its run, the program's title music was preceded by the letters h-e-u-t-e in morse code (···· · ··- - ·). In 1998, this was integrated with the title music, and the dots and dashes are no longer distinguishable.

On 17 July 2009, a new virtual studio debuted, featuring redesigned graphics and the integration of the title sequence to the studio in most editions.[1]


  1. ^ "Redesigning the daily news". Eden-Spiekermann. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 

External links[edit]