Germany's Answer to 'Mad Men' Is a Ratings Hit

Ku Damm 56 - Rebel With A Cause
Courtesy of ZDF Enterprises

The first-season finale of the period drama, set at a Berlin dance school in the 1950s, drew 6.35 million viewers.

Ku Damm 56 — Rebel With a Cause, a period drama billed as a German answer to Mad Men, has become an unlikely ratings hit, drawing more than 6 million viewers on public broadcaster ZDF.

The three-part drama, set at a dance school on West Berlin's Kurfurstendamm, or Ku Damm Boulevard, drew 6.35 million viewers for its season finale Wednesday night for a 19.6 percent share of the audience. Like AMC hit Mad Men, the show takes place in the 1950s and features period fashion.

Produced by UFA Fiction, maker of SundanceTV's Deutschland 83, Ku Damm 56 was developed and written by Annette Hess and stars Sonja Gerhardt, Claudia Michelsen, Maria Ehrich and Emilia Schule. It's set in 1956, just as post-World War II austerity is giving way to Germany's economic boom. Stuffy conventions are butting up against a new wave of rock 'n' roll culture imported from the U.S.

Ku Damm 56 was picked as one of the 12 best new drama shows at the Mipdrama Screenings ahead of the international television market MipTV, which runs April 4-7 in Cannes.