'Mad Men' heads to Germany's ZDFneo

Free TV channel also picks up Showtime's 'Weeds'

COLOGNE, Germany -- Don Draper is joining Jack Donaghy in Germany. German digital channel ZDFneo, which last year had the German free TV premiere of "30 Rock," has secured rights to fellow Emmy winner "Mad Men." The hip '60s drama airs on German pay channel TNT but had, until now, failed to find a free TV outlet here.

ZDFneo also grabbed free TV rights to Showtime's stoner series "Weeds," which debuted on German network Pro7 but was pulled after tepid ratings. The series, starring Mary-Louise Parker, garnered only a 6%-7% market share in the key 14-49 demographic, well below Pro7's average.

The bar for success at ZDFneo is considerably lower. "30 Rock" debuted to a zero rating on the channel last November, but the sitcom has since climbed to about 0.3% among 14-49s. That's a hit by ZDFneo standards, which averages about 0.2% in that demo.

Cherry-picking some of the most critically acclaimed U.S. series is part of ZDFneo's strategy to carve out a young, upscale audience currently unserved by the larger German networks. The channel's rating's goal is a 0.6% share of 14-49s by the end of this year.
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