MIPCOM: Interactive Drama 'The Verdict' Is Ratings Hit in Germany

The Verdict
Courtesy of Beta Film

Nearly 7 million viewers caught the ethical quandary drama, in which viewers decide the outcome of a murder trial.

The verdict is in on The Verdict, a live TV experiment that aired Monday night on German public broadcaster ARD.

The drama, in which viewers voted for the outcome of a fictional murder trial, drew an astounding 20.2 percent market share, pulling in 6.88 million viewers.

The Verdict, adapted from a stage play by writer Ferdinand von Schirach, follows a German fighter pilot who shoots down a passenger jet, killing all 164 people on board, to prevent terrorists who have hijacked the plane from crashing it into a soccer stadium packed with 70,000 civilians.

The pilot is put on trial for murder, and the drama follows his criminal trial. At the end of the legal arguments, the audience votes on his guilt or innocence, and the outcome of that verdict is the conclusion of the show.

Directed by Lars Kraume, The Verdict stars Martina Gedeck, Burghart Klaussner, Florian David Fitz and Lars Eidinger.

In the German broadcast, 86.9 percent of the audience voted to acquit the pilot, with only 13.1 percent finding him guilty of murder.

The Verdict had its world premiere at international TV market MIPCOM on Monday night. Beta Film is selling the show, as well as the interactive format, to networks worldwide.