Bianca - ways to happiness

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Television series
Original title Bianca - ways to happiness
Country of production Germany
original language German
Year (s) 2004-2005
  • Episode 1–223: 45 minutes
  • Episode 224: 55 minutes
  • Episodes 224 chapters
    genre Telenovela
    Theme music Mary Beth Maziarz -
    True Believer
    idea Jörg Brückner
    Karen Beyer
    production Christian Popp
    Pia Goden
    Joachim Kosack
    music Curt Cress
    Jörg Jesse
    Chris Weller
    First broadcast November 1, 2004 -
    October 5, 2005 on ZDF

    See cast list

    Bianca - Ways to Happiness was the first German-language telenovela , which was broadcast for the first time from November 1, 2004 to October 5, 2005 daily in the afternoon program of ZDF . The main characters were Bianca Berger , played by Tanja Wedhorn , and Oliver Wellinghoff , played by Patrik Fichte .


    Initially, the series was repeated on ORF from September 3, 2007 , and from April 7, 2008 the telenovela also ran on the Italian private broadcaster Rete 4 . As of August 31, 2009, ZDF wanted to repeat all 224 episodes in the morning program for the first time, but stopped broadcasting after the 77th episode on December 30. From November 2, 2009 to December 14, 2010, another complete repeat was broadcast on the digital channel ZDFneo . The series also ran several times on pay-TV Romance TV.

    From July 2, 2014, all episodes were repeated in the afternoon program of the Austrian television broadcaster ORF 2 . In 2016, ORF 2 repeated the follow-up series Julia - Ways to Happiness .


    The special thing about this first German telenovela was that, for the first time, 45 minutes of broadcast material had to be shot every day for a television series ; up to now, comparable series only took around 25 minutes. This meant that the performers in front of and behind the camera had about a twelve-hour working day. It was shot every day with several camera teams. Some were in the studio, others in the field. Five episodes a week were produced over a period of one year.

    The telenovela was originally designed for 200 episodes. On March 18, 2005, ZDF announced that the series would be expanded by 24 episodes due to the positive audience response. The last day of shooting was July 16, 2005, the last episode was broadcast on October 5, 2005.

    For ZDF was Pursuit of Happiness - Bianca a large audience success , by the second ZDF telenovela Julia - Wege zum Glück was continued. In it, Katy Wellinghoff , played by Nicola Ransom , appeared for a short time, a well-known figure from Bianca .

    Due to its great success in Europe , Bianca was reproduced in both the USA and Russia . The US version was called Monarch Cove and was produced by Fremantle for Lifetime Television , the Russian version was called Ogon Lyubvi ("Flame of Love") and was shot by Teleroman for 1TV . The adaptations were made with the help of the German series' chief writer, Rasi Levinas.


    Petzow Castle as an exterior motif from Gut Wellinghoff
    The village church in Petzow

    The telenovela is about the 28-year-old Bianca Berger, who looks for happiness without success. After spending several years in prison innocently because she is said to have set fire to her father's business, who was killed in the fire, she is released and in the fictional setting "Tannenau" by her cousin Katy Neubauer, the actual arsonist, recorded.

    Bianca soon finds a job as a domestic worker on the estate "Gut Wellinghoff". The host is the banker Alexander Wellinghoff, who is married to Ariane. The couple have a son named Oliver, whom Bianca falls in love with, which creates a lot of turbulence. Oliver's fiancée Judith Simon returns from Africa and tells him that she is pregnant. A little later, Oliver and Judith get married. At first, Oliver does not reveal anything to his wife about his affair with Bianca.

    Meanwhile, Viktor Schneider, Katy's accomplice, shows up and blackmails her, whereupon Katy murders the unwelcome acquaintance by overdosing on heart drops. A little later she met Pascal Wellinghoff, Alexander's son from his first marriage. Pascal feels a great hatred of his father, who once left his mother and him. He and Katy spin one intrigue after the other to bring the Wellinghoffs to ruin.

    One day, Katy carried out an attack on Judith that was designed to make the police believe Bianca was the culprit. Judith is seriously injured and loses her child. At the time of the crime, Oliver was in a hotel room with Bianca, which would make him the only one who could relieve Bianca, but at the same time would expose his affair with her. Oliver finally decides to get Bianca out of prison with his testimony, and also confesses to Judith his infidelity. Judith cannot take the shock and dies a little later from her injuries from the accident. Oliver feels guilty and decides to spend a year away from civilization in a forest hut. Meanwhile, Katy and Pascal get rid of their eyewitness Simone Morgenrot, whom they bought for the attack on Judith.

    Around the same time it turns out that the father of Oliver's little sister Sofia is not Alexander, but Matthias Rüger, the former fellow student and still best friend of Oliver. Alexander and Ariane's relationship is severely strained as a result, and Alexander falls into a crisis. Sofia is also irritated and decides to spend a year in America.

    A year later: Bianca is now with Eddie Behringer, the Wellinghoffs chauffeur. Oliver returns to the estate. Katy and Pascal's intrigues are now well advanced: through forged signatures and dubious transactions, they have brought the private bank Wellinghoff into great trouble. Thanks to Oliver, light is slowly coming into the darkness. It turns out that Katy forged the signatures, thereby gambling away her credibility with the Wellinghoffs. But the clarification of the bank affair does not end there. With the help of Maren Heilmann, Oliver can prove that Pascal is just as involved in the affair.

    Meanwhile, Bianca and Eddie are planning their wedding, but it turns out that Oliver still has feelings for Bianca. Bianca also realizes that she still loves Oliver. The two find each other again and plan their wedding. At the same time, however, they are in great danger: After Bianca set a trap and coaxed Katy to confess to the arson attack and the murder of Viktor, Katy and Pascal fled to an old factory site and are planning an arson attack on the Fish for Fun , where the wedding reception is to take place. In the hope of being released from prison, Katy and Pascal incriminate each other with the police, whereupon both of them are arrested on the factory premises by Inspector Weber. During their escape, Pascal is killed in a devastating explosion. Katy, on the other hand, escapes death by fire, but is seriously injured and lies in a coma for months until she wakes up again with Julia - Ways to Happiness in the Falkental Clinic.

    While her cousin is engaged in a hot chase with the police, Bianca has finally found happiness and marries her great love Oliver.


    main actor

    Sorted according to the order of entry.

    actor Role name consequences First broadcast Remarks
    Tanja Wedhorn Bianca Berger-Wellinghoff, b. Berger 1-224 2004-2005 Former housemaid at Gut Wellinghoff,
    granddaughter of Ursula, daughter of Hans, sister of Heiko, cousin of Katy, temporarily fiancé of Pascal and Eddie, wife of Oliver, thus sister-in-law of Sofia and daughter-in-law of Ariane and Alexander
    Nicola Ransomware Katy Wellinghoff, b. Neubauer 1-224 2004-2005 Pascal's personal assistant,
    granddaughter of Ursula, niece of Hans, cousin of Bianca and Heiko, affair of Viktor and Alexander, one-night-stand of Sven, wife of Pascal, daughter-in-law of Alexander and Constanze, sister-in-law of Oliver and Sofia
    survived the chase seriously injured with the police and woke up again months later in Falkental . Later fled to the south of France and faked her death there.
    Patrik Fichte Oliver Wellinghoff 1-224 2004-2005 Son of Ariane and Alexander, half-brother of Sofia and Pascal, widower of Judith, husband of Bianca, thus brother-in-law of Heiko
    Christoph Mory Edmund "Eddie" Behringer 1-224 2004-2005 Chauffeur
    of Georg's Wellinghoffs son, Denise's one-night stand, Bianca temporarily fiancé
    Kerstin Gähe Ariane Wellinghoff 1-224 2004-2005 Wife of Alexander, mother of Sofia and Oliver, ex-lover of Matthias, later mother-in-law of Judith and Bianca
    Nadja Robiné Denise Richter 1-224 2004-2005
    House maid at Gut Wellinghoff One-Night-Stand of Sven and Eddie, temporarily friend of Heiko
    Birgit Wiedel Weidinger Bärbel Krause 1-224 2004-2005 Cook at Gut Wellinghoff
    temporarily in a relationship with assistant cook Markus
    Peter Hladik Alexander Wellinghoff 1-224 2004-2005 Head of the Wellinghoff bank,
    husband of Ariane, ex-husband of Constanze, ex-affair of Maren and Katy, father of Oliver, Pascal and legally Sofia, later father-in-law of Judith, Katy and Bianca
    Joana Schümer Maren Heilmann 1-106
    2004-2005 Former assistant in the Wellinghoff Bank
    Ex-lover of Alexander, fiancé of Sven
    Uwe Zerbe Georg Behringer 2-224 2004-2005 Administrator of Gut Wellinghoff
    Eddie's father
    Jytte-Merle Böhrnsen Sofia Wellinghoff 2-224 2004-2005 Student,
    daughter of Ariane and Matthias, half-sister of Oliver, sister-in-law of Judith and Bianca, temporary friend of Heiko, one-night-stand of Sven
    Eva Klemt Tina Rüger 3-224 2004-2005 Owner of the "Fish for Fun"
    wife of Matthias, best friend of Bianca
    Andreas Hutzel Matthias Rüger 3-224 2004-2005 Owner of the “Fish for Fun”
    husband of Tina, ex-affair of Ariane, biological father of Sofia
    Jorres cracks Sven Heysenberg 3-224 2004-2005 Gardener at Gut Wellinghoff
    initially unhappily in love with Denise, Katy and Sofia's one-night stand, later Maren's fiancé
    Elisabeth Sutterlüty Judith Wellinghoff, b. Simon 22-159 2004-2005 Daughter of Philipp and Juliane, wife of Oliver, daughter-in-law of Alexander and Ariane, sister-in-law of Pascal and Sofia
    died in episode 158 of a pulmonary embolism shortly after she was hit by Katy (disguised as Bianca) (episode 144)
    Michael redhead Pascal Wellinghoff † 37-224 2004-2005 Son of Alexander and Constanze, stepson of Ariane, half-brother of Oliver and (legally also of) Sofia, brother-in-law of Judith, temporarily fiancé of Bianca, husband of Katy died
    in a chase with the police
    Ralph Kretschmar Heiko Berger 55-224 2005 Grandson of Ursula, son of Hans, brother of Bianca, cousin of Katy, temporary friend of Sofia and Denise

    supporting cast

    Sorted in order of entry.

    actor Role name consequences First broadcast Remarks
    Egon Hofmann Herbert Fischer 4-22 2004 Bianca and Katy are the landlords
    Franz-Joseph Dieken Viktor Schneider † 5-22 2004 Former accountant of the Berger textile factory , old acquaintance of Katy
    blackmailed her with the joint arson attack and was therefore murdered by her with an overdose of the cardiac drug "Terasinol"
    Annemone Haase Ursula Berger † 18-50 2004-2005 Bianca, Katy and Heiko's grandmother
    died of heart failure
    Franziska Lippert Helga Tsaditis 33
    Denise's acquaintances, Eddie's flirtation, Markus' ex-affair
    Amadeus Goller Karl Schmidt 64, 71 2005 Pascal's accomplice
    poisoned birds in Italy, which prevented an important business activity for the Wellinghoff Bank
    Thomas Schmuckert Pastor Landmann 71, 82,
    83, 224
    2005 trusted Oliver and Judith, later Oliver and Bianca
    Heiko Wohlgemuth Marcus 77-86
    2005 Koch (at Oliver and Judith's wedding)
    Affair von Bärbel, father of Helga's child
    Susanne Schlenzig Simone Morgenrot † 143-158 2005 Prostitute , old friend of Pascal, bought witness to Judith's accident
    , was murdered by Pascal with an overdose of heart drops to prevent further blackmail
    Christoph Hemrich Commissioner Weber 145-152
    2005 investigated the case of Judith who was run over and finally convicted Katy and Pascal of all of their crimes (murder of Viktor and Simone, attack on Judith resulting in death, arson attack on Hans Berger's business which resulted in death)


    […] From November 2004, ZDF took care of the romantic streak of television viewers, because at that time, Bianca - Ways to Happiness, Germany's first telenovela went on air. A few days before the start of the format, the editorial team hoped for positive values ​​- of course also with regard to the quotas. It all worked out: with 2.92 million viewers and a market share of 17.6 percent, Bianca's first TV appearance was more than good. "

    And this hope was well founded, because when Bianca went into“ retirement ”in autumn 2005, ZDF achieved a market share of 16.8 percent in the advertising-relevant target group of 14 to 49 year olds with the last episode about 790,000 German citizens tuned in. The telenovela seemed to have built up a large fan base over time. Nevertheless, the majority of the audience were older than 65 years. This group had 1.85 million viewers on the last day of broadcast - a total of 3.48 million people were there. This meant that 48.2 percent of all series fans over 65 decided to say goodbye to Bianca that afternoon . In the age group of 20 to 29 year olds, on the other hand, only 11.0 percent watched, while in the group of 30 to 39 year olds the wedding episode had a market share of 20.2 percent. The audience rating for the 224th episode was 28.8 percent, well above the average for the Mainz television broadcaster. "

    That the average Bianca viewer was female should hardly surprise anyone. 2.61 million women watched the last episode, which was enough for a market share of 35.5 percent. It is astonishing, however, that a relatively large number of men seem to have taken a liking to the format. The final was followed by 0.79 million male German citizens. The market share here was a good 19.1 percent. "


    Six DVDs have been released:

    • Bianca - Ways to Happiness: The summary Vol. 1
      contains the complete episodes 1–12, unpublished material about the lovers, several ZDF contributions as well as excerpts from the Bianca audio book "A New Life"
    • Bianca - Ways to Happiness: The Most Beautiful Moments Vol. 2
      contains the complete episodes 13–24, unpublished material about the lovers, several ZDF contributions and excerpts from the Bianca audio book "A New Life"
    • Bianca - Ways to Happiness: The Most Beautiful Moments Vol. 3
      contains the complete episodes 25–36
    • Bianca - Ways to Happiness: The Most Beautiful Moments Vol. 4
      contains the complete episodes 37-48
    • Bianca - Ways to Happiness: The romance DVD
      contains all the love stories from the telenovela, unpublished interviews and unique backstage insights
    • Bianca - Paths to Happiness: The wedding DVD
      contains the first two Bianca chapters, the live performance of the Bianca title song "True Believer", the love story of Bianca & Oliver, the two wedding chapters and a photo gallery with the most beautiful pictures

    On September 25, 2009, DVDs 1–4 were released all together again as a DVD box under the title Bianca - Paths to Happiness: All the “Most Beautiful Moments” of the complete telenovela (13 DVDs).

    Three audio books have been published for the series, all of which were spoken by Tanja Wedhorn, the leading actress in the series.

    Accompanying books
    With “Mira Taschenbuch” five novels accompanying the telenovela have been published by Cora Verlag, all of which were written by Marcela DeWinter. They tell stories of the characters that were not told directly in the telenovela.

    • 1. Lost freedom
    • 2. Sophisticated intriguer
    • 3. Duel of the Generations
    • 4. In love with Venice
    • 5. For now and always

    Novel booklets
    Cora-Verlag also published a total of twelve pocket novels a month during the first broadcast, which summarize the plot of the telenovela. However, all books sold out very quickly.

    • 1. Departure into a new life
    • 2. Oliver's secret
    • 3. Hope wins
    • 4. Time of decision
    • 5. The bond for life?
    • 6. Twists of Fate
    • 7. A new love?
    • 8. The power of love
    • 9. Just a dream of happiness
    • 10. The calm before the storm
    • 11. Friends for life?
    • 12. A dream is finally coming true

    Web links

    Individual evidence

    1. "Bianca - Ways to Happiness" sold to Russia . Retrieved April 28, 2007.
    2. Do you remember? From "Bianca" & Co .: When the telenovelas learned to walk . Retrieved October 6, 2006.
    3. "Bianca" says goodbye with a record rate . Retrieved October 6, 2005.