Family series

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A family series is a special form of television series . The plot is always coordinated in such a way that a whole family, i.e. all age groups, can find themselves in it and be interested in the topic.


Family series, as well as family novels in the literary origin, allow the viewer or reader to make comparisons with their own family situation, since a family is always the focus of the plot. One difference to the family novel is that the family series in most cases includes children and the interests of children. Role models or real-life situations offer the family a high degree of identification . Series that only appeal to the interests of children are therefore children's series .


Biographically, most people experience the family situation as an originally existing and ever expanding network of dependencies and forms of support ( biography ). The family series intentionally or unintentionally provides orientation by showing typical conflicts , crises and possible solutions. Typical contents are therefore educational topics such as kindergarten , school attendance (compulsory school, class community, conflict with teachers), taking up work ( apprenticeship ), family growth such as the birth of siblings , ( baptisms ) or other phases of life such as sexual relationships, work, marriage , but also illness , Dying and death .

The typical topics can be presented in groups: normative events , i.e. school leaving or marriage; historical events such as government elections or economic phases and their consequences on society (economic boom); critical life events such as unexpected change of direction due to divorce or serious illness.

The television station track with the appearance quite similar goals as in other television series : transmitter binding, advertising effectiveness and rate.

The typical structure of a family series

A television series is a series of short films that are typically broadcast on television at the same time on the same day of the week. A family series has, with a few exceptions (guest, star guest, attempt with a new role), a number of fixed characters / roles that have adventures or other experiences in the series. Typical for a television series is the constant duration and the open outcome, which creates suspense for the continuation in a week.

In family series, a family is in the foreground in most cases, although they can also have animals that are important for the plot, as in the classics Flipper , Fury or Lassie . Since children should be included as viewers, family series are often produced for the evening program. The German classic Schölermann family ran after the news broadcast. For children it is often the event to which they were allowed to stay awake longer. Long years of habituation can also lead to dependency on a favorite family series.

Family series in their time

Typical family series in their time
time title Special
1950-1960 Schölermann family ,
At Lassie, the focus is on a dog as an animal star and is an American production; in Germany, the focus is on topics such as displacement , captivity , catch-up, shortened education or holidays .
1960-1970 The Hesselbach family ,
Hucky and his friends ,
The Despicable One
It's about growing prosperity, but also about the east-west division and the building of the wall.
1970-1980 The house on Eaton Place ,
Our little farm ,
An American family
Many American series are taken over at this time.
1980-1990 Dallas ,
The Denver Clan ,
Lindenstrasse ,
These Drombuschs ,
The Happy Family ,
Family Ties , Golden Girls ,
Kir Royal ,
Two Munich residents in Hamburg ,
Forsthaus Falkenau ,
The Black Forest Clinic ,
I'm marrying a family ,
The Wicherts from next door
In addition to other American imports, the ZDF develops large family series which, like the Black Forest Clinic or the Falkenau Forestry House, have been successfully marketed worldwide.
1990-2000 Adelheid and her murderers ,
Marienhof ,
The Simpsons ,
The Fussbroichs ,
Our teacher Doctor Specht ,
out of the blue
The Simpsons run to the present as the longest and most successful US series, both in the cartoon sector and as a series at all.
2000-2010 The Fallers - A Black Forest
Family , Family Dr. Kleist ,
our Charly
The time of the classic family series seems to be over, other formats are increasingly intended to cast a spell over families such as quizzes and advice programs, and older series will continue.


  • Hans W. Geißendörfer and Wolfram Lotze (eds.): Lindenstrasse - 1000 episodes in words and pictures. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf Verlag, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-89602-609-7 .
  • Alan Ball, Alan Poul: Six Feet Under. Better Living Through Death - There is always death. 2005 Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, ISBN 3-89602-641-0
  • Christine Kanz, Thomas Anz: Family and gender roles in recent German literary history. Questions, research results and research perspectives (Part I). In: Jahrbuch für Internationale Germanistik 32, 2000, H. 1, S. 19–44.
  • Martin Kohli: Sociology of the curriculum vitae, Darmstadt 1978
  • Rüdiger Peuckert : Family forms in social change, 5th revised edition, Wiesbaden (VS Verlag) 2004
  • G. Rosenthal: Experienced and told life story. Shape and structure of biographical self-description, Frankfurt am Main 1995

Web links

See also

TV series , sociobiography