girl friends - friendship with a heart

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Television series
Original title girl friends - friendship with a heart
Girl friends.jpg
Country of production Germany
original language German
Year (s) 1995-2005
length 45 minutes
Episodes 87 in 7 seasons ( list )
genre drama
Theme music Girlfriends (Won't Give Up) by Gundula
idea Christian Pfannenschmidt
production Objective film:
Jan Kromschröder,
Jutta Lieck,
Katharina M. Trebitsch,
Martin Rohrbeck
music Jens Langbein
Robert Schulte Hemming
First broadcast December 26, 1995 -
October 13, 2007 on ZDF

girl friends is a German television series that was broadcast in the evening program of ZDF from 1995 to 2007 . The drama series based on an idea and the scripts by Christian Pfannenschmidt is about a group of women friends and their everyday work in a Swedish hotel group in Hamburg . The starting point of the series is the story of Marie Malek, whose childhood friend Ilka finds her a job as a data typist at the renowned Hansson Hotel.

The main roles were initially Mariele Millowitsch , Tamara Rohloff and Walter Sittler , from the 6th season Franziska Stavjanik and Philipp Brenninkmeyer . From 1995 to 2005, 87 episodes (including 5 double episodes) were produced in seven seasons of the series, to which six books and soundtracks have been released.


The series tells of living and working in a hotel, of friendships, intrigues and love.

Marie Malek, who is in her mid-thirties, butcher's daughter from Hitzacker in Lower Saxony , sees her small town idyll in pieces: Cheated by her exploitative friend Peter, the trained retail saleswoman decides to quit her unpopular job at the local tree nursery and to rethink her life from the ground up - yet she lacks both the courage and the confidence to make a fresh start. Her best friend since childhood, the self-confident Ilka Frowein, on the other hand, works as the chief secretary of the management at the international hotel group Hansson in Hamburg and has an uncomplicated relationship with a surgeon. She helps her friend jump into an exciting big city life. Marie soon found friends and managed to move up in the hotel chain.

Since the sixth season, Christian Dolbien and Iris Sandberg have taken the helm and continue the series as the new team of the “Grand Hansson”.

Background and production

The prehistory to Girl friends is loosely based on Mike Nichol's US comedy Working Girl (1988) with Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford in the lead roles. As early as 1991, producer Jutta Lieck-Klenke and screenwriter Christian Pfannenschmidt got together to come up with a concept for the series. A year passed before the exposé and treatment were developed and sold to ZDF. It took another year to work on the script for the first season. In 1993 the first mouth fell for girl friends . Mariele Millowitsch , Walter Sittler and Tamara Rohloff could be engaged for the main roles . Millowitsch, who had previously worked primarily in the theater but also in smaller roles in TV series, took on her first leading role in Girl Friends . The production of an episode took around two weeks of shooting time. The shooting of a full season lasted seven to eight months. Pfannenschmidt wrote Girl friends on his own responsibility and wrote up to 26 episodes per year.

The Steigenberger Hotel on Hamburg's Fleetinsel served as a film location, among other things.

The first season was realized by Objectiv Film on behalf of ZDF. The shooting took place from 1994 in Hamburg as well as in Hitzacker , Lower Saxony , in New York City and in Stockholm . In Hamburg, the Steigenberger Hotel on Hamburg's Fleetinsel acted on behalf of the fictional Hansson Hotel, the main venue for the first two seasons of the series. In the municipality of Gartow , the manor house of the same name was again the inspiration for the later Hansson Country Hotel. Christine Kabisch directed all 13 episodes. The first broadcast took place from December 26, 1995 to March 12, 1996 in the evening program of the ZDF. The second season was broadcast immediately afterwards. In addition to Kabisch, Karin Hercher took on the direction of three new episodes.

The third season was broadcast on ZDF from October 7, 1997. Kabisch directed five of 13 episodes; Bettina Woernle and Richard Engel each took on four episodes. The ensemble members Nele Mueller-Stöfen , Dietmar Mues and Bettina Kupfer did not return to the TV set after two seasons. Chiara Schoras and Petra Redinger joined the cast in their place. An empty office building in the Hanseatic Trade Center on the Kehrwiederspitze replaced the Steigenberger Hotel and was henceforth used as a filming location for the Hansson Palace, in which two entire floors served as backdrops. The fourth season was broadcast from September 22, 1998. For the first time, Kabisch took on sole responsibility for directing all 13 episodes. In the run-up to the broadcast of the fourth season, Pfannenschmidt stated that he did not want to continue the series, as he feared the series would do the same as other TV productions and would run out over time.


In 2000 it was announced that a fifth season of the series was in the works. While the main cast around Millowitsch and Sittler could be recruited, Tamara Rohloff did not return to the TV set in her role as Ilka Frowein. In the episode "I'm fighting for my child - Part 2", however, a voiceover can be heard from her, which explains her exit. In their place, Susanne Hoss , Franziska Stavjanik and Philipp Brenninkmeyer joined the main cast in new roles. The shooting began on May 15, 2001 in Hamburg and the surrounding area and lasted until December 2001. A pilot and the first four episodes of the season were created under the direction of Bettina Woernle. Walter Weber and Franziska Meyer Price were responsible for staging the other episodes . The Dorint Hotel Alter Wall on the Alsterfleet , which served as the fictional Grand Hansson Hotel, served as the main rotary tube for the first time . It was broadcast from January 16, 2002 - for the first time during prime time - on ZDF.

Filming for the sixth season began in Cape Town in June 2003 . Lieck-Klenke and Pfannenschmidt were once again responsible for developing the material, with Girl friends being produced for the first time under their leadership at Network Movie after Lieck-Klenke's departure from Objectiv Film. Millowitsch and Sittler, who had both announced their exit from the series while the fifth season was being broadcast, only appeared in front of the camera for the pilot film; Susanne Hoss also left the production after two seasons for the season finale. With Manon Straché , Andrea Bürgin and Harald Maack , however, three faces returned to the set from the very beginning. Kai Scheve also joined the cast as a new addition. Walter Weber could again be engaged to direct the first four episodes. Furthermore, John Delbridge and Oliver Demmenget directed. The first broadcast took place on March 17, 2004 on ZDF.

In early April 2005, filming of the seventh season of Girl friends began in Hamburg, South Africa and on the British Channel Island of Guernsey . Following the sale of the Grand Hansson Hotel to the Townhouse Group, the consequences formed the first season outside the Hansson Group. After Hoss left, Dietrich Mattausch , Stefanie Höner and Christina Rainer joined the cast. The first three episodes were broadcast from December 7, 2005 at prime time. However, due to disappointing ratings, the series was taken off the program after two weeks and the broadcast of the remaining episodes was announced for spring 2006. In June 2006, ZDF announced that the production of Girl Friends had been discontinued and that the remaining episodes of the seventh season would be broadcast in 2007. The broadcast of the entire season finally took place from July 28 to October 13, 2007 in the station's afternoon program, starting with the repetition of the pilot film.


On October 5, 1998, parallel to the fourth season, the television film Wiedersehen in Palma was broadcast on ZDF, in which it is mainly about Marie's mother Elisabeth and her husband Erich Harsefeld and Marie's biological father Martin Malek. In addition to Dagmar Laurens and Wilfried Dziallas and the two supporting actors Corinna Genest and Volkert Kraeft , who are also known from Girl Friends , Klausjürgen Wussow was signed for the role of Elisabeth's ex-husband for the first time. The film was also produced by Objectiv Film under the direction of Bettina Woernle and based on a script by series creator Christian Pfannenschmidt. The shooting took place among others in Hitzacker and on the Balearic Islands -Insel Mallorca instead.

After the broadcast of the fourth season of Girl friends , ZDF announced that it was working on a spin-off called Hotel Elfie , which would focus on the former secretary Elfie Gerdes, played by Manon Straché . The spin-off was realized by the Hamburg production company Real Film under the direction of Girl friends director Katharina M. Trebitsch. For the filming in Hamburg-Tonndorf , two complete streets with eight playable houses were specially built on 1,300 square meters. In addition to Straché, the actresses Jennifer Steffens , Sandra Borgmann and Doris Kunstmann could be cast in Hotel Elfie . Also Ingrit Dohse and Harald Maack had in their from friends Girl known roles guest appearances in the series. The first broadcast will take place on February 22, 2000 on ZDF. Production of the series was discontinued after the first season.

Episode list


actor role consequences Remarks
Walter Sittler Ronaldo Alexander Walter Schäfer 1-65, 75 Hotel manager, later husband of Marie Malek, father of Heike Schäfer, grandfather of Vivian Schäfer, husband of Ursula Schäfer, emigrates to Cape Town
Mariele Millowitsch Marie Luise Schäfer b. Malek  1-65, 67 Writing pool employee, then chief secretary and guest manager, ex-girlfriend of Ben Bast, wife of Ronaldo Schäfer, half-sister of Barbara Malek, best friend of Ilka Frowein, emigrates to Cape Town
Tamara Rohloff Ilka Frowein 1–50, 52 * Chief secretary, later deputy hotel manager, best friend Marie Malek
Nele Mueller-Stöfen Nicole Buck, b. Bast  † 1-14 Sister of Ben Bast, who works in the writing pool, Dieter Saalbach's affair, is murdered by Ilkas Stalker
Manon Straché Elfriede 'Elfie' Gerdes 1-50, 65-87 Head of the writing pool. Singer in the Checkers
Nina Sonja Peterson Vera Klingenberg 1-58 Employee in the writing pool; starts a new beginning in Berlin
Andrea Bürgin Gudrun Stade Hansson † 1-75 Writing pool manager, executive secretary, wife of Bill Hansson, hotel heiress
Gosta Bredefeldt Bill Hansson † 1-50 Head of the Hanssonhotels, husband of Gudrun Stade
Harald Maack Hieronymus 'Schmolli' Schmolke 1-58, 64-87 Hotel porter
Wilfried Dziallas Erich Harsefeld 1-75 Marie Malek's stepfather, Elisabeth Harsefeld's husband, butcher in Hitzacker
Dagmar Laurens Elisabeth Harsefeld 1-75 Mother of Marie Malek, wife of Erich Harsefeld, ex-wife of Martin Malek †
Bettina Kupfer Daniela Holm 1-26 Girlfriend of Dieter Saalbach
Dietmar Mues Dieter Saalbach 1-15, 22, 26 Deputy Hotel Manager, Nicole Bast's affair
Arnfried Lerche Dr. Siegfried Martin Begemann 1-66, 70-83 Head of HR, later advisor to Gudrun Hansson
Eva Maria Kerkhoff Doris Barth 1-75 Works at reception
Donata Höffer Ursula Schäfer † 1-4,
7-9, 46
Wife of Ronaldo Schäfer
Peer hunter Alexander Hofstädter † 1, 2, 7, 10, 12, 44, 48, 49, 50 Owner of the estate in Hitzacker, acquaintance of Marie Malek, husband of Elfi Gerdes
Max Gertsch Bendix 'Ben' Bast 1-13, 15, 17, 19, 24, 26, 50 Brother of Nicole Bast †, ex-boyfriend of Marie Malek
Christina Große Heike Schäfer † 1-10, 18, 36, 40, 46,
51-54, 63, 64
Daughter of Ronaldo Schäfer and Ursula Schäfer †; dies in a car accident in Berlin
Anette Hellwig Renée Brooch † 14-42 Works in the writing pool, falls into the elevator shaft during construction
Benjamin Sadler Stefan Ahlbaum 15-39 Writing pool staff
Heinz Trixner Alexander Frowein † 19, 24 Father of Ilka Frowein; has a reunion with Ilka after over 30 years. He has cancer and is going on a trip to Europe with her.
Martin Armknecht Holger von Winkler 20-24, 27, 29, 38 Ilka Frowein's replacement while she is on a trip with her father.
Chiara Schoras Katja Harms 1, 2,
responsible employee of the country hotel that burned down; later a writing pool employee
Petra Redinger Wilma Wolf 31-50 Writing pool employee at Hansson Palace, later writing pool manager
Josef Bilous Sebastian Beck 40-50 Hotel doctor and friend of Ilka Frowein
Jens Bud Uwe Holthusen 32-87 Cook, later head chef in Holthusen
Jens Eulenberger Leo Faber 32-50 Waiter in the restaurant and bar
Vanya Mues Karsten Smith 41-50 barkeeper
Tina Bordihn Sandy Bush 53-63 Writing pool staff with a love for Dusty Springfield
Gabrielle Odinis Alexa Hofer 53-87 Team leader of the writing pool at Grand Hansson
Nadja Zwanziger Katrin Hollinger 53-87 First a data typist, then kitchen helper due to incompetence, then pâtissière in Holthusen
Wiebke & Katrin Brardt Vivien Schäfer 53, 54, 58, 61, 63-65, 75 Daughter of Heike Schäfer, granddaughter of Ronaldo Schäfer, step-daughter of Marie Malek Schäfer
Franziska Stavjanik Iris Sandberg 51-87 Advisor to Gudrun Stade Hansson, then director of the Grand Hansson and partner of Christian Dolbien
Philipp Brenninkmeyer Christian Dolbien 52-87 Business Director / Head of the Bill Hansson Foundation
Heidrun Petersen Roxy Papenhagen 67-69,
Klausjürgen Wussow Martin Malek † 53 Father of Marie Malek and Barbara Malek, ex-husband of Elisabeth Harsefeld
Susanne Hoss Barbara Malek 53-75 Half-sister of Marie Malek Schäfer
Silke Bodenbender Philine Sengelmann 64-75 Writing pool employee
Kai Scheve Conrad Hunter 66-87 Hiring manager / nephew of Amanda Miller
Jana Kozewa Sonja Borucka 73-87 Kitchen helper who, through diligence and Mr. Hartmann, becomes a data typist
Dietrich Mattausch Rufus Albert Hartmann 76-87 European Director of the Townhouse. Successor to Gudrun Hansson
Stefanie Höner Britt Schmitt 76-87 Writing pool assistant Grand Hansson
Diana grains Amanda Miller 76-78, 87 Aunt of Conrad Jäger; later she and Rufus Hartmann go to Guernsey together.
Christiane Filla Pepita Hinrichs 80-87 Owner of the pub and meeting point for the Girlfriends Petipta
Christina Rainer Corinna Behrendt 76-87 Writing pool employee
Max Engelke Brian Ruppin 76-78,
Porter and trainee from Mr. Schmollke
Stephan Szász Bernd Behrendt 76-83 Corinna Behrendt's husband
* Voiceover in episode 52


Award category Award winners and nominees Result
Adolf Grimme Prize Series & Multi-Part Series (1997) Nominated
Series & Multi-Part Series (1998) Nominated
German television award Best Actress - Leading Series Series (1999) Mariele Millowitsch Nominated
Best Book Series (1999) Christian Pfannenschmidt Nominated
Golden camera Best German Actress (2000) Mariele Millowitsch Won
Golden lion Best Series Actress (1996) Mariele Millowitsch Won
Telestar Best Producer (1996) Katharina Trebitsch Won
Best Actress in a Series (1998) Manon Straché Won


  • Five Stars for Marie (1996)
  • The Man from Montauk (1997)
  • Ten Floors to Happiness (1998)
  • Coming Soon to Cloud Seven (2002)
  • Shortly before twelve to paradise (2004)
  • The 1 × 1 for great happiness (2005)


  • Girl Friends (1996)
  • Girl Friends: The Best of 52 Episodes (1997)


  • The Complete First Season (2006)
  • The Complete Second Season (2007)
  • The Complete 3rd Season (2007)
  • The Complete 4th Season (2007)
  • The Complete 5th Season (2008)
  • The Complete 6th Season (2008)
  • The Complete 7th Season (2008)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h GIRLfriends forever: The official fan book . Amazon . Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  2. Heartbreaker . Archived from the original on February 8, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  3. a b c d e f g h ZDF hit series "girl friends" now at the prime time start of the new season on January 16, 2002 . Press portal. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  4. a b c d Interview with the Network Movie double top: "We do not have a free ticket with ZDF" . Focus on film . Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  5. a b Start of shooting new episodes of the successful ZDF series "girl friends" . Press portal. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  6. Start of shooting new episodes of the successful ZDF series "girl friends" . Press portal. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  7. New "girl friends" season without Millowitsch . Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  8. a b The "girl friends" are back / New entertaining stories from the ZDF cult series . Press portal. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  9. a b Intrigues in the Hotel / ZDF is shooting new "girl friends" episodes . Press portal. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  10. a b The ZDF is taking the Wednesday series "girl friends" out of the program after disappointing ratings and is looking for a new slot for the former viewer guarantee . Focus on film . Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  11. ZDF continues "girl friends" in 2007 . Quota meter . Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  12. a b c See you in Palma . Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  13. a b Huge effort for Hamburgers, Hotel Elfie ' . Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  14. a b Hotel Elfie . Retrieved March 13, 2019.