The history of 99pro is first the history of the founder. Bernd Schumacher learned his trade as a reporter at TELE 5, as a correspondent for the ProSieben – Nachrichten (News) in Israel, as well as a reporter in many parts of the world.
In the year 2000 Bernd established 99pro media in Leipzig with the vision to create own formats. The starting point of our development work is the question of what really moves us and what makes us the people we are. If we succeed in revealing this and understanding each other we will develop – the basis for a tolerant society.
Bernd’s team succeeds in its unique format for magazine programmes, such as the “Drei Leben” series, which is successful in the ProSieben Mittagsmagazin SAM.
In 2003 “The 99ers” produced the first docu-soap for the channel ProSieben, the 12-part series “Die Teenie-Mama”. In the same year Bernd submits a concept that follows the question of what holds a family together at its core:
In 2005 the station finally commissioned 99pro media to produce the daily documentary soap “We are family”. It is the breakthrough for the young company: For ProSieben it is the most successful new start of a format on daytime for 5 years and the Leipzig team could continue to produce “Das pure Leben” until 2008, about very different families with their personal and social challenges and break down prejudices. A double episode of the format won the Grimme Prize.
In 2006 99pro media produced the 6-part documentary soap “Prima Klima” for WDR. In 2007 the series was broadcasted on ARD.
In 2008, 99pro media successfully pitched for the production order of the VOX format “Auf und Davon”, which shows the departure of young people into the world. Here, too, we reveal what drives the protagonists and what lies behind these authentic stories.
A young beautician from Ludwigshafen, who has set her mind on appearing in American Playboy, is completely out of the ordinary. Daniela Katzenberger fails, but wins the hearts of the audience – first with “Auf und Davon”, then with “Goodbye Deutschland” and from autumn 2010 in her own format “Daniela Katzenberger – Naturally blond”. The woman and her stories prove to be a magnet for viewers (75 broadcast hours in 7 seasons until 2014) and “Daniela Katzenberger” is a successful personality brand, which we license – awarded with the international Lima Award. Daniela’s biography “Sei Schlau, stell Dich dumm” becomes a bestseller and is the third best-selling book of 2012.
Parallel to Daniela’s series, 99pro media 2011 will enter the production of the emigrant format “Goodbye Deutschland”, which we are still successfully broadcasting today. Here we developed spin-offs of the format, like “Viva Mallorca” for the VOX primetime on Monday evening.
In a long-term documentary we accompany people in a social hotspot in Kaiserslaut since the summer of 2014 until today. The TV premiere “Asternweg – Eine Straße ohne Ausweg” aired on 11.04.2015 on a Saturday evening from 20.15 at VOX. The four-hour documentary reached 8.0% of viewers in the target group of 14 – 49-year-olds. The broadcast brings with it a wave of helpfulness, with the press and experts paying tribute to the work. It is awarded the German Television Prize in 2016 – as the best reportage/documentary of the year. The broadcast of the second four-hour documentary entitled “Asternweg – One Year Later” on 02.04.2016 even reached 12.8 % market shares in the target group of 14 – 49-year-olds. In 2020 we plan to film a third part of the documentary.
In 2015 Bernd and Patricia Fritsche develop a format in a VOX pitch that revolves around wedding dresses. In February 2016 we broadcasted “Zwischen Tüll und Tränen” in 10 episodes in VOX-Daytime. With clear double-digit market shares, it is a success right from the start. With VOX’s offer to give the format a daily program slot from August 2016, the company grows to 100 employees.
In the beginning of 2016, 99pro media started producing reports for ZDF and ZDF info.
In the area of docu-soap, new ground was broken from 2017: “Little Heroes – Big Ones” shows children and young people who must deal with a severe handicap or must fight for their lives. The series confronts us with the last questions and encourages us – thanks to its charismatic protagonists. A 99pro format that’s produced for RTL II.
From April 2018, we aired on RTL II what Germany’s hairdressers can do: “Einfach hairlich – Die Friseure” broadcasting 15 episodes in Daytime and 15 episodes in Late Primetime. We are currently shooting a second season.
In 2017/18 we produced the founding documentary “Jung, Weiblich, Boss!” (“Young, Female, Boss”), which could have been seen in 2 episodes on RTL II – Primetime August 2018 and in 3 further episodes on TVNOW.
In August 2018, RTL shows the pilot episode of a new 99pro media format at prime time: “2 Families 2 Worlds” hits the heart of viewers by 12.7% of 14 – 49-year-olds. A second pilot will air on RTL 2 in July 2019. We are currently producing a first season of the format.
In July 2019 VOX aired the first studio production of 99pro media. The title of the program:
“7 daughters” prominent parents exchange ideas about what it means to grow up with a big name.
TODAY we are producing 5 primetime and 2 daytime series, more pilots, as well as developing offers for the major streaming platforms. What began with Bernd’s idea is now implemented by 120 “99s” at several branches Leipzig, Berlin, Hamburg and Munich.
Are we successful?
We measure this primarily in terms of whether we can redeem our “WHY”, that is, whether we can remain faithful to ourselves, follow our vocation, and influence others in that sense. For us, a second decisive criterion for “success” is whether we succeed at meeting together at the Company without prejudice, but with respect and compassion, and whether we feel free to live our values ourselves. The third factor would be profitability – the foundation for our independent creative work.
WE TELL PEOPLE.