Banijay’s The Write Offs Being Adapted for ZDF


EndemolShine Germany, part of Banijay Germany, is adapting The Write Offs format for ZDF.

The format will be known locally as Lost for Words (w.t.) and presented by Sabine Heinrich. This commission marks the fourth adaptation of the factual series, which was originally produced for Channel 4 in the U.K. and has traveled to Denmark and Australia.

Created by Banijay UK’s Shine TV, the show gives a group of adults the opportunity to change their lives and address the one thing that may be holding them back: basic literacy skills. The format sees adults receive one-to-one tuition and embark on an eye-opening journey as they face tasks that encourage them to go outside of their comfort zones. The series concludes with a heartwarming and dramatic performance for their loved ones.

Fabian Tobias, managing director at EndemolShine Germany, said: “The Write Offs shines a light on an issue that affects 6 million people in Germany and up to now rarely discussed. Just as in the U.K., Denmark and Australia, we hope this new series will provide uplifting and relevant content whilst also inspiring those who do struggle with their literacy.”

Lucas Green, global head of content operations at Banijay, said: “The Write Offs resonates worldwide because shockingly-low literacy rates are not exclusive to one country. This is a daily reality for many people globally, and the show raises awareness and starts discussions among the wider public. It is powerful, empowering, stigma-reducing, and we’re looking forward to seeing where it goes next.”