ZDF Studios to Distribute Housemates—Vacation Without Parents


ZDF Studios has scored the international format distribution rights for Housemates—Vacation Without Parents, a children’s reality show.

The series follows a group of five girls and/or five boys who are invited to spend three weeks without their parents in a luxurious villa. While they have lots of time to build friendships and have fun, they also must take responsibility for their everyday lives, handling the cooking, cleaning and shopping.

Housemates—Vacation Without Parents has been airing on Germany’s KiKA channel since 2009. The boys edition has over 140 episodes in eight seasons, and the girls edition has more than 130 episodes in seven seasons. There are have been several specials, spin-offs and brand extensions, as well.

Lisa Boersen, head of the children’s department at NTR, the public broadcaster in the Netherlands, said: “Zonder Ouders op Vakantie (ZOOV) is the Dutch version of Housemates—Vacation Without Parents. It is wonderful to see how during the trip, the young teenagers not only get to know each other, but also themselves. By taking on challenges and overcoming fears, they realize that they can already do a lot on their own, but may still have some things to learn.”

Jan-Frederik Maul, Director Junior at ZDF Studios, added, “Housemates—Vacation Without Parents is captivating for young viewers because they get to see their peers in a unique set-up. Getting in the shoes of an adult for a limited amount of time with both its freedom and responsibilities is a unique experience for the protagonists and viewers. The success of the format is partly based on the fact that the young viewers can identify with the cast and project themselves into the situation of living together with the Housemates. Seeing their heroes going about their daily lives, discussing relevant issues at eye level, and having loads of fun has shown to be a very connecting viewing experience. Respect, diversity and positivity in resolving issues, are the core values of this format which is easily adaptable and would appeal to junior audiences everywhere.”