The deal, scored with distributor FremantleMedia, marks the first time Wentworth will be remade outside of Australia.
RTL-owned producer UFA will create a 10-episode series for RTL, with production beginning in Berlin in March 2014.
The format will follow the “same gritty story of survival, rivalry, power struggles and unlikely allegiances within a female prison,” according to RTL. Provisionally, it will carry the same title as the Australian show.
“The stories and characters of Wentworth will polarise and initiate discussions among the audience,” said Barbara Thielen, head of fiction at RTL. “Many women whose fates we are showing are certainly guilty in a legal sense, but if you can condemn them in a moral sense as well, everyone will judge differently.”
Guido Reinhardt, chief creative officer, UFA Serial Drama, added: “Wentworth is dynamic, controversial as well as emphatic. In this field of tension we present an uncompromising world, where friendship, trust and loyalty means everything and the question whether law and justice are actually the same is repeatedly raised.”
Wentworth is based on Prisoner (aka Prisoner Cell Block H), which broadcast in Australia between 1979 and 1986. The new version broadcasts on Foxtel-owned pay channel SoHo. Season one is the most-watched non-sports programme in the history of Aussie subscription TV and a second season has been ordered.