Verbotene Liebe is a German television soap opera created by Reg Watson for Das Erste. The show is set primarily in the German city of Düsseldorf although, at times, the city of Cologne and the Spanish island of Majorca have figured prominently in the show's story lines. First broadcast on 2 January 1995, Verbotene Liebe was originally broadcast in 24-minute episodes, five times a week. It expanded to 45-minute episodes on 21 June 2011 and trimmed back to 40-minute episodes on 23 January 2012 to accommodate an adjusted time-slot. In 2006, Pay-TV network Passion began broadcasting episodes of the show from the beginning.
Verbotene Liebe was initially based on original story and character outlines from the Australian soap opera Sons and Daughters, before evolving into a show of its own as the series progressed. The show originally focused on two core families: the wealthy Anstetten family and the middle-class Brandner family. More specifically, it dealt with the story of Jan Brandner and Julia von Anstetten, two strangers whose fascination for each other leads them to fall in love, neither of them cognizant of the fact that they are twins separated by their parents. It is this story of forbidden love that gave the series its title. As cast members left the show, many characters were written out of the storyline, and new ones were added. Sometimes this included whole families. Writers attempted to phase out the dwindling Brandner family by introducing a new middle-class family, the Prozeskis, as foils for the wealthy Anstettens, but the Brandners proved to be too popular with fans, and the Prozeskis left as quickly as they came. Currently, much of the drama centers around the Wolf family and the aristocratic Lahnstein family.
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