TV Shows
Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

“The World According to the Kiepskich”: 25 years since the premiere of the series

“The World According to the Kiepskis” was supposed to be the Polish answer to the great American television hit “Married with Children” (“The World according to the Bundys”) broadcast in 1987-1997. The idea to make a series about Ferdynand Kiepski and his family came up in 1997 by four screenwriters – Aleksander Sobiszewski, Janusz Sadza, Igor Nurczyński and Roman Rega. Together they wrote the script for three pilot episodes, which Telewizja Polsat showed to its viewers on March 16, 1999. People liked the sitcom so much that they immediately started working on further episodes.

In the book “The World According to the Kiepskich. A crazy history of a cult series”, producer Tomasz Kurzewski mentioned that he had to finance the shooting of the first episodes with his own money. The producer took a risk and to collect money, among others. he sold the apartment where he lived with his family. The producer emphasized that his wife has always been his partner, both in life and in business – he does not enter into any business without her consent.

“We’re starting to count. We have our own equipment, well, maybe not a million, but seven hundred thousand is enough to produce three pilot episodes. It was an unimaginable scale for us anyway. The only thing we had was our own apartment, which we got by collecting funds. piles of money earned abroad and an inheritance from his wife’s parents, as well as small savings. Finally, a decision is made. Dorota, with two children aged five and six on her lap, says: ‘Okay, I agree, we are investing in this production. I’m packing, and you take care of selling the apartment,'” reports Kurzewski. When they informed the family that they were selling the property, they almost dropped dead.

The risk definitely paid off. The first three seasons of the series were shot in an authentic tenement house in Wrocław, in a large 200-meter apartment at 67 Podwale Street, which in the series was named Ćwiartki 3/4. Despite the sympathy of the residents and pleasant contacts with the neighbors, the residents were disturbed by the constant stamping and climbing of the stairs of the 40-person crew, so the producers of the series finally moved the production to a shooting hall in Bielany near Wrocław, where the Kiepski family’s apartment and the famous corridor with a shared toilet were recreated in great detail.

Andrzej Grabowski brilliantly played the role of Ferdynand Kiepski. The actor has many appreciated roles to his credit, but it is Kiepski that most Poles associate him with. Although initially he was reluctant to play the role of a slacker and a drunkard, in recent years he treated entering the set of the series as something extremely pleasant. His wife in the series, Halinka, was played by Marzena Kipiel-Sztuka. Their participation in the cult series brought them enormous popularity and sympathy of millions of viewers. However, few people know that they were not the first to be offered the role of Ferdek and Halinka.

The director’s first choice for the role of Ferdek was… Janusz Rewiński. Unfortunately, the actor who played the role of Siara in “Killer” did not like the script that Okił Khamidov sent him. “I threw it away after reading the first two pages. It just wasn’t my sense of humor,” he explained many years later. The second candidate to take on the role of the head of the Kiepski family was Grzegorz Warchoł. The actor immediately agreed to join the cast of the sitcom, especially since his wife in the series was to be… Anna Majcher, whom he knew very well and had great sympathy for.

“That’s right. I was supposed to play with Ania as Halinka. The director and producer invited us for breakfast at the Marriott Hotel in Warsaw to discuss the conditions,” admitted Grzegorz Warchoł, adding that both he and Anna Majcher were sure that after contracts will be signed during breakfast. Meanwhile, Okił Khamidov made them sign an agreement to participate in several seasons of the series.

“It turned out that we would have to move to Wrocław for a few years, because the shooting was planned practically non-stop. I couldn’t afford it, I didn’t want to leave Warsaw,” says Warchoł. “Anka didn’t want to either,” he says. Only when Grzegorz Warchoł and Anna Majcher refused to accept the conditions offered to them by the creators of “The World according to the Kiepskich” did the director decide to employ Andrzej Grabowski and Marzena Kipiel-SZTUKA.

“The World According to the Kiepskis” has delighted millions of Poles for over 20 years, providing them with a large dose of humor and extraordinary energy. Viewers will forever remember the characters’ favorite sayings, their funny habits and conversations that could sometimes bring them to tears.

At the beginning of June 2022, more than 20 years after the broadcast of the first episode of the series, Telewizja Polsat announced that there will no longer be new episodes of “Świat dla Kiepskich”. The reason for the end of the series was the death of Dariusz Gnatowski and Ryszard Kotys, i.e. “Boczek” and Marian Paździoch (the first of them died in October 2020, the second – in January 2021).