Hofmann set as long-term UFA chief

Deutschland-83-(3)Nico Hofmann has been named co-CEO of FremantleMedia’s German production business, UFA Group, as part of a longer-term strategy that will see him become sole chief.

Hofmann will run Deutschland 83 producer UFA along with Wolf Bauer until September 2017, with Bauer stepping back to focus on producing at that point.

The pair will have overall management responsibilities for “certain operations and units”, with the pair overseeing for the UFA holding company. Hofmann now reports to FremantleMedia CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz, and will sit alongside Bauer on the RTL-owned company’s operating board.

Bauer has led UFA for the past quarter century, but has now come up with a succession plan. He joined UFA, which at the time was the production arm of RTL owner Bertelsmann, and had risen to chairman by 1991.

He founded Grundy UFA (now UFA Serial Drama) with Reg Grundy’s Grundy Worldwide, and has produced shows such as Good Times Bad Times and Under One Roof.

After the merger of UFA and Pearson TV in 2000, a move that created FremantleMedia, he joined the parent company’s operating board.

“The time is right for me to begin the process of co-heading UFA and to prepare for handing over reins at UFA,” he said. “Nico is an exceptionally talented producer and under his leadership teamWorx/UFA Fiction has become the European market leader in drama event TV. I can’t think of anyone better to hand over the baton to and I’m really excited to be working with him during this transition period.”

His successor, Hofmann, is currently chairman of subsidiary UFA Fiction and is best known for shows such as Generation War. He also executive produced Deutschland ’83, which was the first German drama to launch on a US network.

“After 25 years of leading UFA to its outstanding market position, Wolf proposed to me a succession plan which made sense for both Wolf and the business and I happily accepted,” said FremantleMedia chief Frot-Coutaz. “Nico is one of Europe’s most successful and respected drama producers with fantastic leadership skills and strong relationships in the German market.”

The further news, FremantleMedia International has snapped up rights to Capital, a new 3x60mins series from Endemol Shine Group-owned Kudos for UK pubcaster BBC One.

The show is billed as a “vivid and sharply observant drama” based on a John Lanchester novel. It is set on single south London street and follows the interconnected lives of a group of Londoners.