Nico Hofmann has taken on the role of sole CEO of German film and television production company UFA Group, which is best-known for International Emmy Award-winning spy drama “Deutschland ’83.” The company, owned by FremantleMedia, celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.
The move follows a two-year transition-period, announced in September 2015, in which Wolf Bauer and Hofmann have headed UFA as co-CEOs. As planned, Bauer is stepping down after more than 27 years in charge of UFA, and will continue to work with the company as a consultant, focusing as a producer on the development and production of high-end film and television projects.
Under Bauer’s leadership, UFA became Germany’s market leader in program creation and production. The company is the creator and producer of award-winning TV movies, long-running entertainment formats, high-rating daily soaps, numerous primetime series, sitcoms and non-fictional programs, producing 4,500 broadcast hours of shows a year.
Hofmann will assume overall management responsibilities for all operations and units within UFA, working closely with FremantleMedia’s global network, including its worldwide production units and licensing and sales operations. He will continue to report into Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of FremantleMedia Group, and will remain on FremantleMedia’s operating board.
Frot-Coutaz said: “Nico and Wolf have managed a smooth and successful transition, during which time UFA’s market position and global reputation have grown even further. Nico is one of Europe’s most visionary and respected drama producers and will — in this, its 100th anniversary year — take UFA to even greater heights. I would like to thank Wolf for his phenomenal contribution to UFA and to the industry as a whole, and to say how delighted I am that we will continue to benefit from his creativity and flair as he embarks on the next stage of his career.”
Hofmann said: “I am very honored that Cecile and Wolf are placing such great trust in me. Most of all, I am looking forward to continuing to work with an UFA team that guarantees me a high degree of support. Being able to work with this team makes me proud.
“Wolf has led UFA with passion and entrepreneurial vision, as well as continually writing television history with programming innovation after innovation. He is a visionary – but, above all, he is also a close friend to whom I owe a great deal of thanks. Together, we have successfully restructured UFA and placed an emphasis on the consistent development of our strong programming brands, daily dramas and show formats.
“For me, in the coming future, it is important to continue to push ahead in the high-end drama sector as well as to expand the digital business and to place even more emphasis on developing upcoming talent. Winning and retaining young, creative talent is not only an important way of securing our future — it is, for me, also a matter close to my heart.”
After a successful career as a film director, in 1998 Hofmann co-founded with Bauer the teamWorx production company, which is now known as UFA Fiction. Since then, Hofmann has been responsible for more than 400 productions and has won international and national awards with several highly-rated productions including “The Tunnel,” “Dresden,” “Storm Tide,” “Airlift,” “March of Millions,” “Generation War,” “Naked Among Wolves,” “Bornholmer Street” and, more recently, “Ku’damm 56” and “Charité,” both of which are returning for further series. He has also produced cinematic releases including “The Physician” – the most successful film in German-speaking territories in 2014 – in collaboration with Bauer. Among Hofmann’s recent successes is the International Emmy award-winning eight-part event series “Deutschland ’83.” The sequel, “Deutschland ’86,” is being produced in cooperation with Amazon, RTL Television, FremantleMedia Intl. and UFA, and will be aired in Germany in 2018, initially exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.
Under the UFA umbrella, the company consists of the production units UFA Fiction, UFA Serial Drama, and UFA Show & Factual, as well as UFA LAB.