UFA, FremantleMedia Leaders Celebrate 100 Years of German Film, TV

Leaders of FremantleMedia and UFA gathered Sunday night at the German Academy New York to toast the centennial of Germany’s prolific UFA production banner.

Wolf Bauer, who recently retired after nearly 30 years as CEO, and his successor, Nico Hofmann were on hand to discuss the company’s legacy. Sarah Doole, director of global drama for UFA parent FremantleMedia, and Jennifer Mullin, CEO of FremantleMedia North America, also spoke.

Bauer said UFA’s growth during the past three decades came as a result of a concerted effort to diversify the company and a focus on high-end production in every sector, from drama series to daytime serials to game shows and unscripted fare.

“Quality in every area” is a hallmark of the company, Bauer said. At the time he took the helm in 1991, UFA was typically producing a few films and TV movies a year, Bauer said. Today it delivers about 2,500 hours of programming. Hofmann said the company’s focus is on partnering with strong creative talent and “investing in their vision.”

Doole, who is based in London, added that having UFA in the Fremantle fold has helped the company take a global approach to scripted development. The company has grown its roster to include shows ranging from UFA’s “Deutschland 83” to Starz’s “American Gods.”

“We realized that not every great drama series is going to be produced in English,” Doole said.

(Pictured: Nico Hofmann and Sarah Doole) 

More TV

  • Stephen Moore

    Stephen Moore, 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' Android, 'Doctor Who' Actor, Dies at 81

    Stephen Moore, best known for his roles as the paranoid android Marvin in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” radio series and the Silurian Eldane in “Doctor Who,” has died. He was 81. “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” producer Dirk Maggs confirmed Moore’s death Sturday on Twitter, writing, “Our dear friend Stephen Moore has [...]

  • Baghdad-Central-Image

    Fremantle, Hulu Bringing 'Baghdad Central' to United States

    Fremantle is partnering with Hulu to bring the UK drama “Baghdad Central” to the United States, Fremantle announced Monday. The latest in Hulu’s growing slate of international content, “Baghdad Central” will launch on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom and stream on Hulu in 2020. Based on the novel by Elliott Colla, the six-part drama [...]

  • Endemol Shine, China’s Hunan TV Duet

    Endemol Shine, China’s Hunan TV Duet on ‘Sing or Spin’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Global production and distribution giant Endemol Shine is to duet with leading Chinese producer and broadcaster Hunan TV on primetime entertainment format “Sing or Spin,” which has an innovative spin: a revolving stage that lets singers know how well they are scoring. The show has been co-developed by Endemol Shine China and Hunan TV as [...]

  • 'Succession': Nicholas Braun, Matthew Macfadyen on

    'Succession' Stars Nicholas Braun, Matthew Macfadyen Break Down How To Make a Tomelette

    You can’t make a Tomelette without breaking some Greggs, and you can’t get through an episode of ‘Succession’ without a few rounds of riffing, at least according to Nicholas Braun (who plays Greg Hirsch) and Matthew Macfadyen (who portrays Tom Wamsgans). “We basically improv in probably every scene to some capacity,” says Braun. Though the [...]

  • Manchester City Football Club Animated Series

    Manchester City Soccer Team Animated Series in the Works (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Sky Blue Academy,” an animated series set inside the training academy of reigning English Premier League champions Manchester City, is in the works, Variety has learned. The Pep Guardiola-managed team has enjoyed numerous successes in recent years and broken into world soccer’s elite, becoming a global brand in the process. The show will follow a [...]


    TV Review: 'Living with Yourself'

    Paul Rudd is such a naturally ebullient actor that it can be startling to see him ground down. A gifted physical performer who, at 50, looks so youthful that his appearance tends to precede all other attributes when he’s discussed, Rudd also still has the verve and energy of a rising star — a quality [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content