You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

UFA Makes a Killing With Daily Soaps, Crime Dramas

UFA has over the decades made an indelible mark on Germany’s dynamic TV market with its scripted programming, from its hit crime dramas to its long-running daily series.

The company’s UFA Serial Drama unit helped redraw German television over the past 25 years with its daily soaps.

UFA Serial Drama, previously known as GrundyUFA, launched its very first daily soap, “Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten” (Good Times, Bad Times), also known as “GZSZ,” on RTL Television in 1992 and the series remains its most popular show to this day.

“With ‘GZSZ,’ we established the first daily series in the German television market,” says Joachim Kosack, UFA Serial Drama’s co-CEO. “We wrote television history, set trends and have repeatedly provoked discussion. To this day, ‘GZSZ’ captivates millions of viewers and with its outstanding market share of up to 25% in the target group of 14-to-49-year-olds, ‘GZSZ’ is one of the most successful formats on RTL.”

Indeed, the series quickly became a phenomena that led to a daily soap craze on all of Germany’s major broadcasters. UFA Serial Drama followed with RTL’s “Unter uns” and ARD’s “Verbotene Liebe.” Over the years the company has produced a slew of hit daily soaps and telenovelas, including ProSieben’s “Mallorca”; ZDF’s “Bianca – Wege zum Glück”; Sat.1’s “Verliebt in Berlin” – a local adaptation of Colombian format “Yo soy Betty, la fea” (Ugly Betty); ARD’s “Sophie – Braut wider Willen”; and RTL’s “Alles was zählt,” currently the lead-in to “GZSZ.”

UFA Serial Drama’s latest daily shows include RTL II’s “Sterne von Berlin – Die jungen Polizisten,” about a group of rookie cops who live and work together in the German capital, and Nickelodeon’s teen soap “Spotlight,” about the creative kids at the Berlin School of Arts.

Kosack attributes the success of UFA Serial Drama’s series to the company’s “outstanding, passionate teams and a perfect [balance] between consistency and development. The challenge is to keep reinventing stories and characters, to be bold, to go in new directions without losing sight of the brand essence.”

In September RTL II also aired “Call the Boys,” a pilot for a potential new series about four friends who run a call-boy business for female clients.

Kosack says the company continues to work intensively on new, long-running daily series as well as weekly shows for primetime.

UFA Fiction, meanwhile, focuses on feature films and scripted TV fare, including movies, series and miniseries. The unit produces some of German television’s most watched crime procedurals, including “SOKO Leipzig”; “SOKO München”; ZDF’s “Bella Block”; and ARD’s “Donna Leon” (based on the Venice-set crime novels of American author Donna Leon featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti).

More TV

  • Nancy Wilson

    Nancy Wilson, Grammy Winning Jazz Singer and TV Personality, Dies at 81

    Nancy Wilson, one of the most revered jazz singers of the 20th century, has died at age 81, her manager told the Associated Press. The singer passed away at her home in Pioneertown, a small California community north of Palm Springs, after a long illness, according to manager Devra Hall. Wilson’s three Grammy awards spanned [...]

  • Emmys 2019 Rule Change Defines TV

    New Emmys Rules Define Television Movie Length

    The Television Academy announced new rules for the 2019 Emmys Thursday night, including setting the minimum length for qualifying television movies at 75 minutes. The rules changes also included the addition of an Outstanding Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special (Original Dramatic Underscore) award, and restructuring the choreography categories as follows: Outstanding Choreography [...]


    SAG-AFTRA Commercial Negotiations Set for February

    With no fanfare, SAG-AFTRA and the ad industry have set a mid-February start for negotiations for a successor deal to the union’s master contract, Variety has learned. The current three-year deal — which covers about $1 billion in annual earnings — expires on March 31. SAG-AFTRA and the Joint Policy Committee of the ad industry [...]

  • FILE - In this April 5,

    Eliza Dushku Received $9.5 Million Settlement Over Misconduct on 'Bull' Set

    Eliza Dushku received a $9.5 million settlement from CBS after the actress alleged she was the subject of several inappropriate comments on the set of “Bull,” according to the New York Times. Dushku appeared in the first season of the procedural, initially being brought on for a three-episode arc with plans to make her a [...]

  • Jingle Punks Jingle Player

    Jingle Punks at 10: How the Production Music Platform's Player Works

    Though its primary function is creative, Jingle Punks is built on a foundation of technology and administration. The patented Jingle Player that lets customers search for music using pop culture terms is both intuitive and efficient. Typing in “Reservoir Dogs” or “Starbucks” generates suggestions. Queries are monitored “so if there isn’t an exact match, we’ll suggest [...]

  • Star Trek: Discovery

    TV Roundup: 'Star Trek: Discovery' Season 2 Premiere Date Set at CBS All Access

    In today’s TV News Roundup, the premiere date is announced for season two of “Star Trek: Discovery” on CBS All Access. FIRST LOOKS “Relics and Rarities,” a new RPG series based on the classic game Dungeons & Dragons, will premiere on subscription service Alpha in February 2019. Hosted by Deborah Ann Woll (“Daredevil,” “True Blood”) [...]

  • Logan Lerman

    Logan Lerman in Talks to Star in Jordan Peele's 'The Hunt' at Amazon

    Jordan Peele’s upcoming Nazi hunter drama at Amazon, “The Hunt,” has potentially found its lead. Logan Lerman is in talks to star in the drama series as Jonah Heidelbaum. When his grandmother is slain by a mysterious intruder in their apartment, Jonah sets out to track the culprit, only to find himself swept up in the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content