Kosack heads series prod'n at Sat.1


COLOGNE, Germany -- Joachim Kosack, formerly a producer at German miniseries monolith Teamworx, has been named the new head of series production at Berlin-based channel Sat.1, the company announced Tuesday.

Kosack takes over April 1, replacing Dirk Eisfeld, who is leaving Sat.1 to work as an independent producer.

As a producer for Teamworx, Kosack scored a huge ratings hit with the historic mini "Stauffenberg" and a major flop with "Lost"-style castaway series "Verschollen," both for Sat.1 competitor RTL.

He cut his teeth as a writer and director for RTL hit soap "Good Times, Bad Times" and was chief writer and producer of RTL's women-in-prison drama "Hinter Gittern."

Kosack takes over as Sat.1's drama department is in a state of crisis. Such ambitious series as soccer-themed "Freunde fuer Immer," daily soap "Schmetterlinge im Bauch," and "Bis in die Spitzen," a local adaptation of BBC hit "Cutting It," have all flopped. Even Sat.1's hit telenovela "That's Life" has seen ratings slump following the exit of star Alexandra Neldel.

In a separate announcement, German pubcaster ARD extended the contract of Harald Schmidt, the country's top late-night host, until summer 2008.

Schmidt moved his eponymous late-night talker from Sat.1 to ARD in 2004. Though ratings have been meager, the show is a hit with Germany's TV and media critics.