Nico Hofmann New Co-CEO of Germany's UFA Group

Nico Hofmann

The veteran producer won an international Emmy for miniseries 'Generation War.'

Nico Hofmann has been named co-CEO of UFA Group, one of Europe's leading television production companies.

The announcement, made by UFA parent company FremantleMedia on Tuesday, will see Hofmann join current UFA Group CEO Wolf Bauer in running the company, though Bauer, 65, said he was preparing the ground to “hand over the reins at UFA” to Hofmann, 55.

The appointment will be part of a two-year transition that will see Hofmann take over as sole CEO in September 2017, with Bauer concentrating solely on producing.

UFA Group is Germany's largest TV shingle and produces everything from reality and shiny floor entertainment shows such as Farmer Wants a Wife and German Idol to high-end primetime drama.

The latter is Hofmann's specialty and his appointment can be taken as a further indication of the growing importance of drama production as reality show ratings continue to sink and European networks face greater competition from SVOD players like Netflix.

Hofmann's productions include the miniseries Generation War, which was both a critical and ratings hit in Germany as well as globally, winning an international Emmy. He also oversaw the production of Deutschland '83, the cold war drama that premiered on Sundance TV in June, the first German-language drama to air on a major U.S. network.

“Nico is one of Europe’s most successful and respected drama producers with fantastic leadership skills and strong relationships in the German market,” said FremantleMedia CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz in a statement. “He is perfectly placed to take up this position, working with Wolf, to lead UFA into a new era.”

“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,” added Bauer.

In addition to his management tasks at UFA, Hofmann will also play a key role within FremantleMedia's global production, licensing and sales network.

Twitter: @sroxborough