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Friday, 1 April 2011

French TV pulls the plug on Carré Viiip

The Powers that Be at France's main private television channel, TF1, have decided to stop its latest venture into the realms of reality TV after barely two weeks.

On Thursday TF1 announced that it was dropping Carré Viiip with immediate effect.

Carré Viiip RIP (screenshot from programme trailer)

Just a refresher for those of you not in the know.

Carré Viiip was launched just less than two weeks ago amid the usual ostentatious fanfare that accompanies these things.

The "concept" (if that's not exaggerating a little) was to unite eight supposéd celebrities, who had made their names in previous reality shows, with the same number of anonymous wannabes eager to take their place.

It was meant to mark the 10th anniversary of reality television programmes in France.

Except it didn't quite turn out that way.

Instead it has come to an ignominious end with TF1 dropping it completely and replacing it with imported US series.

Officially it was because of poor ratings as TF1's director of programmes, Laurent Storch, explained on Europe 1 radio.

"Yesterday (Thursday) it only attracted 13 per cent of the total viewing public for its time slot and that's far too low for TF1, " he said.

"We've been trying hard with Endemol (the show's producers) to find a solution but it's clear that after 12 consecutive days of poor ratings, it's simply not winning over its target audience," he continued.

"The programme was stopped on Thursday and there'll be no weekly prime time show on Friday because that would be pointless."

While that might be the official version, there's no getting over the controversy that has surrounded the show especially after Michèle Cotta openly criticised it.

She's a former president of the television and radio watchdog le Haute Autorité de la communication audiovisuelle - the predecessor of Le Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel.

And she was also a member of Endemol's ethic committee - until she resigned earlier this week.

"I like reality TV when it's programmes such as Fear Factor or Koh Lanta because they give a voice to people who are not known," she said.

"But in Carré Viiip the candidates take part to make themselves 'known' at any cost and that's just not one of the values I hold to be important."

There was of course the case of M6 cancelling Trompe-Moi si tu peux (Cheat on me if you dare) in July last year before the programme aired because one of the candidates had committed suicide.

But TF1's decision marks the first time a show using the format of cutting of candidate from the outside world has been stopped in such a manner.

It's proof that someone, somewhere at TF1 has good judgement - although perhaps real praise could only have been heaped on the channel had it decided in the first place not to schedule such a pile of rubbish.

Sadly while Carré Viiip has bitten the dust, it doesn't look as though it'll herald the end of reality TV in France.

Secret Story is still scheduled to return for a fifth series later in the year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A few centuries ago, France called itself "le pays des Lumieres", lighting the world with high level culture & thinking. Well, it seems to have come a long way since, with the main television channel broadcasting French-produced utter garbage on prime time. What a relief that Carre Viiip has stopped!

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