Mai 19

The Growing importance of TV Shows in the French audiovisual market

TV shows are a growing market in the French audiovisual sector, and need to be supported. Indeed, Public institutions are going in this direction, while the production of French TV shows are evolving toward the US model.


1. French International Festival for TV shows

The French Minister of Culture Audrey Azoulay has announced on the 15th of April 2016 that next year there will be an International Festival for TV Shows, equivalent to the Cannes Film Festival for movies.[1] This festival would be a reunion of two former festivals, « Series mania » and « Series Series ». It will be held in Paris and its suburbs in 2017.

This festival aims at contributing to a strong European market of TV shows, but also promoting French TV shows and facilitating international co-productions.

The specificity of this festival would be that it will be focus on the international dimension of the market. For now, there is no international festivals only focused on TV shows, therefore it would be a good opportunity for France to showcase its own TV shows productions.
2. French TV shows market

a. Emergence of showrunners:

« Showrunner » is a term coming from the US, and that has no direct translation in French for now. A Showrunner designates the person in charge of directing a TV Show. Most of the time, a showrunner is the creator, the author, the producer. He is choosing the directors, the casting, the costumes, etc.[2]

Often behind the biggest TV shows in the US, the showrunner starts to appear in France. For instance, Frederic Krivine, the creator of « Un Village Français » is the only one to look like a « showrunner », being the author and co-producer of the show. He was also the first to import the « writing room » in France, which regroups several authors under the authority of the main scenarist.

For the showrunner to develop in France, the TV shows need to have more importance and financing. The creation of a French international Festival of TV shows goes in this direction.


b. French production of Original TV shows:

According to the last figure of the CNC, French TV shows are doing really well on the French TV in 2016, contrary to US TV shows which are declining in terms of number of spectators.

One of the reason is that the US TV shows broadcasted are now getting old (“Les experts”, “NCIS”, etc). But the main reason is that there is a production of high quality and original French TV shows: “Une chance de trop”, “Versailles”, “Dix pour cent”, “Engrenages”, “Chefs”, “Baron Noir”…

However, the figures concerning the exportation of these TV shows remain low (39 million of benefits abroad). This is far less than other countries, like the Nordic countries or Israel which have a smaller internal market but have much more exportation of TV shows.

Therefore, there is also work to do on helping French TV shows on exportation. According to the CNC, they are working on this matter, and will start a specific project on exportation of French TV shows during the summer 2016.[3]

It is a good thing that public institutions are taking into consideration the importance taken by TV shows, in particular by the creation of this new International Festival of TV shows. However, it would be necessary to increase this attention toward TV shows, especially by redirecting public subventions from Cinema to the production and export of TV shows[4], as it appears that this new market would push forward all the audiovisual sector (production, distribution, TV channels, etc).



[2] Article papier du Figaro du 14/04/2016 « Profession showrunner »
[3] « Malgré leur succès, les séries françaises peinent à s’exporter », Le Figaro papier, 9 mai 2016

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