France’s TF1 gets real with Endemol

After watching competitor M6 rise in the ratings with Loft Story, TF1 has signed reality producer Endemol to a first-look deal.
June 14, 2001

Critics have condemned and protesters have petitioned, but reality TV has successfully infiltrated France. No better evidence exists than commercial broadcaster TF1′s recent deal with Endemol, producer of such non-fiction format hits as Big Brother and Loft Story. According to a report in Variety, the parties committed to a US$300 million first-look deal, in which Endemol will provide TF1 with a new reality show every year for a rumored five years.

Endemol produces Loft Story for TF1′s rival broadcaster M6. Since the reality program debuted at the end of April, controversy has swirled around it, though the show’s ratings have been consistently high, helping boost M6′s audience share by more than one third.

The first reality format from Endemol to be greenlighted by TF1 is Star Maker (w/t), a series designed to identify two singers with star potential. The program will air during the 2001-2002 season.

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Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.