France Televisions Ramps Up Youth-Skewing Scripted Offer

French public broadcaster France Televisions is set to ramp up its roster of edgy premium scripted series aimed at younger audiences with “Carrement craignos,” “La Brigade des cauchemars,” “Bug” and “La meilleure moitié.”

The new shows, which are commissioned by France Televisions and/or by its online platform, were unveiled during a video presentation at the Fiction Festival in Paris on Wednesday. Running Sept. 16-18, the festival traditionally takes place in La Rochelle and relocated to Paris, at the Folies Bergeres theater, due to the pandemic.
After ordering the second seasons of Noé Debré’s political satire “Parlement” and Simon Bouisson’s cyber thriller “Stalk,” the online platform of France Televisions boarded “Carrement craignos,” a half-hour comedy directed by actor-turned helmer Jean-Pascal Zadi, whose recent credits include Gaumont’s comedy “Tout Simplement Noir.”

“Carrement craignos” is headlined by a multi-ethic cast of up-and-comers, including Bun Hay Mean, Mathieu Longatte, David Boring, Patrick Puydebat, as well as better-known actors such as Rossy de Palma and Éric Judor, among others.
The series is produced by Zadi’s banner Papa Films, Douze Doigts Production and Les Films Balthazar. The burlesque thriller-comedy unfolds in the Paris suburbs and is one of the rare French series with a cast dominated by visible minorities.

France Televisions’s youth-skewing online platform also ordered “La meilleure moitié” (“The Better Half”), about a transgendered teenager who has joined a new high school and must decide whether to go through with a sex reassignment surgery by the end of the year. The series was penned by Yaël Langmann, whose screenwriting credits include “Le Brio” and “Carnivores.” It’s produced by Jerico TV and Big Band Story.

The broadcaster will also be joining forces with on an ambitious international drama production, “La Brigade des cauchemars,” about two teenagers who are able to explore the nightmares of patients with a mysterious machine created by their psychiatrist to cure them from their traumas. The series, now in development, is based on Franck Thilliez’s edgy graphic novel. Thilliez is writing the series that’s being produced by Cast Studio.

Another international series, “Bug” is a dystopian thriller set in a near future where the digital world has disappeared, absorbed in a split second by a supernatural force. The series is based Enki Bilal’s graphic novel and was penned by Bilal and Dan Franck. “Bug” is produced by Pierre-Antoine Capton’s Troisième OEil.

France Televisions has a raft of other international shows in the pipeline, some of which are produced through the Alliance, a partnership between France Televisions, RAI and ZDF. These include “Mirage,” whose first season attracted an average of 3 million of viewers, a 13% market share, and the upcoming “Around the World in 80 Days” and “Germinal,” based on Emile Zola’s classic novel.