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Gaul pubcaster: non to reality TV

Cotta says pubcaster 'will not go down that road'

PARIS — Michele Cotta, director of French pubcaster France 2, has slammed such shows as “Survivor” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” saying that they are involved in “the exploitation of violence, money and unbridled competition.”

In the face of rival private broadcaster TF1’s acquisition of “Survivor” as well as TF1’s hugely successful French version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” this summer, Cotta has thumbed her nose at the possibility of similar programming.

“Public service TV will not go down that road,” Cotta said in an interview with French daily Le Figaro.

“It is unthinkable for us to broadcast shows that are contrary to the values of (our) society,” Cotta’s head of entertainment, Yves Bigot, said when this season’s programs were announced.

Looking over his shoulder at bigger rival TF1, M6 head Nicolas de Tavernost revealed two weeks ago that his network has a reality gameshow up its sleeve and will also air a “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” takeoff.

Michele Cotta explained that public TV must walk a fine line between “audience grabbers and programs that are more challenging.”

Cotta said investment in foreign rights are up this season, as 300 million francs ($43 million) has been set aside for films and $18.5 million for series and telepics.

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