Veteran French TV drama to end

'St. Tropez' to wrap after 12 seasons

PARIS — “St. Tropez,” the most widely exported drama series in French TV history, has been cancelled after 12 seasons and 440 episodes.

Known to French speakers as “Sous le soleil,” the Mara-thon/TF1/SFP co-production, a mixture of psychological drama and romantic comedy about the lives of three thirtysomething professional women in the resort town, has been broadcast in more than 130 countries worldwide. BBC Knowledge, TSR of Switzerland and Greece’s Star Channel are among 20 European networks currently showing the drama, which has also enjoyed the highest-ever international renewal rate of any French fictional series.

However, viewership has dropped by an average of 400,000 per episode since the end of last season. One of the three stars, Adeline Blondieau, had also announced in October her intentions not to continue in her role beyond the current season.

The current 30-episode season will run on TF1 until early July 2008. Shot on location in St. Tropez, the cancella-tion will come as a blow to over 100 locals employed by Marathon.

In early December, Marathon will begin shooting a new drama series in co-production with France 2.

Filmed at Victorine Studios in Nice, the 26-minute “Five Sisters” will air each weekday afternoon at 7 p.m. on the pubcaster, beginning in March 2008

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