TF1 fiction chief segs to Lagardere

Candilis pushed U.S. style series

Takis Candilis, deputy director general for programming and head of fiction at Gaul’s top commercial web, TF1, has resigned to become chief operating officer for production at Lagardere Entertainment.

He will head audiovisual production and artistic rights management at the division, a subsidiary of Lagardere Active, which includes radio, online and magazine activities.

Documentary and drama producer Candilis joined TF1 in 1999 as director of fiction, becoming deputy director general for programming in 2006.

Candilis oversaw a number of formatting changes, which have become widely copied, including the use of 52-minute episodes instead of the traditional 90-minute formula.

His reforms have not always sat well with the French TV creative community, who believe some of TF1’s programming choices as far too derivative of American commercial models.

“Paris, enquetes criminelles” the French version of NBC’s “Law and Order,” in which the U.S. network has complete creative oversight, is widely considered a prime example of Candilis’ programming choices. Now in its second season, it has seen several cast changes amid consistently disappointing ratings.

The high-budget “L’Hopital,” closely modeled on “Grey’s Anatomy,” was canceled after six episodes.

TF1 is suffering a long-term ratings decline, falling from a 2006 average of 31.6%, to 30.7% in 2007. February’s monthly average was 27.5%.

TF1 declined to comment.

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