FT should 'modernize' French fiction

BRUSSELS — A greater emphasis on fiction and a broader news agenda will be among Remy Pflimlin’s priorities once he becomes president of Gallic pubcaster France Televisions.

Pflimlin set out his goals Thursday at a hearing before the Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisuel, France’s media watchdog. The CSA and the two houses of the French parliament must approve his nomination if his mandate is to begin Aug. 23.

“It’s essential that fiction once again becomes the meeting point for the greatest number of viewers,” Pflimlin said. This means “modernizing” French fiction, and not simply copying American TV series.

He wants more investment in writing and developing fiction, in particular exploring new formats. This should result in several new mini-series and a new day-time soap, he said.

In current affairs he wants to create a news program addressing the viewer as a citizen of Europe rather than just France. Editorial line would bring foreign items to the top of the news agenda, but not allow them to dominate.

Documentary merits a higher profile, with historical and scientific subjects in greatest need of attention. A clear boundary with news and magazine programs would be maintained.

Pflimlin also favors greater visibility for live arts, but wants to bring in more contemporary performance. He blamed heritage programming — Mozart operas and Moliere plays — for the elderly demographic in this area, excluding audiences with other cultural reference points.

Asked about bringing reality TV to the pubcaster, Pflimlin rejected the “vulgarity” of such programs on Gaul’s private webs, but left the door open. “Our mission is to reach the wider public, and we can’t say that we are forbidden from making a certain type of program because it is on the private channels.”

The CSA will give its verdict on Pflimlin’s appointment Monday morning.

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