TF1 web sweeps French ‘Emmys’

But web's chief a no-show

PARIS — France’s leading TV network, TF1, was the big winner at the 12th edition of the 7 D’Or Television Awards (the French equivalent of the Emmy Awards).

Even though these are France’s main TV awards, TF1’s chairman Patrick Le Lay didn’t bother attending — and he wasn’t the only webhead to stay at home — but TF1, which is reportedly interested in airing the show, skedded a Hollywood blockbuster against the ceremony as a savvy spoiling tactic.

The awards, traditionally voted by the TV industry in France, have tended to snub private TF1. The situation has become so politically charged in the past few years, TF1 effectively boycotted the awards, making them meaningless.

Confronted by an event that had virtually no credibility, the 7 D’Or organizers this year handed over 14 of the 25 prizes to the public, in an attempt to take the political sting out of the Gallic TV world.

TF1, however, decided to program hot theatrical pic “Basic Instinct” against the awards.

During a ceremony that proved once again that the French can do many things except produce a showbiz evening, stars stumbled towards a microphone, struggled to raise a laugh from an audience that included embattled culture minister Catherine Trautmann and clapped shyly when execs from critically acclaimed educational channel La Cinquieme noted that they had received no nominations.

Having been snubbed for several years, TF1 grabbed a handful of prizes, including best actress in a series — Mimie Mathy in “Josephine, Profession Ange Gardien,” — Richard Bohringer for the telefilm “Un Homme En Colere” and vet presenter Jean-Pierre Pernaut for the magazine show “Combien Ca Coute.”

The public service in France salvaged its honor with one of the country’s finest pieces of counter-programming, the seafaring magazine “Thalassa,” which won best adventure magazine for the regional pubcaster France 3.

But the public slapped pubcaster management for sacking primetime news anchorman Bruno Masure. Masure won the best anchorman prize, despite his being out of work for the moment.

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