CSA topper urges Euro reality TV rules

Move follows toning down of 'Loft Story'

PARIS — Dominique Baudis, chief of the Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisuel, on Wednesday appealed for a Europe-wide crackdown on reality TV, following the French broadcasting authority’s example.

At a monthly press briefing, Baudis told journalists the CSA had so far led the way, getting private web M6 to make a number of changes to tone down “Loft Story,” the “Big Brother”-style show that has been a massive hit with the French public.

Privacy, please

These include turning off the cameras inside the loft twice a day to give participants some privacy and getting participants to elect favorites among their fellows, rather than pinpointing those they wish to see “evicted.”

Such changes were necessary to preserve “the interests of human dignity,” Baudis said. “The only country where the game has been modified is France, at the express demand of the broadcasting authority. We have achieved results, and I note that other authorities have not been able to.”

The broadcasting authority chief went on to say that Europe’s TV directive, which is due for revision, should contain “stipulations to avoid the excesses of programs that put participants in moral or physical danger.”

France has made no formal request to the European Commission regarding reality TV.