PARIS — Private web M6’s controversial reality show “Loft Story” beat market leader TF1’s flagship quizzer in a head-to-head ratings battle Monday.
The “Big Brother”-style show aired half an hour later at 7 p.m. to challenge TF1’s “Bigdil” and netted 6.1 million viewers, almost double the quizzer’s 3.54 million. TF1’s average aud for the slot since the beginning of the year has been 5.6 million.
The result is bound to fuel the war between M6 head Nicolas de Tavernost and TF1 prexy Patrick Le Lay, who has already urged families, politicians and the French broadcasting authority (the Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisuel) to outlaw the show.
Earlier this month he accused de Tavernost of breaking a secret agreement not to broadcast reality programs to “prevent garbage television in France.”
Auds still tuning in
Despite the complaints, “Loft Story” continues to fascinate auds. Last Thursday’s weekly roundup drew 7.7 million, with a peak of some 10.5 million tuning in when one of the participants was evicted from the loft.
Like “Big Brother,” the French show involves shutting a group of young men and women inside a camera-filled living space and watching what happens.
When the inhabitants of the loft have been whittled down to one male and one female, the couple will have to live together for six months in a dream house in order to win it.