PARIS — Leading French web TF1 got into the reality TV race Saturday with the preem of its version of “Survivor,” “The Koh-Lanta Adventurers.” First episode took a 39% market share, the second (on Sunday) 40%.
Rival broadcaster M6, which TF1 accused of showing “trash television” when it aired the “Big Brother”-style “Loft Story,” captured only 26% of auds with that show’s May debut.
“The Koh-Lanta Adventurers,” which takes its name from the Thai island where the show was filmed, centers around two teams of eight contestants, ages 18-58, who compete in performing certain tasks. One contestant is eliminated in each of the 13 episodes, which is airing primetime Saturdays and Sundays. The winner will pocket 100,000 euros ($88,000).
Show is produced by Expand, which turns out mass-market TV shows including adventure game “Fort Boyard,” broadcast in 48 countries. Canal Plus recently acquired controlling interest in the French TV producer.
Expand, which reported a 17% drop in revenues in the first half of 2001 compared with 2000, said it believed it would recoup the losses with “The Koh-Lanta Adventurers” and the upcoming M6 program “Popstars.”
Expand’s claim will be put to the test when “Popstars” and TF1’s Endemol-produced “Star Academy,” two talent-spotting reality skeins, go head to head in the fall.