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Canal Plus on the Laugh Track With Hit Comedy ‘Platane’

PARIS– After delving into a wide variety of genre, from cop dramas (“Braquo”) to costumers (“Borgia”) and most recently fantasy skeins (“Rebound”), French paybox Canal Plus is also exploring comedy with “Platane,” a half-hour laffer series co-helmed by popular stand-up comic Eric Judor and Denis Imbert.

Canal Plus kicked off the promotion of the second season of “Platane,” holding a press screening of the first three episodes with the key cast and production team in attendance.

 “Platane,” which is losely inspired by such U.S. shows as “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Entourage,” follows Judor – supposedly playing himself –, a self-centered, socially-clumsy yet charming comedian trying hard reinvent his career as a auteur-filmmaker in season 1, and struggling to build a family while rekindling with his ex-girlfriend in season 2.  

Ramzy Bedia (Judor’s real life stand-up teammate) also plays his own role, opposite Annelise Hesme, Toinette Laquiere and Nathan Kassabi.

The first of comedy drama of this kind in Gaul, “Platane” is packed with high-profile cameos, giving auds a satirical glimpse at the French film industry’s behind-the-scenes. Season 2 features performances by “The Artist” producer Thomas Langmann, helmer Michel Hazanavicius and star Jean Dujardin ; thesp Gerard Lanvin (“A Gang Story”) ; helmer/actor Guillaume Canet (“Blood Ties”) ; as well as TV hosts Michel Drucker and Yann Barthes; and DJ Bob Sinclar.

 Langmann stars in the opening scene of season 2, meeting Bedia in his Paris office to discuss his movie project, the sequel of  “Don’t Die Too Hard” (“La Tour montparnasse infernale”), a commercially-successful comedy directed by Judor and Bedia which came out in 2001.

 Imbert revealed during the presser that the series will feature hilarious perfs from Dujardin dressed up in Zorro, and Hazanvicius making a movie called “The Racist.”

 The series, comprising 12 half-hours, has a budget of Euros 6 million budget, which is considered higher-bracket by French standards.

 It’s produced by Judor’s 4 Mecs en Baskets and Canal Plus.  Co-helmers and co-scribes, Judor and Imbert placed a large emphasis on the show’s script, collaborating with a strong team of writers : Nicolas Orzeckowski, Hugo Benamozig, Victor Rodenbach, Hafid F. Benamar.

 Although “Platane”‘s premises seem realistic, the scribes also injected some fantasy and a light dose of absurd humor into the series.

 Canal Plus’ original fiction topper Fabrice de La Patelliere and project supervisor Pierre Saint-Andre aimed at reaching a larger demo with season 2 thanks to such themes as family, love relationships and friendships, while staying true to the show’s edgy concept.

The second order takes place for the most part in Paris, and also features episodes in Guadeloupe, lensed on location.

 The paybox is building an innovative promotional campaign for the new season of “Platane,” including a video featuring Judor starring in a bunch of Canal Plus series.

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