SUNNY SIDE OF THE DOC: France Télévisions will add a new strand to France 5’s archive documentary offering this year, as the pubcaster increasingly focuses on factual content.
Details are being kept under wraps for now, but according to France 5 director of documentaries Caroline Behar the new programmes will be in the same vein as the net’s current strand Empreintes (Footprints).
This comprises 140x52’ feature films coproduced by the channel and stretching back to September 2007. A new season of Empreintes films has just launched, after which the new offering will roll out.
“We have a new strand to follow, which we will tell you more about over the summer,” said Behar.
She said France 5 had scored one million-plus viewers “more than 20 times” in 2011 and revealed documentaries – which air in Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday primetime slots – account for more than half of the schedule, with 230 films launched last year.
The news was announced by France Télévisions at Sunny Side of the Doc in La Rochelle today, when MD of programmes Emmanuelle Guilbart revealed the pubcaster had produced 1,443 docs last year, up on 2010’s 1,280. The pubcaster ran a total of 7,300 hours of docs and invested €88m (US$109.9m) in the genre.
“Eleven million people watch documentaries on our channels each week, as many as watch movies,” said Guilbart. She added the genre’s “overall satisfaction rate” was 8.1, which was “in line with US series.”
France Télévisions restructured its doc team last year, splitting acquisitions and international productions into two separately managed functions.