C'EST WHAT? FRENCH TV IN ENGLISH
Rising Cost of Flashy Programs Means Shows
(The Wall Street Journal, November 21, 2012)
(PDF of original; Link to story on wsj.com)
Have to Cater First to Global Audience
BY SAM SCHECHNER
PARIS—In an episode of the forthcoming French television series "Jo," a Parisian police detective heads to the Eiffel Tower to solve a murder. The biggest twist in the drama isn't who pushed a supermodel from the monument's edge. It is the language coming out of the hard-boiled French cop's mouth: English.
As the television business becomes increasingly global, television producers world-wide are facing a new challenge. In order to compete with big-budget American TV shows like "The Mentalist" that are popular in many countries, non-U.S. producers increasingly have to look overseas for more money. That means making TV shows that sell abroad, in the image—and language—of Hollywood.
The result is that in France, a country fiercely proud of its linguistic heritage, several new TV shows are being shot in English, and will be dubbed later into French when they air at home.
In addition to "Jo," which will air on France's TF1 network, French television channels are planning new English-language shows such as an edgy, sometimes raunchy, retelling of the story of the court of Louis XIV...