After the success this winter of “Lego Masters”, based on the famous brick game and which gathered 3.6 million viewers on average, M6 repeats Thursday by launching “Domino Challenge”, broadcast in the first part of the evening. And TF1 will respond on Friday, on a similar playing field, with a program based on marbles races, “Marble Mania”.
“These are programs that we qualify as regressive, because they use games from our childhood,” comments Pierre-Guillaume Ledan, head of flow programs, including games and entertainment, within the M6 group.
For his channel, they meet a single imperative: bring together young and old in front of the same program. “Our will is very simple: when we want to broadcast entertainment, it has to bring the whole family together.”
Same objective at TF1. “Marble Mania is part of a summer that we wanted fun and family, very entertaining and which promotes joint listening as much as possible”, with the whole family gathering in front of the screen, explains Julien Degroote for his part, director of content development for the group.
A trend that is based on the craze for entertainment programs and family viewing, fostered by the covid-19 pandemic and periods of lockdown. “It is no coincidence that all these formats are coming out at the moment,” said Julien Degroote. “The confinement was a time of intense reconnection between parents and children”, as also proved by the success of the films of Louis de Funès or board games these last months. And for him, their arrival is more broadly part of a return to “softie TV” or “benevolent television”, he says.
But it is also the strong visual dimension of these programs, likely to capture the attention of viewers, which seduces the channels. “Marble Mania is visually spectacular, it is very strong and quite unique”, argues Julien Degroote.
In an audiovisual landscape saturated with images, “today there is clearly a premium for novelty, with a rich offer between (historical) channels, DTT channels and platforms, and faced with so many offers visually impactful things ”can make all the difference, he says.
On M6, like “Lego masters”, where the teams had to manipulate extravagant quantities of small bricks to build ever more spectacular creations, the pairs of “Domino challenge” will manipulate equally impressive masses of dominoes for create monumental frescoes that they will then have to knock down with a simple flick.
An international trend
“It is an ultra spectacular device, very rare in television” argues Pierre-Guillaume Ledan, who quotes “700,000 dominoes, or 7 tons, filmed on the largest set in Europe which is 2,000 m² including 500 m² of play area, with more than 14 cameras and cranes ”so as not to miss anything, he explains. The construction of the frescoes, around an imposed theme, took around a hundred hours in total.
France is not the only country to rely heavily on entertainment. According to a study published in June by Glance, an international subsidiary of Médiamétrie, covering 87 channels in 11 countries, entertainment represented 35% of the programs broadcast on the most watched sections, from August 2020 to January 2021.
And games are the category of entertainment that is developing the most: they represented 18% of the entertainment listed in the study, against 14% in 2019, “a significant increase and that can be seen in all the countries studied” , according to Candice Alessandra of Glance, who piloted this report.
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