How CSI Killed the Sunday Night Movie

How CSI Killed the Sunday Night Movie

LES HABITS DU SUNDAY – Revolution on TF1: in 2006, the front page put an end to a television institution… to better return in 2008.

Whatever one may say, viewers have habits. The small screen has its appointments and the French are attached to it. There is the weather report, the 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. newspapers, a few cult programs and a box that brings the whole family together: the Sunday evening film.

In 2006, TF1 opted for the revolution and ends three decades of Sunday feature films to make way for the experts . How Grissom (william petersen) could he have had the skin of Belmondo, Keyboard, Marceau And the others ? The announcement has the effect of an earthquake or a lèse-majesté crime.

“Cine Sunday”

It must be said that the offer of films on television has completely changed since the establishment of “Ciné Dimanche” – formerly the “Sunday evening cinema”. Certainly netflix and the platforms do not yet exist, but already the films are everywhere:Canal+, on DVD, on TNT or downloaded illegally. Box office champions have to wait three or four years before they get exposure in the clear. Released in 2002, Minority report by Steven Spielberg must wait until 2006 to be broadcast on TF1. The share of French films is falling, as is the number of unreleased films. The Sunday evening session gives pride of place to known and recognized successes; seen and reviewed. We meet the champions of reruns there: Louis de Funès, Christian Clavier, Josiane Balasko, Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise, Sharon Stone or Kate Winslet (3 broadcasts of titanic in eight years).

Audiences are settling: the meeting brings together nearly ten million viewers (with peaks of 16-17 million) at the beginning of the 1990s to fall to 7 million in 2005. Above all, France 2 has been broadcasting episodes for a few weeks from his hit American series: FBI, missing. Fiction regularly beats TF1 film. Sacrilege.

Jack Malone vs. Gil Grissom

In 2006, Étienne Mougeotte and Patrick Le Lay decided to fight back. They too have a flagship series that explodes everything in its path. The Experts, broadcast on weekdays, reached ten million viewers. They advertise the regular end of the Sunday night movie. “It’s a response from the shepherd to the shepherdessassumes Mougeotte in The world. Since France 2 broadcasts series on Sunday evenings, I can’t let American series beat films. Grissom will face Jack Malone (Anthony LaPaglia). The first wins quite easily. TF1’s strategy is the right one, but the anger is mounting. We don’t change habits that easily.

Mougeotte wants to be reassuring: TF1 continues to broadcast 65 films in the first part of the evening. But by touching the institution, he destabilized a process of family transmission. We watch some or all of the films. The classics are shown to the new generation. By flooding its grid with American series, in particular Experts (Las Vegas, Miami and Manhattan) present on the air more than 10 hours a week), TF1 weakens its assets. And what had to happen happened: the movie Camping broadcast on France 2 on October 27, 2008 beats the experts.

Sunday Night Movie’s Winning Return

At the end of 2008, the decision fell: Nonce Paolini’s TF1 (Mougeotte and Le Lay had left the channel) rescheduled a film on Sundays. November 10, give me your hand with Alain Chabat and Charlotte Gainsbourg brings together 8.5 million viewers, twice as many as France 2. All’s well that ends well. Sunday cinema or revenge cinema. Since then, those who haven’t left the small screen have continued to see new releases (often American blockbusters or Marvel films), a few classics (which serve, in particular, to promote the sequels that are released in theaters) and French films co-produced by the chain. The scores are good with some spikes for box office triumphs (14.4 million for Welcome to the Ch’tis13.5 for Untouchables and more than 10 for What the hell have we done). The French and their habits, everything except cinema.

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