Funny, Mixed… French productions full of charm struggle to seduce internationally. It is therefore difficult to reach the level of opaque audience required by the major platforms.
Bad luck for the French series of the major digital platforms. After Mixedwhich will not be entitled to a second season on Amazon Prime, it is the turn of Funny not have been renewed by Netflix. These two cancellations, determined according to criteria deemed difficult to read, refer French creators to the international performance requirement expected by the streaming giants.
After the euphoria of a big-budget launch for Funnyits creator Fanny Herrero, revealed with the worldwide success of Ten percent did not hide his sadness last week after his non-renewal for a second season. “It’s such a commitment to create a series, to project itself over time, to dream up its sequel! To see it suddenly canceled, my legs are a little cut off”entrusted to Telerama the screenwriter who had signed exclusively with the platform to create this series on the stand-up scene. And to add: “We did not meet Netflix’s audience expectations, according to their standards and their algorithm that no one really knows”.
Asked by AFP, the platform stressed the need for a fair relationship between “audience and manufacturing cost”. Last year, another French size of the scenario, Marie Roussin, at the origin of the red wristbands for TF1, lived a similar disappointment with the stop of Mixedthe first 100% French series from Amazon Prime Video on the beginnings of mixed education in a high school in the 1960s.
Despite a return of the platform to “excellent statistics”, attesting that the vast majority of spectators had followed the series in its entirety, it was not renewed for lack of having reached the required number of views during the first 28 days of broadcast, relates to AFP Marie Roussin without disclosing exact numbers. A decision that is all the more difficult to understand because“We were very close to having reached the goal”with positive feedback on the series from both critics and the public, adds the author, also president of the French screenwriters’ guild, the trade union.
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“That a platform or a channel stops a series that does not bring together enough people, it is normal. But what was frustrating for Mixedis that the rules seemed very vague, unreliable”, regrets Marie Roussin. For the time being, no revival in sight for this series, for which Amazon holds the rights, as for Funny at Netflix. Asked by AFP about their audience measurements, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+, who will have to decide on the future of their French series Totems , Family weekend Where Parallel did not wish to communicate.
At Netflix, we say we pay attention to several audience measurements, such as the number of hours spent watching a program or the proportion of subscribers watching it in its entirety, but also to its production cost. And the more expensive the production, the higher the bar, it is specified. “For Netflix, like Amazon, it’s not enough to have a fan base that will watch their series. Having niche audiences for niche markets is not interesting for them because it is not profitable“, told AFP the journalist Capucine Cousin, author of Netflix et cie: behind the scenes of a (r)evolution.
Although “unexpected“, the stoppage of Funny is part of a long list of original productions interrupted by Netflix each year, mentions the journalist, recalling that the anger of fans of the American series Sense 8 at the announcement of his stop had not caused the platform to bend. “Launching a new series, therefore a new universe arousing the curiosity of subscribers, will cost them less than stretching a series over several years”, she analyzes. Also needs to be strengthened “the independence of the French teams”according to a scalded screenwriter. “It is Americans or British who decide what will appeal to a French public. That should change”.