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CSA to consult on status of scripted reality shows

French media regulator the CSA has said it will hold meetings with content creation professionals next month to determine the status of so-called ‘scripted reality’ TV shows.

The CSA is aiming to clarify in particular the extent to which scripted reality shows should count towards channels’ commitment to provide a certain quota of fiction programming created in France. Producers organisation the Union Syndicale de la Production Audiovisuelle this week criticised the practice by some channels of categorising reality-type shows as ‘fiction’ as something that could threaten the country’s system of support for local content creation. The organisation maintains that fiction programming should, according to the rules, involve the participation of writers, directors and performers.

The CSA’s move was welcomed by content creators’ organisation the SACD. It said the meeting should aim to determine the conditions under which scripted reality programming could be included in the system of financial support for content creation, ensuring proper remuneration for authors and establishing a clear distinction between programmes that qualify as fiction and pure reality shows.

There has been a debate in France as to whether such shows should qualify for funding meted out to support national content creation. The Centre Nationale de la Cinématographie (CNC), which administers the Cosip fund to support content creation, has refused to add scripted reality shows such as TF1’s Le jour où tout a basculé, W9’s Les Ch’tis à Mykonos or France 3’s Si près de chez vous to the list of programmes that it supports. At the recent MIPCOM TV market in Cannes, Lagardère Entertainment CEO Takis Candilis said that scripted reality shows met all the eligibility criteria to qualify for the financial support of the CNC.