The possible stoppage of the France 3 series, after 18 years of filming in Marseille, would have repercussions on the local economy, but also on tourism.
“It’s like closing a company,” worries Catherine Lecoq, actress of the television series more beautiful lifethat after 18 years of shooting in Marseille could disappear to the chagrin of the teams and fans of the adventures of the Mistral neighborhood.
“I get goosebumps,” says Marie Barbera, 52, a “200% fan” who came from Aix-en-Provence to the Canneseries festival to get an autograph from her “honey”, Anne Decided, and three of his teammates (Nicolas Berger-Vachon, Marwan Berreni and Léa François) playing the autograph game on Saturday.
“I won’t know what to do at 8:20 p.m.,” says Christine, 63, in a queue of several dozen people.
Broadcast since August 2004, PBLVwhose audiences are declining – more than three million viewers on average in 2021 compared to double some evenings in 2008 – could be left out of the France 3 programming with the termination of the contract on December 31 between the production company Newen and France Televisions.
About 600 jobs
An uncertain future worries the film crews of this series recorded at a frenetic pace in the studios in the Belle-de-Mai neighborhood, near the Marseille train station, which are dedicated entirely to it.
Some 600 jobs a year depend on it: “300 artists and 300 technicians, including many intermittent performers,” estimates Catherine Lecoq, regional delegate of the Professional Union of Artists-CGT, an occasional actress in the series, based in Marseille.
“PBLV is a stable, long-lasting job that has made technicians based in the region happy,” he adds, fearing that the series will be replaced by a much cheaper game to produce.
Filming also generates indirect economic benefits in the hospitality sector, specifically, with an estimated 1,000 overnight stays reserved per year for the needs of the series, according to the Tourist Office.
“He made the city friendly”
But beyond that, the success achieved by the series, after a timid start, throughout France has allowed the city of Marseille to gain new notoriety, although difficult to quantify.
“He made the city sympathize and frustrated a certain number of negative images that were attached to it,” underlines the president of the Tourist Office, Marc Thépot, who had to give up organizing visits to the studios, initially planned for the spring. in the face of the threats that weigh on the continuation of the adventures of the television characters.
But it is not about giving in to pessimism. “Marseille can become the Hollywood on the corner,” estimates Marc Thépot, for whom the city is “in the process of establishing itself as a film location” and has assets that allow it to host other shoots.
In addition, their number has tripled in ten years in Marseille, according to the municipality, thus becoming the second land of reception of film crews after Paris.
“A Citizen Series”
During his visit in September, the Head of State Emmanuel Macron announced, as part of his grand plan for Marseille, that he would “support the modernization of the Belle-de-Mai media center”.
The fate of the series was invited even in the presidential campaign. “more beautiful lifeis “a civic, daily series that for 18 years has had a real impact on people’s lives (…) and addresses important social issues that were not discussed in other places” (homosexuality, transsexuality, disability) , has released the actress. Sophie de La Rochefoucauld on stage at the meeting of Insoumis candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon last Sunday in Marseille.
Interviewed by the newspaper the parisian On the future of the series, Delphine Ernotte, president of France Télévisions, indicated that “discussions continue”, without further details, in an interview published on Saturday night.
But, in the event of a break, the series, a “brand” with “great potential”, “will undoubtedly arouse strong interest throughout the market”, from the platforms to the TF1 group -of which Newen is a subsidiary-, he estimated its director of antennas, Xavier Gandon, with the Puremedias site.
“We already pay the TV license fee every year. If you also have to pay subscriptions to watch it, that would be a shame,” warns Catherine Chevalier, 47, a Cannes fan.