Monday, January 03, 2011

'Mentalist' hypnotizes Gaul

Source : Variety
Date : Jan. 3, 2011
By John Hopewell, Elsa Keslassy

Highest-rating series in France

He might not have caught Red John. But Patrick Jane's certainly hypnotized France.
Screening Wednesday primetime on broadcaster TF1, "The Mentalist" saw 38 of its episodes figure in Gaul's Top 100 most-watched TV shows for 2010.

Highest-rated seg, Nov. 3's "Red Box," drew a 10 million audience for a 36.8% share, not that far off its U.S. audience trawl of 14.1 million viewers this April, when the John Mankiewicz scripted episode broadcast on CBS.

Seasons 1 and 2 both aired over 2010. Skein clicked from the get-go, with 9.6 million viewers for its first episode, aired January, and France Soir greeting "Mentalist" as a "new kind of 'Colombo.'"

Produced by Bruno Heller for Warner Bros. TV, "Mentalist" ranked by a large head as France's top TV series in a year with few turn-ups for its TV ratings book.

As in recent years, U.S. imports -- particularly middle-of-the-road procedurals -- held sway in Gaul. "House" registered 11 top 100 rankings, "CSI" six, "Criminal Minds" five and "CSI: Miami" three.

In contrast, only six French series segs made the cut, led by three episodes of a TF1 Monday primetime offering, upbeat family comedy "Une Famille formidable," first aired 1992 and in its eighth season last year.

France's disastrous FIFA 2010 World Cup campaign, which saw it exit in the tourney's first round, provided the only major TV ratings upset of 2010, with just five games making Gaul's TV top 10.

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