Paris (AFP)

A revival of novelties in fiction including a historic mini-series with very large budget, bold bets in entertainment and the return of the Rugby World Cup: TF1 promises a return "offensive" for this season 2019-2020, proposing more than ever, programs that aim to bring together all generations.

"This is one of the most offensive backs we have been making for years, and this in all categories of programs," assured Fabrice Bailly, director of programs and acquisitions of the TF1 group, in an interview with AFP.

Surfing on the success of "Infidel", "Jacqueline Sauvage: it was him or me", or "Red Bracelets", "we will continue our policy of creation in French fiction by reinforcing this year in volume, with no less than 15 new features this year, "he argues,

It will include telefilms echoing the facts of society, after the success of "Catherine Sauvage", two based on real facts: "Itinerary of a mother robbery" and "The first forgotten" with Matt Pokora and Muriel Robin.

TF1 will also broadcast "Colombine", its first fiction epitomized by Corinne Masiero, the star of "Captain Marleau" on France 3, and "Time is assassin", miniseries adapted from a bestseller by Michel Bussi.

But the highlight of this offensive in fiction will undoubtedly be "The Bazaar of Charity", an eight-episode mini-series that is mega-production, in the yard of the French series, with more than 17 million euros budget. A historical fiction, which recalls a tragic fire in Paris at the end of the 19th century, and the prestigious cast.

"This is the most important fiction in free television for many years, and it's a real gamble for us," which could pave the way for a revival of French historical fiction, Bailly says. For the occasion, TF1 has also forged an unprecedented partnership with Netflix.

- masked singers and oval balloon -

Foreign fiction, TF1, driven by the success of "Good Doctor", will propose another medical fiction, "New Amsterdam", one of the flagship programs of NBC last year, and several new thrillers.

In terms of entertainment, the group is still focusing on its locomotives, such as "Danse Avec les Stars", which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, or The Voice, and is preparing the launch of "The masked singer", a format (program concept, South Korean paper which has printed in many countries, especially in the United States and Germany. "It's the biggest format for entertainment in the last 10 years and The Voice," says Bailly.

A program in which a jury of "investigators" must guess who is behind singers dressed in crazy costumes. This entertainment should make a lot of reaction on social networks, while sticking to the objective of TF1 who wants to offer programs able to bring together "all generations".

"It will be, without dispute, one of the biggest events of the season both on TF1 and globally on television," says the manager. We find Camille Combal, the host who goes to TF1, as presenter of this show expected "this winter". "We will record the broadcasts in September, with the utmost confidentiality, since the challenge is to find out who is behind the costumes," says Fabrice Bailly.

Finally, the group put again on the sport: after two years dominated by the Worlds of men's and women's football, TF1 will put this autumn on the time of the Rugby World Cup in Japan (from September 20th to November 2nd) , with a big device. Especially since unlike the 2015 edition, where Canal + codiffus the competition, the group this time will be the only broadcaster in France, with the matches of the Team of France and the big posters on TF1 (the other meetings will pass on his little sister TMC).

The season will also be marked by an intensification of competition in the streaming market, against which the group says it is well armed, including the launch of Salto, common platform of TF1, France Télévisions and M6. "Faced with a market in turmoil and where everything is going very quickly, our group is itself in full transformation," he argues.

© 2019 AFP