Almost three thousand. That’s the number of “Questions for a Champion” episodes that Marie, 93, has seen in ten years. Every day she turns on the TV at 5:45 pm, which is when she hears herself “a little lonely”. And during her vacation, her 20-year-old niece joins her. “Love the program, says Maria. His goal is to find the answers before the candidate! “ With age, the non-agenary can no longer walk. So it’s a way for both of them to share a moment, with their seventy-three years apart.
Becoming a family business: this is the recipe for the longevity of game shows, which have sometimes been on the air for more than thirty-four years, as “Questions for a Champion”. At the beginning of the school year, France Télévisions confirms the trend, with two new productions: “100% logic”, a quiz of common sense for all ages, and “Duels in the family” on France 3, which takes the place of “Numbers and digits”. letters “, on the air for fifty years and today at the center of a contractual dispute.
Transgenerational and interactive
“These types of programs are transgenerational”, explains Jean-Michel Salomon, creator of “Slam” and “Everyone wants to take their place”. Confirmation in the family of Alice, 23, who watches “Don’t forget the lyrics” two or three times a week with her father and brothers. “Our goal is to beat my father, who is passionate about French songs! We form two teams and play the candidate at the same time. “
Interactivity is the other key word of this success. In 1958, The last five minutes aired on the ORTF has already invited the viewer to call live to find the culprit of a crime. Today, the techniques of split screenthe split screen and the “clue of home”, given to the spectator alone, allow him to play at the same time as the candidate. “Television becomes a playful medium, analyzes Laurence Leveneur. And there is an idea of community: the viewer is sure that other French people are thinking of him at the same time. “
“We invite each other into people’s living rooms”
A shared ritual, all the more reassuring in times of crisis, analyzes Laurence Leveneur, professor at the University of Toulouse 1-Capitole and author of T.ecstasy of the game. This has not escaped the creators who use multiple loyalty tools, such as the possibility for the winner to be dethroned or not in the next show, turning the game into a soap opera. Or adaptation to the spectator’s rhythm: at noon, when the latter is busy in the kitchen, Jean-Michel Salomon therefore recommends a dynamic game. Instead, “at 17, as for ‘Slam’, the atmosphere must be calmer, because then he is sitting in front of his pole”.
“The goal is to return to daily habits” he continues. “We invite each other into people’s living rooms”, adds Cyril Féraud. “As a presenter, you have to establish a familiar relationship with the viewers”, according to the host of “Slam”. Successful mission for the native of Digne-les-Bains: he regularly receives invitations to weddings and birthday parties. The “kiss to the camera” at the end of the show has a lot to do with this. “My children don’t come to see me often, so this makes me smile” a faithful witness testifies.
Diversification of the public
To these ropes, always effective, is now added the strength of social networks. Marc, 23, is a video game fan and follows the Star player on the Twitch platform. “During his“ Culture Nights ”, Étoiles filmed himself playing“ Questions for a Champion ”, that’s how I discovered the game a year ago. “ Since then, the young man regularly attends the show during his train journeys.
This audience diversification also transforms the programs. On the set, presenter Samuel Étienne, with 539,900 Twitch subscribers, watches more and more candidates ages 18-30. “We worked hard to modernize the game, with questions rooted in current affairs, He explains. We talk about rap, new technologies, keeping the big themes. “ A winning bet: according to Médiamétrie, the audience of “Questions for a Sample” increased from 11.8% to 12.8% between 2019 and 2022!
The French have conquered game shows
From September 2021 to June 2022, TV games garnered 11.6% of the audience, up from 12% from September 2019 to June 2020.
In the same period, “Slam” and “Don’t forget the lyrics” reach 12.6% and 14.6% respectively.
The record of participations, 252 shows, it is held by Bruno, candidate of the “Scatti di mezzogiorno”.
In 2020 “The 12 shots of noon” is elected favorite game of the French, ahead of “N’oublie pas les mots”. “Questions for a Champion” comes fifth, behind ” Who wants to be a millionaire ”and“ Everyone wants to take their place ”.
The latest edition of the “Quiz Champions” presented by Cyril Féraud, where ten winners of games from all shows compete against each other, on Saturday 3 September brought together two million viewers.
Sources: Médiamat Médiamétrie, TV magazine.