Return of “Star Academy”: How TF1 and EndemolShine cultivated nostalgia around the show

Winning return? TF1 made official, this Tuesday in a trailer, the return to the air of “Star Academy”, its essential entertainment from the 2000s. The cover, with EndemolShine and DMLSTV in production, is thus preparing to revive a cult brand that brought together almost 12 million viewers on January 12, 2002, the night of the season one finale and Jennifer’s coronation. But TF1 and EndemolShine, the show’s historic production box (it was still just called Endemol), raised red flags, suggesting this return, two years ago.

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"star academy"  : TF1 formalizes the return of the program in a trailer


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Reruns of bonuses on Youtube in 2020

In March 2020, France discovers the containment. Due to the health crisis, trips to France are limited to what is strictly necessary. Television, whose programming, however, is often limited to reruns of films – the interruption of filming makes it necessary – thus finds a place of choice in their daily lives. For example, they spent an average of 4h40 a day in front of their post in April 2020: the average dropped to 3h27 two years later. In this context, viewers closely follow the news editions, and in order to relax and pass the time, they fall in love with TV games, Claude’s schemes in “Koh-Lanta: The Island of Heroes”, but also .. .for the “Academy Star”.

Since April 21, EndemolShine has, in fact, decided to put online on Youtube each of the extras of the eight of the nine seasons of the program. Day after day, Internet users rediscover the programmes, broadcast live on TF1 between 2001 and 2008. And the success is there! The first season 1 bonus, at the end of which Jennifer is the last candidate to join the adventure, peaks a month later with 270,000 views. The second prize also exceeded 200,000 views.

The program entertains the most nostalgic French who rediscover with delight the performances of academics, from the most spectacular to the most embarrassing. The cover of the summer hit Les Ketchup de Georges-Alain in the second season is, in the genre, quite memorable. The image conveyed by entertainment is positive. And already at the time, EndemolShine hinted at a return. “We are working on different programs around a new generation of Star Ac“, announces even that year Vincent Panozzo, the director of programs and creation and development of the group, in “Le Parisien”.

Celebrating 20 years in 2021

The following year, TF1 returned to appeal to the nostalgia of its viewers. The channel announces that it intends to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary. The festivities take place in two stages. On May 22, 2021, La Une aired a documentary titled “Star Academy: The doc event”. The latter follows the course of the scholars from the show’s first eight seasons. There are 3.61 million viewers, or 16.1% of the public. A relatively low score for those four years and older, compensated by the very good audience in the target of female purchasing managers under 50 years old (FRDA-50): 31.0%.

An indicator much loved by TF1 that makes the channel directed by Gilles Pélisson want to extend the celebrations with, this time, the candidates of the eight promotions in the flesh. On October 30, 2021, almost twenty years after the launch bonus of the program in France, the credits of the first confinement reality show broadcast on TF1 resounded again in the French living room.

The program, recorded several months before, privileges the debates between Nikos Aliagas and former professors and academics and the best moments of the program. Which only reinforces the nostalgia of those who knew him. Success is confirmed on the FRDA-50 target. 41.3% follow the first of three issues of “Star Academy: We Had Dated in 20 Years!” (4.18 million nostalgic people on average, 24.8% of the total public).

The castle and Nikos Aliagas, two safe bets

Ten years after its last season on NRJ12, “Star Academy” will sail with the ingredients that made it legendary. The channel and productions, DMLSTV joins forces with EndemolShine for the occasion, once again betting on the castle of Dammarie-lès-Lys, location of the program from 2001 to 2007, and its historical host. Nikos Aliagas will return to live bonus animation. Another pillar of the program, Jean-Pascal Lacoste, emblematic candidate for season 1, did not deny last Friday in C8 the hypothesis according to which he could have a role in this new version.

It remains to be seen what place the newspaper will occupy in the grid. Hypothesis of the moment, the programming in two channels, the bonuses in TF1 and the newspaper in TMC, seems risky. It might be difficult, for example, to bond viewers with candidates with this hybrid programming. Also, this had not worked for “Secret Story” in 2015 (weekly broadcast on TF1 and daily on NT1). In 2016 and 2017, the program had completely switched to the TNT channel, except for the launch program broadcast on TF1 in the second part of the night.

Other challenges for the channel and the production: ensuring that the program, born in a decade without social networks and during which the sometimes naive singer apprentices were still discovering the codes of reality shows, retain its original freshness. It will also be necessary to ensure that the “Star Academy” continues to create the event, at a time when international stars are increasingly rare on French television.

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