“Numbers and letters”, “Slam”… Game shows, a family affair

Almost three thousand. This is the number of episodes of “Questions for a champion” that Marie, 93, has watched in ten years. Every day, she turns on her television set at 5:45 p.m., a time when she feels “a little lonely”. And during the holidays, her 20-year-old granddaughter joins her. “She loves the program, says Mary. His goal is to find the answers before the candidate! » With age, the nonagenarian can no longer walk. So it’s a way for them both to share a moment, with their seventy-three years of difference.

Becoming a family affair: this is the recipe for the longevity of game shows, which have sometimes been broadcast for more than thirty-four years, such as “Questions for a champion”. At the start of the school year, France Télévisions confirms the trend, with two new productions: “100% logic”, a common sense quiz for all ages, and “Family duels” on France 3, which takes the place of “Numbers and figures”. letters”, on the air for fifty years and today at the heart of a contractual controversy.

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 we play at the same time as the candidate. »

Interactivity is the other key word for this success. In 1958, The Last Five Minutes broadcast on the ORTF already invited the viewer to call live to find the culprit of a crime. Today, the techniques of split-screenthe split screen, and the “home clue”, given to the viewer 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 at the same time as him. »

“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 Toulouse 1-Capitole University and author of Tgame show raptures. This has not escaped the creators who use multiple loyalty tools, such as the possibility for the winner to be dethroned or not on the next show, transforming the game into a soap opera. Or adaptation to the viewer’s tempo: at noon, when the latter is busy in the kitchen, Jean-Michel Salomon thus recommends a dynamic game. Whereas, “at 5 p.m., as for ‘Slam’, the atmosphere must be calmer, because he is then seated in front of his post”.

“The goal is to get back into your daily habits,” he continues. “We invite ourselves into people’s living rooms”, adds Cyril Féraud. “As a presenter, you have to establish a family relationship with the viewers”, according to the presenter of “Slam”. Mission successful 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 program has a lot to do with it. “My children don’t come to visit me often, so that makes me smile,” testifies a faithful.

Audience Diversification

To these strings, which are always effective, is now added the strength of social networks. Marc, 23, is a fan of video games and follows the Star player on the Twitch platform. “During its “Culture Nights”, Étoiles filmed themselves playing “Questions for a champion”, that’s how I discovered the game a year ago. » Since then, the young man regularly watches the show during his train journeys.

This diversification of the public also transforms the programs. On the set, presenter Samuel Étienne, with 539,900 subscribers on Twitch, observes more and more candidates aged 18 to 30. “We did a lot of work to modernize the game, with questions rooted in current events, he explains. We talk about rap, new technologies, while keeping the big themes. » A winning bet: according to Médiamétrie, the audience for “Questions for a champion” increased from 11.8% to 12.8% between 2019 and 2022!


The French won over by game shows

From September 2021 to June 2022, TV games gathered 11.6% of the audience, compared to 12% from September 2019 to June 2020.

During this same period, “Slam” and “Don’t forget the lyrics” reach 12.6% and 14.6% respectively.

The record number of participations, 252 shows, is held by Bruno, candidate of the “12 noon shots”.

In 2020, “The 12 strokes of noon” is elected favorite game of the French, in front of “N’oublie pas les mots”. “Questions for a champion” comes fifth, behindWho wants to be a millionaire” and “Everyone wants to take their place”.

The latest edition of the “Champions Quiz” presented by Cyril Féraud, where ten winners of game shows of all shows compete, brought together two million viewers on Saturday, September 3.

Sources: Médiamat Médiamétrie, TVMagazine.

“Numbers and letters”, “Slam”… Game shows, a family affair