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Banijay scripted chief Candilis moves to France Télévisions

France Télévisions has confirmed the appointment of Banijay Group’s head of scripted, Takis Candilis, as second-in-command of the French pubcaster.

CandilisHe will take up his new position on February 26 and replace Xavier Couture, but also take on extended responsibilities, which include all genres.

Couture left France Télévisions this week after announcing his exit to focus on personal projects in November 2017.

As deputy managing director of broadcast and programming, TV drama and commercial television expert Candilis will supervise all the group’s national channels – France 2, France 3, France 4 and France 5 – on their programming.

He will have an eye on global editorial strategy and programming, and all of France Télévisions’ free-to-air channels directors will report to him.

Candilis will also work with Anne Holmes, who runs the drama unit at France 3, on how the pubcaster’s drama strategy will work across channels and complement one another in the best way.

France Télévisions is also planning to improve how to deals with submitted project pitches, plus extend the subject and format spectrum for both for domestic productions and international copros.

Segments such as sports, youth programming and news already have set strategies directions that they follow when commissioning.

France Télévisions president Delphine Ernotte has also taksed Candilis to create a new digital plan that will give more emphasis on new media programmes and the way they are distributed across multi-platforms environment.

Ernotte, who was forced to delay the upcoming France Télévisions’ SVOD service at the end of last year, believes this will better resonate with younger audiences.

Takis Candilis, 63, started his career as a producer at Tara Productions and Caméras Continentales, before joining TF1 in 1999 to head the commercial network’s drama and entertainment units.

From 2008 to 2016, he ran production group Lagardère Entertainment, now Lagardère Studios, which oversees all of Lagardère’s production and distribution activities.

He switched to Vivendi-backed production giant Banijay in September 2016 to become head of scripted, overseeing prodcos in Europe, the US and Australia.

“I can confirm Takis Candilis is leaving the international production sphere to go back to the broadcaster side of the French content industry,” said a Banijay spokesperson. “Takis has been a great asset to the Banijay Group and we wish him every success in his new role.

“Takis took our scripted activity to the next level, expanding the business internationally with many ongoing projects now in place. We will continue build on the great work he started.”

His appointment comes as Ernotte prepares to adapt France Télévisions’s strategy to upcoming audiovisual reforms the French government is planning.