Exclusive: France TV & Rai drama ‘Germinal’ secures first international sale


French-Canadian network Radio-Canada has become the first international buyer of Germinal, the new six-part drama based on Émile Zola’s classic 19th Century novel.

The show, which has been coproduced by Banijay Studios France and Pictanovo, was directed by David Hourrègue, the man behind the French adaptation of youth-skewing drama Skam. Julien Lilti is attached as creator and writer.

The story is set in Northern France during the 1860s and tracks a 20-year-old man who flees Lille after assaulting a superior.

He finds refuge in the coal mining town of Montsou and is given a job down the pit by a local worker called Maheu, but becomes disillusioned with the harsh conditions and the daily humiliations so plans a revolt. At the same, he finds himself falling in love with Maheu’s daughter.

The series will air on France Télévisions and Rai in Italy, and is already available via Salto, the French streamer operated by TF1, France Télévisions and M6.

The agreement with Radio-Canada was negotiated by Jane Rimer, SVP of Canada at Banijay Rights, which is selling globally.

Rimer said: “Germinal is a powerful literary masterpiece from Émile Zola and one of the seminal works of French literature. This breath-taking adaptation is storytelling at its finest and we are thrilled to be partnering with Radio-Canada on its Canadian launch.”

Dany Meloul, GM of Radio-Canada Television, added: “Radio-Canada has a proud tradition of offering some of the most prestigious international drama productions to its viewers. Germinal will undoubtedly generate a lot of interest as its cast include two young talented actors from Quebec, Rose-Marie Perreault and Aliocha Schneider.’”

Germinal was produced with the support of Procirep-Société des Producteurs and Angoa, with the participation of the CNC. Earlier this month, the series won the audience award at Series Mania 2021, following its premiere at the Lille-based event.


Most Recent