“Alice Nevers” ends tonight after 18 seasons, and with it turns an important page in the history of TF1. But why does the series end exactly? Explanations with Marine Delterme and executive producer Pascal Wyn.
The moment of farewell has come for Alice Nevers. Broadcast since 2002 on TF1, the detective series led by Marine Delterme and Jean-Michel Tinivelli will end this evening at the end of a double final episode entitled “Cavalcades”, during which Alice and Marquand, now settled in Normandy, will try to solve the murder of a young jockey. And also, incidentally, get married (finally) in front of all their loved ones.
But if the series ends after 18 seasons, 121 episodes, and 20 years of existence, it is not because it no longer fascinated the public. No, it’s mainly because the expected scores on targets, and in particular on the priority target of women responsible for purchases under 50 (FRDA-50), dear to advertisers, were no longer there.
Alice Nevers put on hold by “housewives shortness of breath”
“Since we went to 52 minutes in 2007, we’ve always had between 5 and 6 million viewers. Generally, with replays, lately, we’ve been doing between 6 and 6.5 million, which is very good Viewership was relatively stable.”explained the executive producer of the series, Pascal Wyn, during our visit to the filming of the finale last November.
“The series doesn’t end because we are in a pure audience deficit. It’s because we are out of breath. The woman responsible for purchases under 50. If you are below 20%, it’s not enough for a channel like TF1. And the last news we were around 18.5%”.
Indeed, if the last two episodes of season 18 of Alice Nevers had gathered 5.18 million followers on average on November 5, 2020, the audience share of women responsible for purchases under 50 was not example than 16.9% at the launch of this same season on October 22, 2020.
“Alice Nevers being an “old series”, she has always been a bit on hold in recent years at TF1 level”continues Pascal Wyn. “All the new directors of fiction who arrived ended up with Alice, who was taking up space and was necessarily expensive because of her longevity. So we had been in the crosshairs for a while (laughs)”.
“The series therefore stopped because of this breathlessness of the audiences. And with Vincent Mouluquet, the producer, we campaigned with the channel by saying “After 20 years, make a beautiful finale, we have a community of important fans, we can’t end on a makeshift ending”. The conclusion of season 18, thwarted by filming in the middle of Covid, initially stopped after a few days because of the first confinement, not being the end that the production and the actors wanted for Alice Nevers.
“TF1 therefore gave its agreement for the last two episodes and we found the right idea fairly quickly. Because we had wanted to marry them for so long, it was finally the opportunity to offer viewers a beautiful wedding. Marine had suggested a change of life at the end of the last episodes, so we decided to make them leave Paris. And to marry them by bringing back most of the former recurring actors, including Arnaud Binard and Jean Dell”.
“The time had come to move on”
For her part, Marine Delterme, who lends her features to the heroine of Alice Nevers since 2002 and has shared the bill with Jean-Michel Tinivelli since season 6, explains that confinement has also played an important role in the reflection of the each other in relation to the future of the series. And in his desire to move on after 121 episodes.
“It is a decision that has been matured on both sides, especially during confinement”confided to us last fall the actress seen recently in Manipulations on France 2. “When we had just started shooting the final of Alice Nevers’ last season in Noirmoutier, we had to stop everything after three days because of the Covid and the confinement. We stopped mid-flight and , all of a sudden, we had time to settle down and tell ourselves that the time had come to move on”.
“Obviously, I loved doing this series for 18 years, but such an adventure takes a lot of time in the year. I couldn’t do theatre, it was more complicated to find roles elsewhere. The Covid and confinement pushed me to question myself, to ask myself what I wanted to do with my life. It was time to enter a new cycle, it happened naturally”.
“And it was actually positive”concludes Marine Delterme who seems ready to explore new roles now that the Alice Nevers page has been turned. “Then TF1 offered me this very beautiful role in Loin de chez moi. Then there was Manipulations with France Télévisions. I was lucky, I chained “far from home”, we can say it (laughs). With characters so strong that I didn’t feel any lack. I’m flying away to something else and it’s positive”.