Arte to rework French daytime lineup

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CANNES -- The French arm of Franco-German network Arte is preparing to overhaul its daytime programming lineup.

The new special acquisitions team headed by Nicolas Deschamps plans to double Arte's daytime budget, which stands at about 7.5 million pounds ($11.86 million), with a focus on children's programming and comedy.

"This is a strategic strategy on the part of the network," Arte projects director Philippe Chazal said. "We want to create a daytime lineup that doesn't simply rebroadcast our primetime shows."

Arte will launch a new 1 p.m. show, "Terre d'ailleurs," that will focus on "the diversity and richness of other cultures," according to Deschamps.

The network also is developing a new early morning berth aimed at 8- to 12-year-olds, with a focus on "short documentaries and magazines for the young generation, not just animation," Deschamps added.

The acquisitions team also has it eye on more comedies and daily series from abroad for the lunchtime and early afternoon time slots. It also is upping its investment in Anglo-Saxon comedies, such as the BBC's "Suburban Shootout," set to air in September.

The move comes as a result of an imbalance between daytime and primetime ratings for Arte's French arm, compared to almost parallel daytime to nighttime ratings on its German network. Arte said it is also "in negotiations" to launch its own version of CatchUp TV and high-definition technology.
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