French Series Goes Global: US, UK, Brazil Fans Rave

French Series Goes Global: US, UK, Brazil Fans Rave

Netflix offers a new life to Les Combattantes, a few months after its release in France. The platform broadcasts the series around the world, where it has met with exceptional and unexpected success.

In the kingdom of streaming, Netflix is the king and the magician. Market leader with its 230 million subscribers, the site also manages to relaunch programs that were ready to fall into oblivion. The latest: Les Combattantes, a European co-production between the platform, TF1, and RTBF.

This weekend, the show was the fifth most watched on Netflix globally and word of mouth seems to be working. Indeed, today’s audiences are impressive. The FlixPatrol ranking site indicates that the French creation is in the top 10 of the most viewed series in nearly 70 countries. It tops the charts in Brazil and the Bahamas, it is second in the United Kingdom, Argentina and Austria, and third in the United States, Finland and Canada.

20 Million Euros Budget

Initially, the eight-episode mini-series was broadcast on TF1 last September, before joining the Netflix France catalog in October. It brings together a five-star cast, including Audrey Fleurot (HPI, Intouchables), Julie de Bona (Le Bazar de la Charité), Camille Lou (Rotten Spoiled), Sofia Essaïdi (Overdose) and Sandrine Bonnaire (Under the Sun of Satan) .

We follow the daily life of four women in a small village in the East of France, in September 1914. The series tells us the story of Marguerite, a Parisian prostitute suspected of being a spy, Caroline, the wife of a car factory owner who went to the front and propelled to the head of the company, Agnès, mother superior of a convent which has been transformed into a military hospital and Suzanne, a young feminist nurse on the run since an abortion who went wrong.

Producer Iris Bucher told Media + that this creation had cost 20 million euros – which makes it one of the most expensive French series ever produced. She explains that this budget is “totally justified”, because there were “more than 1,300 costumes, 600 uniforms (…), and nearly 150 extras on certain days”.

She adds that the team “shot where the fighting was taking place in the First World War” and that they used a symphony orchestra for the soundtrack. A real French blockbuster.

Netflix’s Superpower

Les Combattantes is the first French fiction series to enter a Top 10 on Netflix since A Perfect Mother (in June 2022). Indeed, nine months after its release in France, the production of TF1 with Julie Gayet and Tomer Sisley had enjoyed international success and was placed in fourth place among the most watched programs on the platform.

This is not the only time that the big N has given a show a second life. Ten percent had fascinated viewers around the world, and had even reinvented itself through two adaptations: the British series Ten percent, and the Indian creation Call my agent Bollywood. Despite the cancellation of shows like Funny, Netflix therefore allows French productions to shine internationally. It remains to be seen which will be the next to benefit from this enormous boost.

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