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A couple of days ago Le journal de Montréal (one of Montréal’s largest daily newspapers) published an article highlighting 10 sitcoms and TV drama series (téléromans in French) which draw in over one million viewers per episode.
This post might be of added interest to Anglophones who want to better their French, since many of the programs listed below are shown across Canada on television.
The viewership numbers given are strictly for television views, and do not include online views (which would boost the numbers even higher).
1st Place: Unité 9 – 2,130,000 viewers per episode.
Radio-Canada every Tuesday at 8:00pm.
Official website: http://unite9.radio-canada.ca/
2nd Place: Yamaska – 1,500,000 viewers per episode.
TVA every Monday at 8:00pm.
Official website: http://yamaska.tva.canoe.ca/accueil
Wikipedia article: click HERE
3rd Place: Toute la vérité – 1,300,000 viewers per episode.
TVA every Monday at 9:00pm.
Official website: http://tva.canoe.ca/emissions/toutelaverite/accueil
4th Place: Complexe G – 1,230,000 viewers per episode.
TVA every Wednesday at 9:00pm.
Official website: http://tva.canoe.ca/emissions/complexe-g/saison1/concept
Wikipedia article: None.
5th Place: Au secours de Béatrice – 1,170,000 viewers per episode.
TVA every Wednesday at 8:00pm.
Official website: http://tva.canoe.ca/emissions/au-secours-de-beatrice/
Wikipedia article: None.
6th Place : Mémoires vives – 1,165,000 viewers per episode.
Radio-Canada every Tuesday at 9:00pm.
Official website: http://ici.radio-canada.ca/tele/memoires-vives/saison-2
7th Place: O’ – 1,160,000 viewers per episode.
TVA every Tuesday at 9:00pm.
Official website: http://tva.canoe.ca/emissions/o/accueil
8th Place: Les pêcheurs – 1,070,000 viewers per episode.
Radio-Canada every Wednesday at 9:00pm.
Official website: http://lespecheurs.radio-canada.ca/
9th Place: Le dôme – 1,050 viewers per episode.
TVA every Tuesday at 8:00pm.
Official website: http://tva.canoe.ca/emissions/le-dome/concept
Wikipedia article: No site covering the Québec program, but the Montréwood French adaptation’s plot is the same as the U.S. program, click HERE
10th Place: L’Auberge du chien noir – 940,000 viewers per episode
Radio-Canada every Monday at 8:00pm.
Official Website: http://ici.radio-canada.ca/tele/auberge-du-chien-noir/2014-2015/
All of these shows air once a week. In total, they attract almost 13,000,000 views a week – that’s a LOT of television.
A number of these shows feature people already mentioned in earlier posts.
Just another few words on how these TV shows can help you improve your French… Two of the largest challenges when learning a language are ;
- not hearing every-day street-language used in day-to-day contexts (ie: non-textbook language), and
- knowing what might be the most entertaining sources with when searching material to help you learn.
The actors in these programs are using everyday street language in day-to-day circumstances. The shows can also help to capture and retain your attention – after all, they are amongst the most entertaining and popular right now on Montréwood television. When watching them, make sure you have a dictionary on hand to look up words you repeatedly hear (there are many dictionary apps you can download into your phone).
When I was learning Mandarin Chinese, the above two problems posed huge road-blocks for me. My problem at the time was that I was given a very short window (of about 2 years) in which I had to bring my non-working-level Chinese up to a fully functioning working level (I was eventually required to conduct 100% of my work in Chinese: reports, emails, training, meetings, writing, etc). I therefore had to find methods which worked well, and worked fast, and this was one of the methods I used (with Chinese TV programs of course).
If this method can help to learn Chinese, then I’m sure it can be equally as effective in learning French.
Have fun !
Anne Dorval is one of Québec’s best known television and movie actresses.
Despite being a rather famous actress, we don’t see her very often on the talk-show circuit. However, the other day she made news waves and was the talk of the town when, in France, she was a guest on the French talk show On n’est pas couché. She had a rather emotional on-air outburst towards fellow-guest, Eric Zemmour who is well known in France for extreme right, counter-current societal views (in this case she lambasted him over his views of what a traditional family should be and his views against homosexuality). It was headline news back here at home (it ranked high in Le téléjournal amongst other news programs). We saw her in a light we rarely see her, and she vividly defended Québec societal views during her exchange with Zemmour (which are on part with greater-Canadian views on the same topics) before a National audience in France.
She has acted in so many television shows and movies, that there’s no way I could adequately cover her appearances and career in this post. Suffice to say, she’s as famous to Francophones as what any of the most famous Hollywood actors would be to Anglophones. Her long list of prestigious awards goes hand-in-hand with the course of her career.
Some of the more famous television series in which she has stared include Les Parents, Virginie, and Chambres en ville.
Her movie line-up is quite impressive with culturally-iconic titles such as Ding et Dong, J’ai tué ma mère, and Mommy (which is winning accolades the world over at this moment).
This is our last in our series of three people named “Houde”.
As far as I known, Louis-José Houde is not directly related to Pierre or Paul Houde.
He is a famous comedian, but with a much stronger media presence than the average circuit comedian. When trying to think of Anglophone comparisons for Louis-José Houde, it’s actually kind of tough to place him. The closest I can think of would be someone with the star power of Jeff Foxworthy, just as funny, but not necessarily axed on red-necked comedy (his range of comedy is wider). The other big difference is that Houde has a much broader and more frequent media presence than Foxworthy.
Although his career began by doing hundreds of circuit comedy shows, along with DVD sales of his shows in the tens and tens of thousands, he is now a regular feature on television, as a stand-in in variety and interview programs, as well as TV commercials (he’s a sought after guest for programs such as Pénélope McQuade, Tout le monde en parle, Le mode en Savail, Le Bye-Bye, as well as a presenter for award galas, and so so many more). He’s also had his own TV show, Ici Louis-José Houde on Radio-Canada. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it’s difficult to not see him somewhere on television, at least once every day — He’s one of the best known 30 somethings in all of Québec (born in 1977). His face is one of the best recognized, and most often viewed comedians in Québec (you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know who he is) — and he has begun to venture into stand-up in France.
If you happened to view SNL Québec skits mentioned in the post Katherine Levac, then you would have seen Louis-José Houde as the host of the first episode of SNL Québec. He has also taken acting roles along the way, including in box office smashes such as Bon Cop, Bad Cop, and De père en flic.
In the last post, we looked at Pierre Houde. Now we’ll let’s talk about his brother Paul – who is quite the TV and radio media star.
If you kept running into the same person everywhere you went, you could turn to them and say “Aren’t you quite the Paul Houde!”, and anyone in Québec would instantly understand what you meant. Basically you’re telling them that you see them everywhere, just like Paul Houde. In fact, he’s been parodied many times for being everywhere, all the time. Apart from his scheduled media roles, his numerous adventures have certainly fuelled this type of connotation; he set an around-the world record of 40 hours on commercial airlines, he climbed K2, he recently flew the same flight path of downed Malaysia Airlines MH17 to “relive their experience for the public” (that brought him a type of public attention I’m not sure he was expecting), and he keeps popping up as a sports commentator for major sporting events like the Olympics, Super Bowl, and Pan Am Games. You never know when or where he’s going to appear, but you know he always will!
Another pop-culture reference to Houde is along the lines of the colloquial Québécois expression “une tête à Papineau”. If you want to say someone knows everything, you can say “C’t’un une vrai tête à Papineau”, or conversely, “Ch’pas une tête à Papineau”. But because Paul Houde was the host of a popular knowledge-based TV game show, Le Cercle, the expression “tête à Papineau” has come to be replaced by “Paul Houde”, ie: “Bedonc toi, t’es vraiement un Paul Houde!”, meaning “Well, aren’t you quite the know-it-all!”
You have read me mention a few times that it’s a characteristic of Québécois pop-culture that personalities often take on numerous roles across multiple media platforms. But in this post, Houde not only characterizes that aspect of Québec pop-culture celebrities, but he also represents another common aspect which we haven’t touched upon very much… Québec pop-culture personalities intermingle and work with one another, over and over and over again, across many different media. It is quite probable that, like many many Québec celebrities, if Paul Houde hasn’t worked with a certain celebrity over the course of his career, that he certainly would still at least know that celebrity personally, or within one degree of separation. That, my friends, is Montréwood for you.
In the context of only 38 blog posts to date, here’s an example of how we can use Paul Houde, to demonstrate Montréwood’s prevalent interconnectedness:
- He’s one of the main morning and afternoon talk program hosts on 98,5 talk radio in Montréal – a station which garners huge listener ratings (mentioned in post #32, Québec Talk-Radio, where Ron Fournier, post #7, has a sports talk show, and where Benoît Dutrizac, mentioned as a host of post #34’s Les francs-tireurs, is a commentator).
- He’s an actor who has starred in one of the best known, and highest viewership Montréwood box-office sellers, Les Boys (which his brother Pierre also played a role in, as well as Rémy Girard, post #6)
- He has been a game show host and variety show host on all major television networks (mentioned in post #18, Montréwood Television)
- One of the more famous TV shows he appeared regularly in was 3600 secondes d’extase, hosted by Marc Labrèche, post #26)
- Yet another popular TV show in which Houde was a regular actor, along the same lines as 3600 seconds, was La fin du monde est à sept heures, again working on screen with Marc Labrèche, but also Jean-René Dufort, post #5.
Out of 38 posts, I’m already able to directly link Paul Houde to eight of them. That’s over 20%… not bad, but some may say it’s on the low side. 😉
In all seriousness though… he does quite a good job in any role he is given — which is why we see him so often. Québec’s pop-culture and the Montréwood scene in general is a much richer place because of him.
The last bit of trivia I’ll mention about Paul Houde is that he’s the host of the popular show Dans l’oeil du dragon on Radio-Canada, the Montréwood version of CBC’s “The Dragon’s Den”, or the U.S. version, “The Shark’s Tank”. So needless to say, where there are viewers, there is Paul Houde.
I guess Waldo can retire now.