When he created "Forbidden Zone" in 1993, Patrick de Carolis did not imagine such a fate for the show.
The reportage magazine celebrates its thirty years on the air on M6 this week with undeniable success.
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In 2022, it was thus acclaimed by 2.2 million viewers on average during each broadcast.
The man of television, who became mayor of the city of Arles, remembers having responded to three wishes dictated by Nicolas de Tavernost and Thomas Valentin (general manager and program director of M6 at the time) to design the issue.
“They asked me to make a magazine of reports, which would be broadcast live –
we received our journalists and guests on the set
– and to be where we were not expected
, he recalls.
We therefore decided to broadcast it on Sundays, a slot previously reserved for films, with an advertising campaign which proclaimed loud and clear
: “Sunday evenings,
: “Sunday evenings,
reality is stronger than fiction.”
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Requirement of modernity
In three decades, "Forbidden Zone" - whose credits music, composed by Michel Jonasz, has become cult - has accompanied societal changes through major reports and striking testimonies on subjects ranging from road safety to scandals in the retirement homes through anorexia, alcohol among pregnant women, precariousness, child welfare or adolescent prostitution.
"The program is defined by its authenticity, its requirement and the modernity of its content with the daily challenge of finding the emerging subject which will be the reality of tomorrow"
, explains Ophélie Meunier, head of the program since 2016.
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A unique documentary
To celebrate this anniversary, "Forbidden Zone" has chosen a unique positioning.
This Sunday, March 26, the magazine will not offer an investigative report as it usually does, but will broadcast a 90-minute heritage documentary retracing the evolution in male-female relations over the past fifty years.
The film is fed by a large number of archive images (often comical) and by witnesses followed on a daily basis such as Danielle, 80, who went to housekeeping school in her youth, or Laurent, a young father at home.
“The exceptional testimonials that we have had for 30 years have also been the strength and success of the magazine
,” concludes Ophélie Meunier.