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Famous French TV host Thierry Ardisson, Mediawan team on the AI-powered interview show ‘L’Hôtel du Temps’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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Thierry ardisson, a famous French television journalist, host and producer known for roasting some of the biggest stars and political figures in modern history, has teamed up with 3ème Oeil Productions of Mediawan to resurrect the late icons of “Hotel du Time”.

Pioneer in the use of an AI-generated tool called FaceRetriever, “L’Hotel du Temps” allowed Ardisson to realize his wildest dream: to travel through time and bring back legendary characters, including princess diana, French actor Jean Gabin, comedian Coluche, singer Dalida and former French President François Mitterrand. He interviews them in his favorite Parisian palace, the Hotel Meurice. Represented by Mediawan rights, “L’Hôtel du Temps” was commissioned by the France 3 channel of the French public broadcaster France Télévisions for prime time.

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Ardisson enlisted a large team of researchers to explore all the interviews and statements each person has ever given and examine other documents to create the segments. Everything the interviewee says in “The Hotel of Time” is something that has already been attributed to him.

“We are not inventing anything, everything is there and we are carrying out an enormous investigative work to shed a different light on these cultural icons; on some occasions we show things that have been said and sort of overlooked, ”said Ardisson, whose brilliant television career spans nearly 50 years.

The French journalist and producer called on the best in the industry to create “L’Hôtel du Temps:” 3eme Oeil Productions, the banner of the country’s top rated evening talk show “C’est à vous”, and MacGuff, the leading visual effects and animation company whose credits include blockbusters such as “Despicable Me.”

Each 90-minute episode sees these iconic personalities and their peers, including Louis de Funès, Marlène Dietrich, Michel Audiard and Michèle Morgan, mingle in different areas of the hotel, and sit down for one-on-one conversations. with Ardisson. The journalist – nicknamed “the man in black” in France because of his all-black outfits – will interview these cult figures with his essential style, mixing black humor and your playful and irreverent tone. Ardisson also has a reputation for doing extensive research on its hosts to find “blind spots” and it applies this mandate to “L’Hôtel du Temps”. In order to provide a deeper insight and some historical context, each interview will be woven with peer testimonials and a wide range of archival footage. The format is considered hybrid because it is simultaneously a cultural magazine, a documentary and a fiction.

Ardisson said the idea for the show came to him after he got kicked out of the Canal Plus Group where he hosted the talk-show “Salut les terriens” for 13 years.

“I realized that it was time to stop hosting a talk show because there are no longer any ‘real’ stars to interview – I mean stars like Serge Gainsbourg who had a major impact on popular culture – and because when the rare stars arrive on a show, they don’t say anything for fear of being criticized on social media afterwards, ”said Ardisson, adding that he had interviewed some of the biggest celebrities Hollywood like Brad Pitt throughout his career, but noted that American talent did not travel to France for promotion as much as before.

“So I went to see Delphine Ernotte-Cunci (president of France Télévisions) and I said to her: ‘I want to interview the dead, and it will be magic, a real show’, and she said yes! But I had no idea if it was even legal, ”recalls Ardisson.

But it turns out that there are no image reproduction rights for the deceased personalities, Ardisson said. “That may change because in the United States, and even in France, artists are starting to sell their post-mortem image rights, but for now it’s still uncharted territory.” He said he nevertheless contacted the heirs of people whose images will be used in “Hôtel du Temps”, including Gabin’s 70-year-old son, who was “in tears” after seeing his father resuscitate.

The fact that the show was commissioned by France Télévisions underlines its cultural ambition. “I aspire to create a show that will enlighten people, tell them things they don’t know about history, and entertain them in the spirit of what public television is meant to be,” Ardisson said. “Television today is obsessed with ratings and giving people what they think they want to watch, but there is a way to give substance to popular formats.”

“The hotel of time” will also mark the return of Ardisson on the chain of pub where he animated very popular talk shows of which “Everyone speaks about it” for decades before leaving for Canal Plus where he animated “Hello earthlings”.

To this day, Ardisson’s interviews are still watched by millions of people online. The journalist has partnered with the National Audiovisual Institute (INA) to create a dedicated YouTube channel called INA Arditube which attracts nearly 4 million visitors each month.

Mediawan Rights bought the show with a teaser and also picked up the format around the world, including in the United States where Ardisson had the idea of ​​an adaptation called “Motel du temps”. “I see an American driving a convertible and going out into some kind of no man’s land at the ‘Baghdad Café’ in the Nevada desert, and he would meet everyone there, from John Lennon to David Bowie, Marilyn Monroe, John Kennedy and John Wayne Ardisson co-produces “The Hotel of Time” via his Ardimages vehicle with Mediawan.

Ardisson is also the author of several books, including “Cinémoi” (1972), “La Bible” published by Seuil in 1975, and “Rive Droite” published by Albin Michel in 1983, and “Louis XX” which sold. 100,000 copies. His autobiography “Confession d’un babyboomer” was published by Flammarion editions in 2006.

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