The Promise, broadcast on TF1, had more than a third of all French viewers holding their breath for most of January. Following its success with both the public and the critics, Newen Connect is now taking the series abroad.Nadia Chevallard, International Sales Director for Newen Connect, discusses this phenomenal series and its international ambitions.

Sofia ESSAÏDI © Marie Etchegoyen – SORTILEGES PRODUCTIONS – TF1 – LES GENS – RTBF

The interview

TV France: You have just launched The Promise overseas. What makes this thriller so unique?

Nadia Chevallard: Produced by Sortileges for TF1, The Promise offers a new and unique psychological perspective on the theme of child disappearances/abduction.  

How do unsolved cases affect the lives of police officers and investigators who sometimes spend years looking for missing children and hunt their kidnappers tirelessly? In The Promise, Pierre Castaing (played by Olivier Marchal), is one such police officer, whose personal and professional life is haunted by an unsolved case. Twenty years later, his daughter Sarah Castaing, a young police chief (played by Sofia Essaïdi), is also faced with the disappearance of a child, which forces her to confront painful parts of her past. Beyond the investigation, the series looks at the father-daughter relationship and the promise that Pierre Castaing made to the family of a missing child, and of course the promise Sarah Castaing made to clear her father’s name. The story takes place over two time periods, which reinforces the drama it depicts.

TV France: TF1 broadcast the series, and viewer numbers have been exceptional.

Nadia Chevallard: Viewer figures have indeed been exceptional. We had an average of 8 million viewers for the six-episode series (prime-time Thursday evening slot from January 7 – 21) and record numbers in terms of audience share among female consumers under 50 (36%) and the 25-49 age bracket (31%).

Moreover, the first episode attracted 7.5 million viewers. That’s the best launch for a French series since 2015!

TV France: What are your strengths on the international market?

Nadia Chevallard: We have a number of editorial strengths, as I mentioned before, and these, combined with an undeniably strong set of talents reinforce The Promise’s potential   abroad.  

The Promise brings together two women: the writer Anne Landois, who worked on Spiral, and the director Laure de Butler, known for Profiling. And of course, the actors: Oliver Marchal (Braquo, 36), Sofia Essaidi (Above Suspicion) and Lorànt Deutsch (Humains, No Second Chance).

TV France: Have you had much feedback so far from international clients?

Nadia Chevallard: Yes. We have had some very positive feedback from our international partners. We hope to be able to announce our first deals very soon!

OLIVIER MARCHAL © Marie Etchegoyen – SORTILEGES PRODUCTIONS – TF1 – LES GENS – RTBF