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Canal+ - U.S. network Pivot acquires comedy series Bref

French comedy series Bref will air on Pivot, the recently-launched US cable network.

The series follows a 30 year old man as he faces the ordinary grind of life.

The US channel will put the show out in its original French language with English subtitles.

In France Bref has proved popular Canal+ and went out on the premium pay service between 2011 and 2012 winning audiences of over 2.5 million on Canal+ and millions of online views.

"Bref is perfect for our network at so many levels,” said Jennie Morris, senior VP of acquisitions at Pivot. "It is a series our audience will truly relate to and lends itself to binge and repeat viewing. Airing it in French with English subtitles preserves its authenticity and we're excited to share it with American audiences."

The deal marks the latest sale of a French-language scripted project to an English-language net after Zodiak shopped The Returned in numerous international territories.

"Bref." could roughly be translated to "Anyway."

Canal+ airs original series for subscribers, but they have 8 hours a day when everyone, even non-subscribers, can watch the channel. Usually between 6:30am-9:15am, 11:45am-2pm and 6pm-9pm. Bref aired at 8:45pm throughout the 2011-2012 season as part of a famous talk show, Le Grand Journal.

If only paying subscribers could have seen it, I doubt it would have been the huge (and deserved) hit that it was. It got a lot of praise and spawned a lot of homages on Youtube, with people doing a "bref" version of something in their daily life.

There's a double-meaning in the title Bref, because other than meaning "anyway..." when you're just saying it, when something is bref it means it's brief, short, fitting with the fact that each episode of the show lasts between 1:45 and 2:15 minutes.

The series, which contains 82 episodes, stars Kyan Khojandi as the main character, "Je" (meaning "I"). Everything is seen from his perspective, he's the voice-over, and we follow his life as a 30-year old random guy.

Kyan Khojandi not only stars in Bref but he also created, wrote and directed each episode alongside Bruno Muschio. The supporting cast includes Alice David ("Cette fille", meaning "This girl"), Bérengère Krief (Marla), Kheiron Tabib (Kheiron) and Baptiste Lecaplain (Baptiste).

The episodes may be short but they're very fast-paced, therefore it surprises me to see that Pivot will attempt to make subtitles out of this — if there ever was a concept lending itself to dubbing (at least dubbing the voice-over and subtitling the rest), this was it. Well, prepare some Red Bull.

Pivot is a new network targeting adults 18-34 and airing programs such as Friday Night Lights and Farscape.


The show becomes serialized at some point, and there are often plenty of references / foreshadowing. However, you can just come and watch an episode without it disturbing your understanding of the action, generally.

Here are a few Bref episodes I found on Youtube, including a conceptual one with an old woman instead of Je :

If you didn't get any of that, well that was funny (and sometimes sad in the last video), and let's hope the subtitles on Pivot are of good quality so you can all enjoy the show. There's a coherent universe, rewarding when you watch every episode, and there's an actual ending. Fans of fast-paced, sometimes weird/meta humour, you'll like it.

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