Despite its allure and timeless appeal, the South of France remains relatively uncharted territory in the realm of television. However, for those seeking a taste of its sun-drenched landscapes, opulent lifestyle, and undercurrents of intrigue, a select few TV shows beckon. Though limited in number, each series invites viewers to immerse themselves in a world of elegance, charm, and the occasional twist of drama.
TV Shows set in the South of France
Riviera (Sky TV)
Murder in Provence (BritBox)
Riviera is the 2017 TV series from Sky. Set exclusively in the South of France, this cinematic TV series focuses on the exploits of a wealthy family and its questionable associations with the underworld.
In real life, the family home is Chateau Diter, named after the French businessman that had it built a decade ago. Set in the hills of Grasse, behind Cannes, you can rent the place if you have a spare million or two!
The series itself combines opulent glamour with gripping thriller taking you around Nice, Cannes and up to Monte Carlo. We loved the first series which is worth seeking out. The second and third series contain more iconic South of France locations but the story falls away.
See here for my Riviera Sky Atlantic TV Series Review.
Starring Gerard Depardieu, this two season series focuses on the power struggles of the Mayor (Gerard) as he tries to elevate the city, and himself. His protégé has other ideas which leads to an engaging power struggle between the men.
Expect plenty of shots of sun drenched Marseille and the Cote D’Azur.
Murder in Provence (BritBox)
Antoine Verlaque, Investigating Judge in Aix-en-Provence with his romantic partner Marine Bonnet, investigates the murders, mysteries and dark underbelly of their idyllic home in the south of France.
To be fair, the ‘dark underbelly’ makes it sound darker than it really is. It’s a bit like a French Murder in Paradise but with more Rosé, and more credible stories in my opinion. In each episode we get to see plenty of Aix, and surrounding towns including Nimes and Toulon.
There have only been three feature length episodes so far, but they have a great mix of good storylines, beautiful locations and plenty of mouth watering food & drink!
French Language TV Shows set in the South of France
There are also a few French TV shows worth mentioning. They are set in the South of France but don’t offer the same mixture of glamour and sunshine mentioned above. I also haven’t watched them so can’t yet offer a recommendation!
Revenants (The Returned) – Canal+
This supernatural drama series follows the residents of a small French Alps mountain town who try to resume their normal lives after several dead people mysteriously come back to life years after they died. These “undead” seem unaware they died. The sudden returns create turmoil and expose hidden secrets among the living residents.
Proven Innocent (Innocente) – TF1
This crime legal drama follows Madeline Scott, a fierce and hard-nosed lawyer working for the Innocence Project in Nice. She devotes her career to exonerating wrongly accused people from prison and solving cold cases after being wrongfully convicted of murdering her own brother. She takes on corrupt politicians and prosecutors to uncover truths and scandals.
Candice Renoir (Candice Renoir) – France 2
The title character, played by Cécile Bois, is an energetic senior police commandant in the coastal city of Sète, on the coast below Montpelier, who returns to investigative work after years as an office supervisor. The series follows Candice trying to balance a hectic career and challenging murder cases with being a wife and mother of four unruly teenagers. Her messy, madcap personal life often interferes with her police work in comical ways.
While TV shows may be a rarity in capturing the essence of the South of France, the region has served as a backdrop for countless cinematic gems over the years. From Hitchcock’s classic thriller ‘To Catch a Thief‘ to the sultry romance of ‘And God Created Woman,’ the French Riviera has long been a playground for filmmakers seeking to capture its timeless allure
In addition to its cinematic legacy, the South of France boasts a rich musical heritage. Legendary albums recorded in the South of France, such as Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall,‘ recorded at Studio Miraval in the heart of Provence, are a testament to the region’s creative spirit and artistic influence.