History of Television Around the World - Italy

About the history of television in the world and in the Italy, some Italian programs, series, and the love of film.

Television around the World

ITALY

The last major nation in Europe without a color TV system, Italy has 2 channels which, together, broadcast only about 11 hours of material each day. Within those 11 hours, 2 interesting phenomena have developed.

First, there is the rapport between the film and television industries which has provided Italian TV with film from directors like De Sica, Rossellini, Fellini, and the French director Robert Bresson.

The 2nd phenomenon is Carosello, a series developed in 1959, just one year after TV got its start in Italy. This 11-minute series captures more than 20 million viewers every night, and all for a bloc of 5 2 1/2-minute commercials. Using an extremely soft sell, most of the advertisements assume the form of short playlets, followed by a brief and gentle reminder about the commodity being peddled. Carosello has employed world-renowned directors like Claude Lelouch and Richard Lester when advertising its products. Even Gillo Pontecorvo, of Battle of Algiers fame, has made a contribution. "We have managed," boasts one program executive, "to turn advertising into art."

Italy's 2 channels are a government monopoly, controlled by the nation's leading political party, the Christian Democrats, and by the Roman Catholic Church.

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