LA7 offers its viewers brand-new programming and the return of many popular shows this autumn.
There are a great many new and exciting developments for the 2005/2006 season in news, realtainment, sport, science programming and drama.
The Telecom Italia Media Group TV channel has always offered unique content and made courageous choices to win its viewers’ loyalty. The network’s spirit and character is summed up in the slogan for the upcoming season: “LA7: TV you want to see”.
Flagship presenters Giuliano Ferrara and Gad Lerner return to the screen with Otto e Mezzo on September 20, raising the curtain on a season which promises a wealth of interesting and intriguing analyses of Italian politics.
Sicilian comics Ciprì e Maresco bring their brand of ground-breaking, surreal and socially-aware comedy back to the small screen after 11 years of success in the theatre and cinema. Dario Vergassola and David Riondino – both popular presenters renowned for their wit and intelligence – present the brand new 8-part travel show Sempre meglio che restare a casa (“Better than staying at home”), touring eight major capital cities. Cambio moglie (“Wife Swap”) makes its debut this autumn, with two women swapping their husbands and families; a studio-based talk show brings the stars and commentators together afterwards. S.O.S Tata (“Nanny 911”) is a format that has scored worldwide success, as families look for someone to look after their kids.
Sabrina Nobile is back after her summer prime-time pilot compering the Settima Dimensione (“Seventh Dimension”) comedians. A highlights version of the show is also broadcast later in the evening. New docu-reality show Chef per una sera (“Chef for an evening”) makes its debut this autumn, with well-known entertainers trying their hand at cooking – first up is Ricky Tognazzi. L’Ultima Alba (“The Last Dawn”) is a new video diary from the last group of Italian soldiers to be called up for national service before it is abolished.
News programming features Gian Micalessin and Maddalena Labricciosa with Autunno Italiano, (“Italian Autumn”), a new eight-part series documenting Italy's economy through interviews with a wide swathe of Italians, both winners and losers.
Spearheading the channel's sports programming is Aldo Biscardi and Il Processo (“The Inquest”), which returns for its 26th season, a world record, on August 29.
Aldo Biscardi is now Head of LA7 Sport, and the Director of a new free-to-air digital terrestrial sports channel broadcasting 24 hours a day, which launches on August 27.
LA7’s sports coverage extends far beyond football. LA7 is Italy’s sailing channel, with exclusive Italian rights to the America’s Cup 2007. The network will be increasing its coverage in the run-up to the final Cup races in Valencia. Together with other Telecom Italia Group companies (subsidiary rights have been passed on to Rosso Alice and TIM), the channel will be ramping up its coverage for the Acts at Malmö (August 25 to September 2), and then at Trapani (September 29 to October 9), the first time that America's Cup races are being fought out in Italian waters. The Forza Sette (“Force Seven”) show, presented by Paolo Cecinelli, provides comprehensive commentary and interviews. Earlier shows covering the first Act in Valencia were a great success with viewers, scoring a 10% audience share peak; the show featured sailing expert and leader of the Democratic Left political party Massimo D’Alema.
LA7 has renewed its option for four more years of exclusive rights to broadcast the prestigious Six Nations rugby tournament, building on the success of previous years, and championing a sport that is becoming increasingly popular in Italy.
The Telecom Italia Media Group network will also be broadcasting both legs of the Spanish SuperCup, between Barcelona (Ronaldinho’s team) and Real Betis (August 14 and 18).
A number of brand-new TV series are set to debut on the network this autumn. The L word presents the lives and loves of a group of lesbians (starring the legendary Jennifer Beals from Flashdance). A huge hit in the United States, the show is taking on the mantle of Sex and the City, which is back by popular demand on the network throughout the summer and early autumn. Crossing Jordan is an exciting serial about Dr Jordan Cavanaugh and the cases she solves with her policeman father, featuring rising stars Jill Hennessey and Miguel Ferrer. The greatly-acclaimed series Deadwood marks the return to form of the western genre. Directed by Walter Hill (director of the legendary Warriors), in 2004 the show won 3 Emmy Awards and 1 Golden Globe. In the run-up to the final season of the Star Trek saga in 2006, the channel will be broadcasting episodes from the third series of Star Trek - Enterprise starting on September 12, in a new early evening slot, every day from Monday to Friday, after its summer primetime run on Sundays.
Many of LA7’s successful shows will be making a welcome return: Piero Chiambretti’s back on October 4 with Markette, promising new additions to the show's irrepressible cast. Daria Bignardi returns with a new series of her show Le Invasioni Barbariche starting October 5. L’Infedele begins its run every Saturday from November 19, as Gad Lerner covers topical political and cultural issues. Pierluigi Battista continues to present interviews and features on major events in 20th-century Italian history in Altra Storia.
From September 12, journalist Antonello Piroso helms Omnibus, presented during the summer months by Rula Jebreal.
New adventures are on the cards for I Fantastici 5 - Missione Vip (from September 6) and Due sul divano (from September 30). Stargate (starting September 15), hosted by writer Valerio Massimo Manfredi, begins its run with a multipart documentary Homo Sapiens, a popular science show which was a huge critical and audience hit across Europe. Atlantide takes its bow on September 12 with a new presenter. The Anni Luce magazine show is presented by Enrico Vaime; la 25°Ora – Cinema Espanso is launching a major venture this year, the TV Shorts Festival; Così è la vita returns with reportage, while Alain Elkann is back with the must-see L’Intervista. New episodes of Sfera, presented by Andrea Monti, are scheduled for 2006.
LA7 has selected a winning team for the coming season: Pierluigi Battista, Daria Bignardi, Aldo Biscardi, Massimiliano Bruno, Paolo Cecinelli, Piero Chiambretti, Alberto Crespi, Cecilia Dazzi, Steve Della Casa, Alain Elkann, Giuliano Ferrara, I Fantastici 5, Rula Jebreal, Gad Lerner, Francesco Mandelli, Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Andrea Monti, Sabrina Nobile, Tiziana Panella, Antonello Piroso, Pamela Rota and Enrico Vaime.
LA7’s offerings continue to appeal to the viewing public. In the first six months of the year the channel achieved a 2.6% share. The trend continued to rise in May (2.7%) and June (2.8%).
Rome, July 07, 2005