New year, new debuts and lots of returning shows for the Italian television landscape.
The 2023 opened with a traditional appointment on Rai 1 with the dancing-variety show Danza con me (Tr. Dance with me) which premiered on the first day of the New Year in prime time slot and it achieved 2.798mln viewers (17.9% of share). It is hosted by dancer Roberto Bolle, and this year actor Luca Zingaretti and actress Cristiana Capotondi offered a beautiful evening with music, dance and many super guests. Produced by Ballandi and Arte Danza.
In the first week of January many cult unscripted shows were back starting from the dating show First Dates (locally titled Primo appuntamento, produced by Stand By Me) on Real Time, hosted once again by Flavio Montrucchio. The show debuted on January 4 with 431k viewers (2.2%) and the concept of the format is the same but Flavio’s outfit changes: he wears a gentleman’s burgundy suit and in addition to the historic staff there will be the new maître called Barbara. Cookery show Cake Star - Pasticcerie in sfida (produced by Banijay Italia) returned on January 6, on Real Time as well, this time with a new judge: alongside Damiano Carrara there is Tommaso Foglia (replacing Katia Follesa). It debuted with 252k viewers (1.4%). Saturday, January 7 faced the ancient competition between pubaster Rai and Mediaset’s flagship Canale 5. This “ratings challenge” saw the return of entertainment show Tali e Quali on Rai 1, spin-off of Your Face Sounds Familiar in which ordinary contestants, rather than celebs, undergo transformations, locally produced by Endemol Shine Italy, premiered with 3.2mln viewers (18.9%) vs Canale 5, Maria de Filippi's long-running emotainment show C'è Posta per Te (You’ve Got Mail) produced by Fascino PGT that reached 4.8mln viewers (30.2%) and won the prime time slot. On January 7, Rai 3 broadcast the fifth season of docu-series Città Segrete (Secret Cities) hosted by journalist Corrado Augias achieved 1.1mln viewers with an audience share of 6.9%.
A new original show premiered in the second week on January: Rai 2 premiered on Tuesday, January 10 at 21.20, the entertainment show Boomerissima (4 eps produced by Banijay Italia) hosted by Alessia Marcuzzi. Teams of celebs from different generations (boomers and millennials) go head-to-head in the studio, aiming to be victorious in various rounds relating to pop culture. The show debuted with 1.3mln viewers (7.4%). Another premiere by the Italian pubcaster (often focused on cultural topics but with irony and lightness) was Rai 3’s show Splendida Cornice (tr. Beautiful Frame) produced by ITV Movie and hosted by the comic Geppi Cucciari which recorded 902k viewers (4.%) in its first episode.
January is also a month full of returning shows: on January 9 Rai 2 premiered season 8 of All3Media factual series Boss in Incognito (Undercover Boss), produced by Endemol Shine Italy, which started with 1.2mln viewers (7%); on January 11 Real Time premiered the second season of Drag Race, locally produced by Ballandi, which debuted with 253k viewers (1.2%); on January 13 Rai 1 premiered the third season of Talpa’s talent show The Voice Senior, produced by Fremantle Italy and hosted by Antonella Clerici, which achieved a very solid result 3.7mln viewers (23.3%) in the first episode and 4mln viewers with 23.8% in the second episode.
New developments include the increased importance of the late-night-slot. There are many new programs, like the docu-series Illuminate, produced by Rai Cultura and Anele on Rai 3 focused on some of the most outstanding women of the 20th century, who have distinguished themselves in various fields, becoming an example for generations of women, and narrated by famous actresses. The first episode recorded 632k viewers (5.2%); Rai 2 launched the variety show Stasera c’è Cattelan su Rai 2! hosted by showman Alessandro Cattelan (XFactor), on Tuesday, January 17 the show achieved 597k viewers (9%); Rai 1 broadcast the third season of Ciao Maschio a feminine talk-show hosted by Nunzia De Girolamo on January 21 the first episode recorded 897k viewers (13.8%).