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1958 in Italian television

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

List of years in Italian television

This is a list of Italian television related events from 1958.


  • 1 February - Totò makes his TV debut, as a guest to Il Musichiere. He appears together with Vittorio Gassman and Mario Soldati. During the show, he cries on air: “Cheers for Lauro”. This was in reference to Achille Lauro, leader of the Monarchist National Party, who at the time of the airing, was accused of serious administrative irregularities as a Naples major. Because of this controversial reference, this very popular comedian would rarely be invited for RAI appearances in the following years.[1]
  • 20 February - the journalist Ugo Zatterin announces the closing of the state-controlled brothels. He uses cryptic language and never utters the term ”prostitution”. The episode has become emblematic of RAI’s prudish tendencies in this period.[2]
  • April 13: in Milan, the experimental transmissions of the Second Channel begin.[3]
  • May 25: first political election on Italy after the birth of the TV. In the previous months, RAI is fiercely attacked (mainly by the communists, but also by the right-wing press and by the Republican Party) for its political line pro-government and pro-DC.[3]
  • October 24: in Milan, the judicial police seizures the studios of TVL-Televisione libera, two weeks before the announced start of transmission with a show by Frank Sinatra. The estate, property of Italcementi, RCA and other Italian and American partners, had already made, without license, some experimental broadcasts (the first ones on Italy realized by a private TV).[4]
  • November 4: RAI broadcasts Pope John XXIII’s coronation; for the first time in history, such a ceremony is seen on TV.[5]



  • Telescuola (TV School) – care of the Professor Maria Grazia Puglisi, supported by the Ministry of Education. It’s one of the first distance education experiments in the world, aimed to the young ones living in place without educational institutions, but also to the adults without instruction (like the inmates). The show consists of secondary schools lessons, given in studio to a true public of children, and lasts six years.
  • Uomini e libri (Men and books) – first Italian TV literary column, hosted by Luigi Silori, in collaboration with Giulio Cattaneo and Elio Vittorini; thanks to it, many great Italian writers appear for the first time on the little screen.

Television shows

Comedy and drama





  • Sanremo Music Festival 1958
  • Canzonissima 1958 – second edition of the musical tournament bound to the New Year lottery, the first called Canzonissima; this year, Renato Tagliani, Ugo Tognazzi and Walter Chiari host the show and the winner is Nilla Pizzi, with L’edera. In the Sixties and the Seventies, Canzonissima will become the peak show of Italian television.
  • La via del successo (The road for success) – directed by Vito Molinari, hosted by Walter Chiari. For the show, the comedian creates his most famous sketch, where two passengers on a train have a long debate around the “sarchiapone”, an inexistent animal.[11]
  • Le canzoni di tutti (Everybody’s songs) – directed by Mario Landi, texts by Luciano Salce and Ettore Scola; variety about history of Italian songs.


News and educational

  • Il pranzo di Natale (Christmas dinner) by Mario Soldati – the writer, after the success of Viaggio nella valle del Po, realizes another gastronomical reportage.[13]
  • Viaggio nel Sud (Travel on Southern Italy) – by Virgilio Sabel, on ten episodes.[14]

Ending this year



  1. ^ "Rai Totò - Con Mario Riva a "Il Musichiere" - video - RaiPlay". Rai. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  2. ^ "20 febbraio 1958: la sospensione delle case chiuse -". Rai Teche (in Italian). 2016-02-20. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  3. ^ a b "Storia della TV -1910-1990" (PDF).[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Redazione (2010-02-17). "Storia della radiotelevisione italiana. Tempo Tv e TVL Televisione Libera: le prime tv private. Nel 1956 e 1957!". Newslinet (in Italian). Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  5. ^ Caeremoniale Romanum (2011-08-09), The Coronation of Blessed Pope John XXIII, retrieved 2019-03-27
  6. ^ "Colpi di timone - RaiPlay". www.raiplay.it (in Italian). Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  7. ^ "Teatro 1958 - 1958". Rai Teche (in Italian). Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  8. ^ "Capitan Fracassa". RaiPlay (in Italian). Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  9. ^ "Sceneggiati e Fiction 1954 - 1965 -". Rai Teche (in Italian). Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  10. ^ "Aprite: polizia!". RaiPlay (in Italian). Retrieved 2020-12-19.
  11. ^ "La via del successo - RaiPlay". www.raiplay.it (in Italian). Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  12. ^ "Varietà 1955 - 1958 -". Rai Teche (in Italian). Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  13. ^ "Il Pranzo di Natale di Mario Soldati". RaiPlay (in Italian). Retrieved 2020-12-19.
  14. ^ "Viaggio nel Sud". RaiPlay (in Italian). Retrieved 2019-11-15.
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1958 in Italian television
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