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Help Needed Is the Italian TV show L'Eredita still on?


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Steve wrote this article for SlowTrav in 2007, about the popular Italian TV show L'Eredita. In the Trip Reports forum for Jim Zurer's current trip report the topic came up and I wonder if Steve's notes are still accurate? Is this show still on air? Does it still work as he describes below? If it does, I will publish this in the Italy Travel Articles.


Italian TV and L'eredità, the quiz show​

Steve Cohen

When in Italy and parts of Switzerland that receive RAI 1, I like to watch the TV quiz program "L'eredità". I am attracted to this show for its astonishing complexity, its (for me, anyway) educational content both general knowledge and spoken Italian and other elements that seem distinctly Italian in flavor. The Italian version of "millionaire", il millionario, plays on Mediaset in the same time slot. It has never kept me interested for more than a few minutes, but l'eredit holds my full attention for more than an hour.

The basic rules of l'eredità are simple. Seven contestants each start with an "inheritance" of 50,000 (eredità = inheritance). In a series of competitive quiz events, players are eliminated until only one is left standing. As players are eliminated, their inheritance is given to the player who eliminates them.

It's personal.​

  • A player is always eliminated by another player.
  • A yellow light marks a player with one wrong answer in an event (errore!).
  • A red light and "awooga" noise indicates a second wrong answer (doppio errore!!).
The player with the second error selects another player (A punta il dito contro B) who must then answer a question; if player B answers incorrectly he is eliminated, otherwise, player A is eliminated.

  • The eliminated player goes home empty-handed (the host's cry of "Roberto s'è stato eliminato" or "Giulia s'è stata eliminata" ringing in his/her ears).
  • His winnings to that point are transferred to the player who eliminated him (the surviving player "inherits" the money).
  • The last surviving player becomes the champion (il campione) and, in addition to winning a significant amount of money, earns the right to return and play against six new competitors.
L'eredità delivers emotional highs and lows, mystery, suspense, informative facts, audience participation and, um, dancing girls (l'ereditiere! It is, after all, Italian TV).

Question formats used to eliminate players include:​

  • "vero o falso" (true or false): Say whether a given statement is true or false.
  • "la patata bollente" (hot potato): The player is given three answers, but not the question to which one of them is the correct answer (la risposta esatta). The player may choose to try the question or pass it to another player of his choice (la tengo or la passo a Roberto).
  • "lei o l'altro" (you or the other one): Given a question and one of two candidate answers, the player must say whether the correct answer is the one shown or "l'altro" (the answer not shown).
  • "la scossa" (electric shock): A question is given along with seven answers; all answers are correct except for one. Each player in turn chooses a correct answer not yet used, the host says "scossa?", and a light ding or sizzling electric sound indicates if this is the one wrong choice.
  • "l'ultima sfida" (final challenge): This occurs when only two players are left. They alternate answering questions (not multiple choice), scoring a point for each correct answer. The player with the most points wins. It's not over yet, though. L'ultima sfida, despite the name, is not the end. The champion gets to answer seven more questions, choose a second answer if the first is wrong but only for the first five and if he answers two or more wrong, the "nearly eliminated" player gets to attempt il colpaccio (see below).
  • "il colpaccio" (sudden strike): The second last survivor returns to attempt one (generally difficult) five-choice question. If the answer is correct, this player steals the champion title, keeps the winnings and comes back the next night, otherwise, the original champion remains and gets all of the above.
A couple of times during each show, the dancing girls come on in scanty, form-fitting costumes and gyrate to a dance routine. A recent question: the 2003 edition of a standard Italian dictionary defined "ereditiere" (the host's name for the dancers) as a dancer on this quiz show "vero o falso"? The correct answer: "falso". The contestant got it wrong.

Occasionally, a popular song is played and the audience, onstage contestants and host perform the accompanying movements. Friends and family members are often introduced and chat with the host for awhile between questions.

It's great fun and it's on every night except Sunday from around 6:45pm to 8:00pm on Rai 1. Followed by 30 minutes of national news.

Ian Sutton

1000+ Posts
I think it does take a summer break (Carlo Conti used to have to curate that tan somehow ;) ), though I haven't been to Italy in summer for 32 years, so can't be sure.

Not sure who does the programme now, as I believe Carlo moved on to other things, but have a vague recollection that his replacement died.

Ian Sutton

1000+ Posts
Does it still have the same format that Steve describes?
Some of the earlier rounds used to change from series to series, so I can't say for sure. If Steve's list is framed as 'indicative' rounds, then that might be better. The penultimate round also had a different format, so I'm not sure whether Steve's is more up to date or one of the older versions.

I think the list is missing the final round, which from memory has been ever-present throughout the years 'La ghigliottina' whereby 5 pairs of words are offered in sequence to the final remaining player. These word pairs typically sound similar, or have some connection. The player has to choose one, that they think is most likely connected to the correct words that precede it. The 'correct' word gets added to the others, but if they guessed wrong, the guillotine halves their potential winnings.

Once all 5 words are in place, they have to work out what 1 other word connects all 5. They write this word down, and then the host and they talk through how each of the 5 words might match to their answer. Then the host reveals the right word and if it matches, they win the remaining pot of money.

The connections can be straightforward or obscure, and may include cultural connections etc. making it just a little harder for us non-Italians. Some connections would certainly count as 'cryptic'. Even for the (Italian) competitors, losing is much more common than winning.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyAb4BGicY8
Last edited by a moderator:

Ian Sutton

1000+ Posts
p.s. the dancing girls are referred to as 'Le Professoresse' (the teachers), and although I think it's been somewhat reined in over the years, it still feels a little uncomfortable to us.

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