‘Gump’ huge on Italo small screens

'List,' 'Salomon' also pulled auds for '97

MILAN — Of the 7,000 films aired by Italy’s seven national terrestrial TV networks in 1997, Robert Zemeckis’ “Forrest Gump” pulled the biggest audience, with 12.92 million viewers, according to a report published by the magazine of Italian producers’ association Cinema d’Oggi.

Placing second was another Stateside pic, “Schindler’s List” (12.28 million viewers) and third was “Salomon,” a movie of the “Bible” series co produced by Italy’s Lux (9.42 million tuned in).

Record pace

According to the report, the seven webs (pubcaster RAI’s three channels RAI1, RAI2 and RAI3; Mediaset’s Canale 5, Italia1 and Rete 4; and Vittorio Cecchi Gori’s TMC) last year aired 7,000 films — an average of 19 per day. About 19% of total broadcasting time was occupied by movies, more than the time dedicated to sports programs, gameshows and variety shows.

RAI broadcast 2,091 films, 273 of them during primetime, and Mediaset 1,997, 474 of which aired in primetime. TMC aired 1,150 films, 55% of which were made in the U.S. RAI and Mediaset aired more Euro movies (57% and 55%).

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