You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Showbizzers Face-Off In Italo Elections

Silvio Berlusconi, Beppe Grillo Emerge in Deadlocked Vote

ROME — Italians awoke to the prospect of political deadlock Tuesday after a national vote in which two very different showbizzers emerged as winners: TV mogul Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo, a standup comic with an anti-establishment platform propagated via social media and live appearances in the country’s piazzas.
While neither man won the elections, both bested pollster predictions and Grillo’s web-driven Five Star movement came from nowhere to become the biggest single party in the lower house with 25% of the vote and 23% in the upper house.
Berlusconi, the former prime minister who was considered politically defunct until recently, staged a stunning comeback thanks to a TV blitz in which he promised practically impossible tax cuts.
Berlusconi’s center-right coalition has 29% of the lower house and 30% of the upper house, about one percentage point less than the center-left bloc of Pier Luigi Bersani, which is not expected to have sufficient parliamentary seats in the upper house to govern alone.
On Monday, as the first electoral results came in, shares in Berlusconi’s Mediaset rose as much as 10%. They were down Tuesday as Italy’s instability rattled markets.
But the broadcaster’s stock price has gained about 60% since Berlusconi threw his hat back in the ring late last year, underscoring the impact of his political influence on his company’s balance sheet.
Grillo ruled ratings on pubcaster RAI until the mid-1980s when he was banned from TV for cracking a joke about Socialist prime minister Bettino Craxi being a thief.
His newfound success is driven by tirades on his blog against political and corporate corruption and a pro clean energy and free Internet campaign. Top of Grillo’s agenda is a conflict of interest law that would force Berlusconi to either put Mediaset in a blind trust or leave politics.

More TV

  • Neil Cavuto Gets Down to Business

    Neil Cavuto Gets Down to Business When Calling Out President Trump

    ROME — Italians awoke to the prospect of political deadlock Tuesday after a national vote in which two very different showbizzers emerged as winners: TV mogul Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo, a standup comic with an anti-establishment platform propagated via social media and live appearances in the country’s piazzas. While neither man won the elections, […]

  • Kerry Washington The Mothers

    Facebook to Develop Drama Series for Watch With Kerry Washington Producing (EXCLUSIVE)

    ROME — Italians awoke to the prospect of political deadlock Tuesday after a national vote in which two very different showbizzers emerged as winners: TV mogul Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo, a standup comic with an anti-establishment platform propagated via social media and live appearances in the country’s piazzas. While neither man won the elections, […]

  • Bob Greenblatt NBC

    Robert Greenblatt on the Importance of Speaking Up and Making Voices Heard

    ROME — Italians awoke to the prospect of political deadlock Tuesday after a national vote in which two very different showbizzers emerged as winners: TV mogul Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo, a standup comic with an anti-establishment platform propagated via social media and live appearances in the country’s piazzas. While neither man won the elections, […]

  • The Four Fox

    Fox Enlists iHeartMedia to Boost Musical Competition 'The Four'

    ROME — Italians awoke to the prospect of political deadlock Tuesday after a national vote in which two very different showbizzers emerged as winners: TV mogul Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo, a standup comic with an anti-establishment platform propagated via social media and live appearances in the country’s piazzas. While neither man won the elections, […]

  • "The Relaxation Integration" -- Pictured: Amy

    TV Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory,' 'Good Doctor' Lead Scripted Shows Monday Night

    ROME — Italians awoke to the prospect of political deadlock Tuesday after a national vote in which two very different showbizzers emerged as winners: TV mogul Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo, a standup comic with an anti-establishment platform propagated via social media and live appearances in the country’s piazzas. While neither man won the elections, […]

  • Zelly Go

    Mipcom: Spain's Imira Entertainment Closes Wide-Ranging International Distribution Deal with Nickelodeon for Korean Animated Series 'Zelly Go’

    ROME — Italians awoke to the prospect of political deadlock Tuesday after a national vote in which two very different showbizzers emerged as winners: TV mogul Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo, a standup comic with an anti-establishment platform propagated via social media and live appearances in the country’s piazzas. While neither man won the elections, […]

  • Comedy Central Orders New Shows From

    Comedy Central Orders New Shows From 'SNL' Alums, 'G.L.O.W' Star

    ROME — Italians awoke to the prospect of political deadlock Tuesday after a national vote in which two very different showbizzers emerged as winners: TV mogul Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo, a standup comic with an anti-establishment platform propagated via social media and live appearances in the country’s piazzas. While neither man won the elections, […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content