It’s Scotti un Altro!

So I’m still of the belief that if done correctly, Endemol’s Next One (the English title for Avanti un Altro) could be massive over here. I think there are dangers – none of the other international versions seem to be having as much fun as the Italians are, and the ringleader of the Italian show is Paolo Bonolis who co-devised the show. But he’s leaving (apparently in part to help launch the show elsewhere) and the question is can it survive without him?

Well tonight in an unexpected move the show was hosted by the brilliant Gerry Scotti as a sort of preview for when he takes the role on full time from next week (and you can watch it here). Scotti is a bit of an Italian TV legend – used to be a popular singer and in recent years fronted their version of Millionaire, and his style is different – if Bonolis is the class clown, Scotti’s your uncle who puts on great parties and overindulges rather. I was trying to come up with a UK cultural equivalent – if Bonolis is Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush era Chris Evans, Scotti’s a louder fatter take on Terry Wogan. Terry Wogan fused with Brian Blessed. There is probably a better comparison to be made to be honest.

Right now it feels a bit supply teacher, the jokes and characters are basically the same but right now he’s laughing with them rather than actively creating the laughs himself. Luca Laurenti’s still on board but looked a bit uncomfortable without his usual sparring partner although seemed to warm up a bit in the latter half of the show – there was quite a funny shoulder massage chain happening after Mr Bonus came out. The show seems less funny, more jovial. Time will tell if this is a good thing or not but I would hope future writing and characters play up to his strengths.

The big question is how would he handle Il Gioco Finale and the truth is actually really well – if the game was designed to play up Bonolis’ ability to speak fast, Scotti handles the game intelligently – he’s not as fast as Bonolis by a long shot, but he also realises that most people don’t need the full question read out anyway when chasing and leaves a brief but perceptable gap after giving the options almost to give them the nod that they should just answer there and on the basis of tonight’s contestant they do. I like this because that’s what I find myself doing when I’m running a game.  He does stop the clock more frequently after lengthy runs and shouts a bit more but he clearly seems on the player’s side.

The show normally does fantastic demos, it will be interesting to see what the change in direction does for them. By the end I thought the show was in safe hands. Friend of the Bar Stuart Shawcross of 5 Minutes to a Fortune fame tweeted me these this evening:

Amazing. Bonolis returns until the end of the week.

9 Comments

  1. David says:

    Fox is doing a show this summer the people in the UK might find interesting and/or insulting, probably both..

    http://www.deadline.com/2014/03/fox-fake-prince-harry-marriage-reality-series/

    • Daniel Peake says:

      Oooh, Englefield House is nice. I should know, as I went to the primary school right next to it and visited it occasionally. There’s a very nice, very English, church there too that I’m sure will feature.

    • Brekkie says:

      Didn’t E4 do a similar “Wife for William” thing in it’s early days?

  2. CeleTheRef says:

    almost every comment on the Italian web is “Scotti is not bad, but Bonolis was much better”.

    Gerry is competent as usual, but makes me miss Paolo’s irony and interaction with the audience.

    but the novelty factor helped AUA!

    L’Eredità 21,67%
    Avanti un Altro! 20,69%

  3. Brekkie says:

    Given up any expectation of this arriving in the UK and suspect if it did largely down to budget they’d play it straight and ditch all the characters – so like many UK shows completely miss the point of the entire thing.

    21 Questions Wrong would also last an hour in itself with contestants explaining the rational behind their answers after every bloody question!

    • Brig Bother says:

      Well it’s been suggested the UK and Germany are the next big markets for launch so don’t rule it out just yet, but it’s been intimated (if I’ve been following properly) to be for C4 which might have been exciting ten years ago but now I’m not sure.

  4. Kniwt says:

    Not that I can understand the language, but (official, apparently) Endemol Asia has just posted a bunch of full episodes of Next One! from Vietnam. Here’s one:

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