Oops, I should've got round to posting this before now!!
Italians love to talk, and naturally there are plenty of opinion and talk shows on Italian TV! And even if it isn't actually a talk show, Italians will still find a way to talkandtalkandtalk about anything and everything! Not a favourite of mine, they get a bit tedious after a while, and they inevitably end with people shouting and arguing over each other! Interestingly though, during this period before the regional elections in Italy (the elections are held on the 27th & 28th of this month), RAI have taken their political talk shows off the air thanks to a law here which ensures equal airtime to all political parties during election campaigns. Any TV station found to break this law, called par condicio, by favouring one political party over another faces a hefty fine.
And if you get bored of what RAI, Mediaset and La 7 have to offer, there's always the music channels! Italy has two free-to-air analogue stations, MTV Italia, and the recently launched Deejay TV (formerly All Music). You can watch trashy imported American reality TV shows on MTV - either dubbed or subtitled in Italian - or watch some Italian music videos (of course there'll be some English language ones too) on Deejay TV.
All of this is based on the three RAI (Uno, Due, Tre), Mediaset (Retequattro, Canale Cinque, Italia Uno) and La 7 channels, which are the seven national free-to-air analogue stations in Italy. Many more local stations exist, and of course, there are new digital stations popping up all the time. The digital switchover is well underway in Italy, but for some reason here in Milan we're still on analogue!