In the mid-1970s the reform of Italy's radio and television system led to the end of RAI's monopoly and the advent of commercial television stations. This resulted in a reorganisation of the system according to the precepts of daily life and domesticity, with viewers at the centre of the relationship with the medium. This article, by analysing televisual archives such as game shows, explores how television formed part of the changes taking place in society and reveals how it became a kind of meeting-place, coinciding with the rise of an affluent society, between aspirations and desires and stereotypical models dictated by the market. These models were able to express new values that went beyond the boundaries of ideological affiliations and were in effect a response to the search for new forms of identity. In particular, television's place became an open space that was defined through modes of socialisation. It thus constructed a wider intimacy, a ‘mediatised hearth’, that progressively eroded the barriers between the private and the public sphere and led unexpectedly towards a ‘relationship of interest’ between television, competitors, viewers and financial backers. A new community then emerged, characterised more by possessing than by existing.