Zorro was one of the first American serial fiction showed by Italian tv. Much before the Brazilian telenovelas or the upmodern series such as Dallas.
Of course this was not a semi-real story as the others but the important element here is the seriality, getting the audience used to coming back and watching tv day after day.
I have been quite a follower of tv stories and indeed also wrote a blog note on how differences between relationships with real and fiction interlocutors tend to vanish.
After Zorro there were Happy Days, Sonia Braga’s Dancing Days and many others.
The tv series do probably influence the character building of an adolescent as much as books.
It is indeed possible that the approach of few parents (now as then) forbidding their children to yield to tv influence was not as idiotic as we thought.
Of course, this approach make those children ‘different’ from the others. But difference might not be bad if well managed.
NB upmodern is a neologism I invented today. Cannot find it by google ….
See also: https://mc7858attitude.blog/2004/05/13/fiction_pals_229823-shtml/