Sergi Schaaff i Casals: A Renowned Spanish Television Producer and Director
Sergi Schaaff i Casals (July 17, 1937 – January 3, 2023) was a highly esteemed Spanish television producer and director known for his prolific career spanning six decades at Televisión Española (TVE). His enduring legacy includes the creation of the popular game show “Saber y ganar,” which made its debut in 1997 and continued to captivate audiences at the time of his passing.
Sergi Schaaff was born in the vibrant city of Barcelona. He embarked on his academic journey, graduating in Information Sciences from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). In 1963, he embarked on a remarkable career with Televisión Española (TVE), where he would leave an indelible mark.
Throughout his illustrious career, Schaaff demonstrated his versatility by working across a wide array of television genres. His contributions encompassed drama, theatrical adaptations, documentaries, and musical programs. However, he gained particular recognition for his specialization in creating engaging game shows that captured the imagination of audiences.
One of Schaaff’s most notable achievements was the creation of the game show “Saber y ganar.” This captivating program, hosted by Jordi Hurtado, made its debut in 1997 and continued to be a beloved staple of Spanish television at the time of Schaaff’s passing. His talent for crafting engaging game shows extended to other notable productions, including “Si lo sé no vengo” (1985–1988, also hosted by Hurtado), “El tiempo es oro” (1987–1992), and “3×4” (1986–1990) with Julia Otero.
Beyond his contributions to game shows, Schaaff’s influence extended to a diverse range of programming. He worked on “Ruta Quetzal” in 1993, hosted by the renowned adventurer Miguel de la Quadra-Salcedo. His repertoire also included Catalan language programming, such as “Terra d’escudella,” “Festa amb Rosa Maria Sardà,” and “Vídua, però no gaire.” The latter, a comedy from 1982, featured his wife, Àngels Moll.
Schaaff’s dedication to his craft extended beyond the television screen. He served as a professor at both the UAB and Pompeu Fabra University, making significant contributions to the field of audiovisual communication. In recognition of his influential role in launching the Audiovisual Communication Studies degree and his tenure as a dean from 2000 to 2004, Pompeu Fabra University awarded him its prestigious medal in 2010.
In April 2014, Schaaff received the esteemed Creu de Sant Jordi, a testament to his enduring impact on Spanish television. He frequently remarked, “creators don’t retire,” embodying his unwavering commitment to the world of television. Even at the age of 85, he continued to make valuable contributions to the industry.
Sergi Schaaff i Casals left an indelible legacy in the world of Spanish television, inspiring future generations in the field. His family also followed in his footsteps, with his daughter Anaïs Schaaff becoming a screenwriter, and another daughter, Abigail, pursuing a career in directing. His profound influence on the industry will be remembered and cherished for years to come.