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American Shows Get a Makeover on Russian TV

26. September 2012 by Lorena 0 Comments

Many American TV shows are shown on Russian and Ukrainian television. Some shows become so successful with Russian audiences that they are remade just for audiences in that country. It’s possible that you and your Russian sweetheart enjoy a lot of the same shows, just different localized versions.

One of the most recent American shows to make the jump to Russian television is Everybody Loves Raymond. It forms the basis for the Russian comedy Voroniny. It’s been adapted to reflect the lives of Russian audiences, but it otherwise very much like the original. The producer of Everybody Loves Raymond traveled to Russia in 2009 to work on the Russian version of the show, and detailed their experience in a documentary.

Another show your Russian lady might watch is Married with Children. The American version of the show was shown on Russian TV for several years. In 2006, a Russian version called Happy Together was created. Middle class Russian family the Bukins take the place of the familiar Bundys.

Like America, Russia and Ukraine each have their own versions of Simon Cowell’s frequently remade Got Talent series. The 2012 season of the Ukrainian show included singers, dancers and a bottle-twirling bartender who makes the guys in the movie Cocktail look dull and slow.

The Russian adaptation of The Nanny, My Fair Nanny, outlasted its American counterpart. The Russian show ran from 2004 to 2009. The initial set-up of the show is the same, but the romance between the two lead characters takes longer to develop. While the American version has the characters married with twins at the end of the series, the Russian version ends with their engagement.

How I Met Your Mother got a Russian adaptation deal in 2010. The Russian version’s cast bears an uncanny resemblance to the American show straight down to the catch phrases. In the clip of the series that has been posted online, you can see Ted’s Russian counterpart bemoaning the engagement of his best friend, and the Russian Barney arguing that he is Russian Ted’s best friend. The pineapple incident is related, as well, making the stories told to the Russian kids about as appropriate as the tales the US Ted chooses to share with his children.

Comedies are not the only shows to get Russian versions. Like the UK, Russia has had its own Law and Order counterpart for many years. And now, the America drama Prison Break will be getting a Russian adaptation. The story will be told over a 22 episode arc. It’s being made by Channel One Russia, and is their first adaption of an American drama.