Universal Kids to Release Russian Series 'Masha and the Bear' In U.S.
The series is part of Russia's most successful international animation franchise.
Universal Kids, the rebranded Sprout, will release the Russian animated series Masha and the Bear on television in the U.S., Animaccord, the series' production company, said.
Masha and the Bear is part of Russia's best known international children's franchise, which includes three seasons of the original series and two spin-offs.
The series premiered on Russian television in 2009 and has since been distributed in Italy, Germany, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and, most recently, China.
Episodes of the series are also available on YouTube where Masha and the Bear is a popular series. The franchise's episode Recipe for Disaster is in the top six most watched YouTube videos of all time, with over 2.45 billion views.
In the U.S., the animated series premiered on Netflix in 2015 and a line of the franchise's licensed toys was released by Spin Master at Toys R' Us in 2016.
In 2015, the producers' revenue from licensing agreements and sales of Masha and the Bear merchandise totaled $225 million, with more than half of the total revenue coming from outside Russia.