CBS Studios International Acquires Rights to Russian Sitcom

The deal for "Kukhnya" marks the first one of that kind for a Russian TV format in a long time.

MOSCOW -- CBS Studios International has acquired international distribution and adaptation rights to the popular Russian TV series Kukhnya (Kitchen), produced by Yellow, Black and White.

Under the agreement, signed by Yellow, Black and White’s distributor, All Media, after several months of negotiations, CBS will distribute the TV series globally, except for CIS countries, France, Israel and Bulgaria.

“We are very glad to enter into collaboration with CBS,” Yevgeny Pivovarov, All Media’s development director, said in a statement. “Kitchen is a top-quality TV series, which will now be appreciated by viewers all over the world. And the presence of such a strong partner is certainly set to give them that opportunity in the nearest future.”

Set in the kitchen of one of Moscow’s restaurant, Kitchen is one of the most expensive Russian sitcoms, with the budget of every episode reported to be $200,000. The series debuted on the network CTC in fall 2012. Currently, the series’ third season is being filmed.

A feature film based on the series, Kukhnya v Parizhe (Paris Kitchen), is also in production, with the release scheduled for the spring of 2014.

The CBS deal comes as a rare occasion when a Russian TV format is being picked up for global distribution. So far, the most successful Russian TV product has been the children’s cartoon series Smeshariki, which was adapted in several countries, including the United States, where it was aired on The CW as GoGoRiki.