Channel One to open 'Office' in Russia

Red Square will produce 24 half-hours of the comedy

LONDON -- Russia's Channel One is throwing open its doors to a local version of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's "The Office."

BBC Worldwide said Thursday that it has sold local version rights to the Russian broadcaster, which will make 24 half-hour episodes via production company Red Square.

BBC Worldwide Russia sales chief Ben Donald said it is the first scripted format the Beeb has licensed to Russia.

BBC Worldwide has licensed local versions of "The Office" to France and Canada. The most recent is set to air in Chile next month with Manuel, a Latino David Brent, at the helm.