TV Adaptations on the Rise in Russia

U.S. formats account for most of the adapted content like "Everybody Loves Raymond" "Ne Rodis Krasivoy" and "Moya Prekrasnaya Nyanya"; advertising sales increased 18 percent to $4.3 billion in 2011.

MOSCOW – The number of Russian adaptations of foreign TV shows went up by one third in 2011, reaching the figure before the 2008 economic downturn. The United States remains the biggest supplier of formats to the local television market.

According to a study, which was recently conducted by KVG Research and covered eight of the country’s major federal channels, 41 new adapted shows premiered in 2011, a 28 percent increased from the previous year. The figure is on par with that from 2008, when 42 foreign shows were adapted by Russian channels. The next year, however, saw a 24 percent decline.

Just like in previous years, the United States provided the majority of formats adapted in Russia, with American shows accounting for nearly 40 percent of all adaptations, followed by Great Britain.

“Over the last seven years, US formats have accounted for a share between 34 percent and 44 percent of all adapted content,” Galina Kolomiets, a media analyst at KVG Research, told The Hollywood Reporter, adding that in 2012, competition between formats from the United States and Great Britain is likely to continue.

Between 2005 and 2011, the timeframe covered by the study, game shows were the most popular adapted format on Russian television. However, over the last couple of years, the focus has been shifting more towards entertainment and infotainment.

“As for our forecast for 2012, we expect further growth of the share of adapted products for young audiences,” KVG Research said, adding that the increase in the number of adaptations is largely fueled by the growth of TV advertising sales, which increased by 18 percent to $4.3 billion in 2011, from the previous year.

Among the most successful adapted shows on Russian television include the Sony Pictures Television produced series Schastlivy Vmeste (adapted from the U.S. sitcom Married With Children), Ne Rodis Krasivoy (adapted from the Columbian telenovella Yo Soy Betty La Fea), Voronini (a version of Everybody Loves Raymond produced in Russia by Sony Pictures Television) and Tantsy So Zvyozdami, the local version of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.