Classic American sitcom in Russia made a strange remake

Russia is known for its opera, ballet and literature. But they are not entirely known for their sitcoms. Unlike the British and Americans, the Russians were never really into sitcoms until 2004. While they did have several successful sketch comedies and improvisation comedies on television, scripts never made it to the homes of nearly every citizen of the country. However, according to fascinating article from MEL MagazineThis changed when Russia got the rights to Nanny and converted it into My Fair Nanny, aka My Fair Nanny.


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After the success of the series, the producers tried to find another American sitcom that they were developing for the Russian audience. They ended up choosing the incredibly successful Married With Children. While there is no shortage of overrated sitcoms, Married With Children is not. Although it was a hit in the US when it aired in 1987-1997 and then reruns thanks to syndication, it became an even bigger hit in Russia. This is the real reason that married with children were chosen as adapted for Russian audience and how big it got …


Why married with children were chosen for Russia, not friends

My Fair Nanny became a hit and became the best Russian comedy of all time. This continued until 2006, when Happy Together was aired. The show was nearly identical to FOX’s Married With Children in all shapes and sizes. While some of the jokes from the show have been changed to better match the feelings of the Russians, their sense of humor and character names have been changed, mostly the same.


‚ÄúSince about 2004, Sony Pictures Television International has started doing business in Russia. They first licensed the sitcom Nanny and then licensed a Colombian telenovela that was very popular. [Yo Soy Betty, La Fea, which was adapted to Ugly Betty in America]”Dmitry Troitsky, former general producer of TNT in Russia, told MEL Magazine.” This was to compete with our network, so we thought, “What else can American classic television give us?” The choice was obvious: married … with children. “


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Despite the fact that “Married Children” is not the largest sitcom in American history, Russian producers were most eager to adapt to it. While many thought Seinfeld, Friends, or Hurray would be their first choice, they turned out to be too specific to American culture.


“There were other variations, like Cheers and Friends, but it’s very difficult to replicate. [in Russia]… Cheers is a bar culture that is very American culture. The way of life in “Friends” is very different from the Russian one. “But married … with children” is a family, a dysfunctional family, so we thought, “Why not try it?” – Dmitry explained.


In addition, the Russians have prepared over 250 episodes of Married with Children to adapt them to their audience. It’s a ton of episodes, so it’s no surprise why Ed O’Neill was paid so much to play Al Bundy. At the time, Russian producers would not accept a series with less than 100 episodes. Given the sheer number of episodes and the translatability of Married With Children, the series was a perfect fit.

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Success of Russian married children

Despite the fact that Russia is full of great actors thanks to their rich theatrical culture, sitcoms were alien to them. So they needed American help when they tried to make it happen. They received tremendous help from Sony who took part in the show. While it could have been a gamble for them, it paid off in the end.


Although they changed many of the jokes to suit the Russian audience, the overall feel and characterization remained the same. They also hired a group of truly spectacular actors who could really connect with the working audience. In order to “Happy Together” gained popularity among the public, it soon became a real mega-hit. So much so that the show has surpassed its American predecessor in duration. Therefore, I had to write more than a hundred episodes for the show from scratch.

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Happy Together was also a huge financial success and made the cast a household name. So much so that the man who played Gena Bukin, the Russian version of Al Bundy, was given a life-size statue in the city where the performance was taking place. The show’s success also inspired Russian comedy writers to create their own sitcoms, opening the doors to a whole new television industry in the country.


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