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CBS Studios Intn’l in ‘unprecedented’ Russian deal

CBS Studios International has acquired distribution and format rights to Russian comedy Kuknya (The Kitchen) – a deal the US firm is claiming is the first of its kind.

CBSSI has signed a deal with the show’s distributor All Media to take on international distribution rights. The US studio will sell the finished tape in all territories except the CIS, France, Israel and Bulgaria, and format and production rights in all territories excluding the CIS.

CBS claimed its acquisition marked “the first time an American major studio, which distributes a large number of globally popular TV series, has acquired the distribution rights of a Russian production outside CIS”. Sony Pictures Television did acquire distribution to Poor Anastasia back in 2004, though it did not exploit the format rights.

All Media has distribution rights to The Kitchen in Russia and the CIS.

The Kitchen is a 40-part comedy that Yellow, Black and White production studio created for Russian broadcaster CTC in 2012. It scored around five million viewers daily and is said to be the most watched VOD series on Russian platforms.

All Media’s VP, business development Evgeny Pivovarov said: “The Kitchen is a TV show of an outstanding quality, and now audiences all over the world have the chance to enjoy it. Having such a strong partner ensures us the audiences will undoubtedly get this opportunity in the near future.”

Producer Yellow, Black and White is behind popular Russian series such as Last of the Mohicyans, Two Fathers and Two Sons and Brothers for Exchange.