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Russia goes beyond Raymond remake

Sony Pictures Television is developing 60 original Russian episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond, having used up all the scripts from the US comedy in its earlier adaptation.

It’s the first time a full season of the format will be written and produced outside the US, continuing the storyline beyond the original, according to SPT, which has adapted Raymond in Russia for CTC as The Voronins.

SPT has now reproduced all 210 original US episodes, with scripts running out towards the end of the last season.

Russian and US scriptwriters will now collaborate in Moscow to develop the additional episodes. The team consists of Russian writers and a US consultant Jeremy Stevens, who worked on the original US series.

Production will begin in spring/summer next year with broadcast expected later in 2012.

“SPT’s local sitcom adaptations have thrived in Russia to such an extent that demand for local adaptation is outstripping the original US supply,” said the company’s Russian VP and general director Maria Smirnova. “We’re really looking forward to seeing what the two development teams create.”

SPT’s production studio in Russia has also started shooting season six of Married With Children (known locally as Happy Together) for TNT channel in Russia, with a 50-episode order. This will make a total of 374 episodes, of which 119 will have been written especially for Russian audiences.

This month sees SPT launch its Russian version of CBS sitcom, The King of Queens (known locally as Newlyweds), also for CTC.

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