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TV-3 Channel

Programming Profile

Where ordinary meets extraordinary


Lily Sheroziya, chief marketing officer at Russia’s TV-3, outlines the broadcaster’s ambitions and explains why the country’s problem with missing people plays a key part in its programming strategy.


What does TV-3 bring to the Russian television market and what are its aims?
Our mission as a channel is to inspire the viewer, to arouse their curiosity and to broaden their perceptions of the world around them. Our channel’s positioning is where ordinary meets extraordinary, so we like to explore the realms of mystery, wonder and adventure.


Our slogan is ‘Turn on your imagination, turn on TV-3.’ We help people to keep on believing and to wonder; we help them to return to the freshness of childhood – a point when the world seemed so immense, it was an all-encompassing puzzle and they had inexhaustible strength and determination to solve it.


In those days, every encounter with the extraordinary was a thrill that would send a tingle down your spine, set your heart racing and leave you in no doubt that, at that moment, something incredible was happening to you. TV-3 broadcasts series, docu-dramas, reality, gameshows and documentaries that help viewers return to that state.


Lily Sheroziya, TV-3

Who watches TV-3?
TV-3 is one of the top seven most watched channels in Russia. TV-3’s market share has been growing consistently for the last eight years. During this time, we have energetically cultivated a primary audience that is young and predominantly female by offering up-to-date content and positioning ourselves accordingly. In June, our channel celebrated its 26th birthday by achieving new record viewing figures.


TV-3 has its own strongholds – airtime slots in which the channel has virtually no competitors. For example, TV-3 is the most watched broadcaster in the weekday pre-primetime slot for female viewers aged 14 to 44.


What has made results like these possible?
TV-3’s line-up features projects that serve as viewing drivers, attracting an extremely wide audience. These include the format-based reality show Survivor, as well as the film trilogy and miniseries Gogol, dedicated to Russia’s equivalent to Edgar Allan Poe, Nikolai Gogol, which has enjoyed record-breaking success on our channel.


TV-3 is also the home to a number of highly successful docu-dramas. These include The Elder and Signs of Destiny. These shows meet the needs of our audience not just at the level of entertainment, but also on an emotional, almost spiritual level. They are based on stories that are simultaneously extraordinary and highly relatable, and which offer the viewer certain insights into what to do in difficult situations.


Especially significant in this regard is docu-drama The Revenants, which we created in collaboration with Liza Alert, a leading volunteer organisation named in honour of a young girl whose disappearance would mark the beginning of a movement in Russia to find missing persons.


Although, very sadly, Liza could not be saved, our project continues to tell real stories of missing persons and the efforts made to find them. In statistical terms, more than 120,000 people go missing without a trace in Russia every year.


How is The Revenants produced?
We carefully select and tell stories of people who were miraculously saved – who survived, against all the odds. One of these is the story of a boy who decided to take a shortcut home and got lost in the woods. He spent six days trying to find his way home – surviving an encounter with a bear, sustaining himself on berries and enduring extremely low temperatures – before eventually being discovered 40 kilometres from his house, after virtually all hope of finding him alive had been lost.


Experts from The Revenants, who include representatives from national and regional search-and-rescue teams, provide TV-3’s viewers with advice on how to avoid getting lost, and what to do if they do get lost, including how to survive in Russia’s extreme natural environment. They also give advice on what to do when a loved one goes missing, how to become a search team volunteer and what skills can prove valuable in search operations.


Another of our channel’s most popular shows is our evening series line-up Dinner With a Detective. It aggregates popular and new series of normal people who find themselves in extraordinary situations, and of extraordinary people forced to deal with ordinary problems, and has brought our primetime enormous shares. Later this year, TV-3 viewers can look forward to supernatural procedural Third Eye Agency.


Third Eye Agency
Third Eye Agency

In which directions do you see TV-3 moving?
We intend to keep introducing TV-3 viewers to new, atmospheric detective series with plots that are sure to feature a certain twist, a certain mystery, unusual circumstances, and characters who break the typical detective genre mould.


The heroine of our new project Third Eye Agency, for example, is a tattoo-covered hipster whose psychic abilities have brought her only suffering and misery. She nevertheless decides to use her powers to help find people who have disappeared or have been kidnapped. Then, a former cop, who was kicked out of the force for a mistake that cost a life, turns to her for help. Although wrapped in a supernatural aura, the series is built on a powerful and entirely realistic dramatic foundation that helps viewers immerse themselves in the narrative and empathise with the characters. And, yes, this project also addresses the pressing issue of missing persons.


Russian True Crime
Russian True Crime

Which genres of TV are you particularly interested in developing?
We work continuously to develop documentary films, series and docu-dramas for the channel, which is driven by a strong belief in the potential of this format. Before The Revenants, we aired a number of other projects that helped our viewers take a fresh look at Russian reality, including true crime project Russian True Crime and the shows Interview and Taboo, which address acute social issues from which television has traditionally shied away.


We also decided to experiment with the supernatural side of TV-3 by launching TV-3 Dark, a sub-brand featuring short web series in the horror and thriller genres. These are stories – sometimes funny, but always frightening in an original way – produced in collaboration with both experienced writers of the genre and up-and-coming cinematographers. For us, TV-3 Dark is a place for experimentation, where we can learn more about the interests of our TV-3 audience while discovering new names in what has long been one of the genres most celebrated by cinema lovers.