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Docusoap zooms in on Russia’s rich

Putin's patch exposed to reality treatment

MOSCOW — Russia’s plushest neighborhood is to become the subject of a TV format series.

Produced by NTV, and directed by reality show vet Grigory Lyubomirov, “Rublevka. Live” will examine the dramas and characters of inhabitants of Moscow suburb Rublevskoye Shosse. Show will target some of those who dwell in three of its pres-tigious settlements.

As well as many of Russia’s new rich, the area is also home to President Vladimir Putin and many prominent state officials.

“Rublevka — it’s all of Russia in miniature, with its president, government, rich and poor,” Lyubomirov told local paper Izvestiya.

Helmer said that although stories will begin in Rublevka, they may then move on to Moscow or indeed anywhere else in the country. Real players, including the likes of artists, actors and television personalities, will be mixed in with some actors.

Lyubomirov, who was involved with Russia’s 2001 “Behind the Glass” reality show which drew on the likes of “Big Brother” (though it wasn’t licensed from that format’s right holders), has termed his new project “ser-reality,” mixing reality show elements with more traditional series storyline developments. Others in the industry are comparing the format with docu-soaps.

Helmer said that he’s convinced the show potential to run and run.

He cites “EastEnders” as an inspiration, saying the Brit sudser excels at catching the human stories of an enclosed environ-ment. That may be where similarities end, however. The dramas of gold taps and armed bodyguards for the kids is a world away from the lives of most Cockneys of Albert Square.

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