Endemol really in Russia

'Triunfo,' 'Brother' to air with Moscow TV co. Studio Ivan

AMSTERDAM — Spanish Endemol format hit “Operacion Triunfo” and “Big Brother,” which has aired in 20 countries, are packing their bags for Russia.

ORT, a general entertainment network covering most of Russia, will launch “Triunfo” on Oct. 13 and “Big Brother” in January. Both will be produced in collaboration with Moscow TV company Studio Ivan.

In “Triunfo,” 16 musicians will compete against each other, live together and receive training that will enable them to become stars if they’ve got the right stuff.

They will release recordings during the three months the program is airing, and the winner will walk away with a recording contract and the chance to perform a major live concert.

“Big Brother” will start off with 12 contestants and, as with “Operacion Triunfo,” viewers will choose the winner who will get a major cash prize.

Endemol will act as production supervisor and consultant to ORT and Studio Ivan on the programs.

A year ago Endemol chairman John de Mol told Daily Variety his company was wary about entering Russia because of the high level of piracy. His fears apparently have subsided enough to take the risk.

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