Russians get into ‘The Office’

Red Square to make show for Channel One

Russia is set to become the latest country to produce its own local version of hit BBC comedy “The Office.”

In its first scripted format deal to Russia, BBC Worldwide has licensed the format to Channel One, the country’s leading web, which will make 24 episodes of the laffer through its affiliated production company Red Square.

Under the editorial supervision of BBC Worldwide’s executive producer Duncan Cooper, the broadcaster has the rights to develop new storylines around local characters, beyond the original 13 scripts, in order to make a longer running series.

“Russia is an important territory for us,” said Ben Donald, BBC Worldwide’s head of sales for the country. “We’ve had much success with other formats such as ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ ‘Junior Mastermind’ and most recently ‘Great Russians,’ which is causing huge debate in the media.”

Created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the original series has sold to more than 70 countries around the world, with local versions licensed to the U.S., France, Canada and Chile.

The Chilean version is set to debut next month on Channel 13, with Luis Gnecco playing the role of the smug boss Manuel.

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