Discovery increases Russia activities

TLC to launch, use locally produced shows

Discovery Communications is ramping up in Russia.

It will increase programming and operations in the country, starting with the launch of its femme-skewed TLC network in January.

“Russia is one of the most dynamic markets in the world,” said prexy-CEO David Zaslav.

TLC’s programming will come from local producers, a first for Discovery, but the tone will remain similar to that of the net in the U.S.

One new program is “Like Mother, Like Daughter,” produced by Moscow-based company Mastiff, about mothers and daughters who get makeovers.

Discovery will use Russian celebrities to voice and host programs and will expand its Moscow office.

The Discovery Channel will also introduce a commercial-free science education block, called Crazy Break, on weekdays in early 2011. Its launch will be accompanied by a series of shorts from the makers of Discovery’s “Mythbusters.”

Zaslav said these initiatives are just the beginning of Discovery’s commitment in Russia, where it already has six channels.