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Turner Licenses Russian Animated Series ‘Masha and the Bear’

LONDON — Turner Broadcasting System has licensed season two of Russian animated series “Masha and the Bear” to run on pre-school channel Cartoonito in the U.K.

Season one is being broadcast six times a day on the channel, including weekends, and it is one of its top three most popular shows.

Major broadcasters screen the show in more than 100 countries, including KIKA (Germany), France TV (France), Boomerang (Latam), Rai YoYo (Italy) and others. It has recently been picked up by SIC, the leading free-to-air station in Portugal, and Canal Panda in Spain. “Masha” also airs in South Korea and Indonesia.

The series, which was created by Oleg Kuzovkov in 2008, was recently nominated for Cartoons on the Bay’s Pulcinella Awards in the TV series for preschool category. “Masha” was the only participant from Russia.

“Masha” was recognized at the 2015 Kidscreen Awards, scooping the prize for best animation in the creative talent category.

The Turner deal was closed at MipTV in Cannes, where the series was presented as part of the Russian Cinema stand.

Vladimir Gorbulya, head of licensing at Masha and the Bear and VP at Animaccord Corp., said: “Our main goal at MipTV was to meet with channels and distributors who had already bought the rights for ‘Masha’ and were interested in buying the rights for the second season. ‘Masha’ has already established a very good reputation in Europe and Latin America, which is why the new heights we are going to achieve are the main Asian markets and the U.S.”

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