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Bookaboo opened in Russia

03 April 2017

Bafta-winning UK children’s series Bookaboo, which aired on CiTV in the UK, the CBC in Canada and Amazon Video internationally, has been remade in Russia.

The country’s largest state children’s TV channel, Carousel, and local SVoD service Start have launched a Russian version of the format, which comes from UK prodco Happy Films.

It comes after Happy Films linked with Russian children’s content production company StoryTime to remake the show in Russia as 12×12′ series.

Bookaboo is the first international format commissioned by Carousel and also marks Start’s first original children’s production in partnership with the broadcaster.

Designed to encourage a love of sharing books, the show features a puppet puppy who tours the globe with his band but can’t play unless he has a story read to him.

It features celebrity guests dropping by backstage to share their favourite picture books and coax him back to his drums. The format was created, produced and co-directed by Lucy Goodman, CEO of Happy Films.

The original UK-produced show has featured celebrities including Michael Sheen, Paula Abdul, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon, Meatloaf, Antonio Brown and Mel C.

It premiered on CiTV in the UK in 2009. The show’s third and fourth seasons were coproduced in Canada in 2013 and 2016 with Sinking Ship Entertainment for CBC Canada and Amazon Studios. Bookaboo currently streams on Amazon Video in the US, the UK, Japan and Germany.

The Russian adaptation of the show includes footage, animation and books from the original series read by leading Russian celebrities including actors Andrey Burkovskiy and Olga Shelest.

Tatyana Tsyvareva, editor-in-chief of Carousel TV, said: "We are very pleased to present such a unique, internationally acclaimed show for children and parents on Carousel TV. It’s very important, in our digital age, that reading books remains a valued activity that brings families together. We hope to inspire audiences to read more."