10 TV Shows That Have Gained a Global Audience


Married with Children

The hottest TV show in Russia is about a shoe salesman with a mouthy wife and big hair. Oh, and let's not forget the two incorrigible teenagers. Sound familiar? "Married with Children," which satirizes middle class life in the United States, is astoundingly popular in Russia. How popular? Well there's an authorized version of the show with a Russian cast. The Russian version is very well-liked among younger viewers, and the cast are household names [source: Levy].

America's "Married with Children" ran from 1987 to 1997. Its Russian counterpart, "Schastlivy Vmeste," which means "Happy Together," takes place in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg instead of Chicago. The names of the two main characters (Al and Peg Bundy) are Gena and Dasha Bukin. Instead of railing on American middle class life, the show centers on the lives of a Russian middle class family [source: Levy].

Russians began watching sitcoms, both foreign and domestic, during the economically distressing times of the 1990s when the nation was on the verge of economic ruin. The shows did not do well. Instead, Russians turned to Latin American soap operas. Now, the situation comedy has a wider audience, mainly because the Russian economy has ticked up. "The Nanny" and "Who's the Boss" are also popular there [source: Levy].