Sony Pictures Television

Press Release


SONY PICTURES TELEVISION UNVEILS FIRST BESPOKE FORMAT FOR CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE


'THE EIGHTIES' set to launch at NATPE Budapest


Budapest, 11 June, 2012
- Sony Pictures Television (SPT) is launching a scripted series format developed specifically for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), with plans to unveil it at NATPE Budapest this month.

The EIGHTIES, a coming of age dramedy set in the time of Perestroika, was developed and produced by SPT Productions Russia and LEAN-M for the CTC network earlier this year.

In Russia, The EIGHTIES was a ratings powerhouse, the highest rated series of the year for CTC, beating the channel's prime time average rating for 16-34 year olds by 81%. CTC has also ordered a second series for broadcast later this year.

The EIGHTIES, set in Moscow in 1986, follows a group of college students coming into adulthood, just as the Soviet Union itself faced dramatic and sweeping changes. Freedom was most definitely in the air! For the first time, the youth of the nation could look to the West as a benchmark for the future. Eighteen year old Vanya and his friends tasted opportunity where once there was only restriction - and as the country grew up around them, so too did their hopes and dreams that life has more to offer than a factory job paying 120 roubles and endless evenings listening to forbidden songs in secret. Life, it seems, is full of love, of heartbreak, of friends and adventures that echo through time.

Jeff Lerner, svp scripted development, international production, SPT, said: "The EIGHTIES is set at the start of a dramatic period of change in history - politically, culturally and socially. This backdrop of a country experiencing so many 'firsts' provides a poignant parallel to our characters' lives as they experience the ups and downs of student life, romance, parties, friendship and family. The juxtaposition of these rites of passage, alongside the country's coming of age, allows for a shared experience that many CEE broadcasters will recognise as particularly resonant for their audiences."

SPT will also present non-scripted formats to buyers at NATPE Budapest, in particular its gameshow, Breakaway (from Gogglebox Entertainment), which has just been commissioned for a second series by the BBC, and its cross-generational music series, Cover Me (from Tuvalu Media) already licensed in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Portugal.

Other major formats recently licensed by SPT across CEE include gameshow Who Wants to be a Millionaire? in territories such as Russia, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Poland and Albania; talkshow, The Dr Oz Show, in Russia and Armenia; and sitcoms Everybody Loves Raymond, King of Queens in Russia, and Rules of Engagement in Poland.

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