KyivPost

‘Made in Ukraine’ animated TV political satire could hit airwaves

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Aug. 7, 2012, 4:57 p.m. | None — by Mark Rachkevych


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Mark Rachkevych

Mark has been a reporter for the Kyiv Post since 2006, but joined full-time in 2009. A native Chicagoan where he was the co-founder of the now defunct Glasshouse Magazine, Mark currently is an editor of business news and still contributes stories on an ongoing basis. He is a former U.S. Peace Corps volunteer, a graduate of St. Norbert College in Wisconsin, and fluent in the Ukrainian and Russian languages.

As early as the 2013 TV season, American audiences could be laughing in their living rooms to an animated political comedy series created by a Ukrainian public relations company.

With the working title “Desperate White House,” audiences will get a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the White House through eight staff members with flawed, politically incorrect character traits.

They range from the wayward security boss Emmanuel who is a grumbling ex-dictator from Haiti to the cynical French chef Luc who is convinced that McDonald’s restaurant is the work of the devil.

Together, viewers get to spy on the improbable group that really calls the shots in the most powerful nation in the world.

“I’m sorry, Mr. President, I’m not into those kinds of kinky things,” says Hanna, the dim-witted Polish bombshell doctor, in response to U.S. President Barack Obama’s question on whether she would like to go into the annals of White House history on her 40th birthday.

Another character is Charles the butler, who is an unflappable upper-class Brit who never loses his cool. When he heard Obama declare in Congress that “Time was running out for the terrorists,” he responded, “They had better hurry up then, hadn’t they?”

The creators of MuPoToon – music, politics, cartoons – are a group of Western-educated Ukrainian spin doctors from CFC who say that an angel investor has invested some $350,000 into the product over four years.

But a CFC representative told the Kyiv Post the series is potentially worth millions of dollars.

CFC managing partner Gennadiy Kurochka noted that the tongue-in-cheek comedy won’t hold much back, just like the Simpsons – America’s longest-running TV series – and South Park.

The group is in the conceptual stage so far with Hollywood’s Electra Star Management as their exclusive agent in the U.S.

“We received a lot of positive feedback from our partners in the industry and believe that it will do well in the American market and, hopefully, worldwide,” e-mailed Michael Blakey, president of Electra Star Management.

CFC’s Kurochka told the Kyiv Post that the group is currently in talks with a U.S. talent agency. But Electra’s Blakey added that Ron White, the number one touring comedian in the U.S., is on board as one of the character voices in the series.

According to Kurochka, the talent agency will be responsible for the all-round promotion of the project, not just the voice-over artists.

Jointly with ElectraStar they will participate in negotiating deals with TV networks, organize the project’s advertisement and product placement, run the promotion of the series through various platforms and develop models for generating cash flow from merchandising and other means.

“I’ll also be negotiating the involvement of some of Hollywood’s most successful writers and show runners (executive producers),” said Blakey. “When we have our celebrity team and all the necessary components in place, our Ukrainian partners will visit Los Angeles and we will do a set of meetings with high level TV networks executives.”

CFC’s Kurochka said he expects to meet with six to seven TV networks as early as this fall.

Kurochka added that it will take his team one year to make 26 episodes that are 22 minutes in length. Although the scripts so far have been written in Ukraine, he said they’ve identified several more writers to adapt the material to the U.S. market.

“It is early yet to say when the series will be broadcast, but taking into account the excitement with which the animated series have been perceived by many of our counterparts, we are hopeful that it may happen within the next year,” said Electra’s Blakey.

Kyiv Post staff writer Mark Rachkevych can be reached at rachkevych@kyivpost.com.

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Mykhayl Aug. 7, 2012, 5:48 p.m.    

Слава Ісу~

QUOTE: "...The group is in the conceptual stage so far with Hollywood’s Electra Star Management as their exclusive agent in the U.S...
“We received a lot of positive feedback from our partners in the industry and believe that it will do well in the American market and, hopefully, worldwide..." QUIT QUOTE

Will they remember the North American Ukrainian Diaspora experience which was a successful unofficial Ukrainian State Department from 1920 to 90?

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David Willcox Aug. 7, 2012, 11:47 p.m.    

Yanuckovych and Sons~now that is a laugh!

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Phill M Aug. 8, 2012, 7:33 a.m.    

Why not change the setting to the Rada and call it "Zookriania"?

Oh, wait... it's not a historical documentary they are doing, but a cartoon...

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Esben Ridder Aug. 8, 2012, 5:54 p.m.    

Sounds like fun, but I'm still holding out for a Ukrainian version satirizing Yanukovych and his ilk. OK, arguably it would be too easy. Could just be 22 minutes of showing his big, stupid, babylike face and running a tickertape repeating: "This man is president. No, seriously, he is. Really he is"

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CarlitosFritos Aug. 9, 2012, 5:51 p.m.    

"Made in Ukraine" smells good... I hope to enjoy it in Catalan as soon as posible. Opss, I did it again... Olga, I love you!

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