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Get ready for Russian versions of Kate Gosselin and 'Cake Boss'

September 29, 2010 |  8:40 am

Get ready for the Russian version of Kate Gosselin and "Cake Boss."

Discovery Communications, parent of some of the biggest cable networks in the United States, including Discovery Channel and TLC, detailed plans to expand into Russia.

"Russia is one of the most dynamic markets in the world and Discovery Communications is focused on increasing a number of high quality services from our brand portfolio in the market," Discovery Chief Executive David Zaslav said in a statement.

Among the ventures the company is launching in Russia are a new version of TLC for the region. TLC has become one of the driving forces of Discovery in the U.S., with shows such as "Cake Boss" and personalities including Kate Gosselin, who rose to fame after the reality show "Jon & Kate Plus 8" took off. Just this week, TLC premiered "Sister Wives," about a Utah man who lives with three different women with whom he has fathered children. Later this year, it will launch a show featuring former vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

Among the shows that will be on the Russian version of TLC is "Like Mother, Like Daughter," a makeover show that will be done by a Moscow-based production firm.

But makeover shows won't be the only thing Discovery Communications will import. There will also be a bloc of commercial-free science education shows called "Crazy Break" that the company said it hopes will "inspire young people's passion for science, mathematics and engineering."

Discovery already has seven channels operating in Russia, but the expansion is aimed at increasing local productions so the channels are more than just a rehash of what is shown in the U.S.

-- Joe Flint

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