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Disney to Air TV Show on Russian School, But Filmed in Estonia

A new television show developed by Disney and Channel One will feature the adventures of students at a Russian school — but all the filming will be carried out in Estonia.

The family-friendly show, “After School,” was made especially for the Russian market and will debut at midnight Friday on the state-run Channel One.

Each weekly episode will feature a ninth- or 10th-grade student at a regular Russian school.

But the series, the first to be produced under a collaboration between the U.S. entertainment giant and Channel One, will be filmed entirely in Tallinn, Interfax reported Tuesday, citing Channel One.

Co-producer Andrei Boltenko said the Baltic city was chosen for its “fabulous and nonbourgeois atmosphere,” Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported Monday.

The head of Disney Russia, Marina Zhigalovo-Ozkan, told the newspaper that the show feeds on the best traditions of Soviet TV shows such as “Prikluchenia Elektronika” (The Adventures of the Electronic Boy), which, incidentally, was also filmed in the Baltics, in this case Lithuania.

Channel One head Konstantin Ernst praised the show Tuesday as a “fresh” way to reach a young audience more tuned in to the Internet than television.

“I am delighted that our first joint project with Disney has turned out to be so fresh and not banal,” he said, Interfax reported. “I think this is the only way to interest a young audience brought up on the Internet.”

Several well-known actors will star in the series, including Sergei Shakurov in the role of the principal, Ksenia Rappoport as the deputy principal and Spanish teacher, and Mikhail Porechenkov as the PE teacher.

The show will air on Fridays at midnight and be suitable for all audiences. Nine episodes have been ordered so far.

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