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Broadcast Firsts

Syndication (Foreign) - In 1987, MCA and Paramount Pictures negotiated a long term package deal with China's only national network, China Central Television (CCT). This historical hands across the ocean agreement called for the USA distributors to supply programs one night a week between 8:00 P.M. and 10:00 P.M..

Officials from the People's Republic of China chose COLUMBO/NBC/1971-77, FAMILY AFFAIR/CBS/1966-71, MARCUS WELBY, M.D./ABC/1969-76 and STAR TREK/NBC/1966-69.

In the past, CBS broke the ice by broadcasting some limited music and sports specials, but a continuing, fixed weekly schedule was a first. The programs aired to over 400 million Chinese viewers.

On January 8, 1989 FRAGGLE ROCK, the children's puppet program created by Jim Henson, became the first American television series to be broadcast in the Soviet Union.

In 1991, talk show host Geraldo Rivera became the first talk show personality from the West to be scheduled on a daily basis in the USSR on Moscow's Channel 2X2. The first program aired March 1st and featured a segment about the death of Elvis Presley. According to Geraldo, he anticipated there would be a spin-off of the series within a year starring a homegrown Russian Geraldo-like host.

In 1995, the Carsey-Werner Company's GRACE UNDER FIRE starring Brett Butler became the first US sitcom to run in a regular time slot on Russian television. The hit ABC show began airing April 10 on the Russia's TV 6 network. Until this time half-hour comedies from the US never aired regularly on Russian TV. The series was carried in English with a Russian voice-over explaining the story.

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