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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

TV6 Pulls Plug on Parody 'Itogo'

MTShenderovich said "Itogo" had run its course and a new show will be launched soon.
The "Itogo" television program, which for five years has mocked the oddities espoused by the country's politicians and offered a smart socio-cultural commentary on the week's news, will be broadcast for the last time Saturday after TV6 pulled the plug on the show.

Viktor Shenderovich, who hosted "Itogo," or "Total," from its inception on NTV television and then on TV6, is working on another program for launch in the spring.

"Itogo" is one of several programs that creators took with them to TV6 after NTV's politically charged takeover in April. Although NTV has since sued TV6 for rights to the shows, both stations said Thursday that the decision to cancel "Itogo" had nothing to do with the legal disputes.

Shenderovich said Thursday that the main reason was the show had run its course. The program's format no longer works in a political landscape lacking the colorful personalities of the freewheeling President Boris Yeltsin era, he said.

"Itogo" is a parody of "Itogi," or "Results," an informational-analytical program hosted by Yevgeny Kiselyov, former general director of NTV and current general director of TV6. Shenderovich -- the satirist behind NTV's "Kukly" puppet show -- said his program was "informational-parasitical."

"Life has changed and so changed the people who make up the political picture of our country," TV6 spokeswoman Tatyana Blinova agreed. "It was begun when there were people like [Prime Minister] Viktor Chernomyrdin -- a treasure trove of verbal creativity. Today, everybody wears gray suits, everybody speaks more or less good Russian and says more or less the right things. There is much less raw material for the program."

Shenderovich refused to disclose the concept of his new program but said it will keep the "Itogo" flavor of "an ironic commentary on the political and socio-cultural life of the country."

The U.S. State Department has voiced concern about the fate of TV6 ahead of a bankruptcy hearing in the Supreme Arbitration Court on Friday.

"We continue to urge Russian officials to ensure that TV6 gets a full and fair hearing and ensure that press freedom and the rule of law can be best served by keeping TV6 on the air," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Wednesday in Washington, Reuters reported.