Ron Howard and Brian Grazer prodco Imagine Entertainment will make the US version of the show, which follows an ordinary teacher who, after venting his spleen at the state of the country in a YouTube video, is persuaded to run for president. He wins the election, and the series follows his new life running the country.
Eccho Rights distributes the format and struck the Fox deal. The original show is produced by Ukrainian prodco Kvartal 95.
The producer has made two seasons of the show and recently began shooting a Servant of the People movie.
The finished series has been shopped into Estonia, Moldova and Kazakhstan, but the US format deal is a “breakthrough for the whole Ukrainian television industry” said Vladimir Zelenskiy, co-founder and creative producer of Kvartal 95.
“We are very proud to be the producers of the first Ukrainian series one of US Majors is acquiring the rights for,” he said.
“Servant of the People is such a strong comedy concept and is so relevant with the contemporary mistrust in politicians,” added Nicola Söderlund, managing partner at Eccho Rights. “From the first time I heard about it, I immediately thought that this going to be a hit. It’s simply a brilliant series.”
The deal was announced as Kiev Media Week gets underway. Ukraine’s TV industry has struggled in the wake of the conflict engulfing the country, but the event has continued, with several international distributors in attendance.