|Genre||Children's television series|
|Created by||Joan Ganz Cooney (concept)
Jim Henson (concept)
|Country of origin||Russia
|No. of episodes||52|
|Original release||October 22, 1996|
The series debuted on October 22, 1996 on TV channels NTV and ORT and was themed in English, Life in an open society. The Muppet characters include a seven-foot-tall Dvorovoi (spirit) named Zeliboba and two monsters, Businka and Kubik. Natasha Lance Rogoff served as Executive Producer for Children's Television Workshop.
The second season on "optimism" was filmed in 1999 and broadcast on NTV and STS.
Filming the third season, the main theme was "Diversity in the world". The program was broadcast on television channel STS. In the third season, famous celebrities appeared on the show: actors Leo Durov and Mary Aronov, composer Grigory Gladkov, and opera singer Vyacheslav Voynorovsky.
In 2006, the show celebrated its 10th anniversary. Filming of the new fourth season took place in the spring of 2006 in the pavilions "Mosfilm". The premiere of the new season was broadcast on STS channel in September 2006. The city yard set is re-vamped to reflect a more realistic depiction of modern-day urban Russia. An intact oak tree grows in the center of this courtyard, and windows from surrounding houses face each other so neighbors can pop their heads out to greet one another. The set includes a creative art center and a playground with an urban backdrop of buildings that was made grittier, a bit grey, with Khrushchev-style buildings in the background. Businka and Kubik's rooms change into a two-story house with a balcony. New cast members include Yamila and Altin, who are two sisters, recently arrived in Russia from Kazakhstan.
The show tackled the issue of adoption by introducing a young boy named Kolya who was adopted by Aunt Dinara and her husband, Uncle Jura. Season 4 introduced a new recurring segment inspired by Prairie Dawn’s art show from Play with Me Sesame where Businka shows artwork done by kids. Famous celebrities include TV presenter Tina Kandelaki, actress Olga Prokofiev ("My Fair Nanny") and Ekaterina Guseva, Vladimir Turchinsky (Dynamo Moscow), Natasha Podolsk, Varvara, Vladimir Asimov, and children's group "Fidget".
- Zeliboba (Зелибоба), a 9-foot furry blue tree spirit who enjoys dancing and can smell music.
- Businka (Бусинка), a bright pink Muppet who finds joy in everything
- Kubik (Кубик), the resident pensive problem-solver
- Korzhik (Коржик), the Cookie Monster
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