American TV show Sex And The City continues to leave its mark on the viewing public - a copycat series is about to be launched in Russia.

Russia's NTV commercial channel has launched BALZAKOVSKIY VOZRAST (THE BALZAC AGE), which focuses on four Moscow women over 30 and their trials and tribulations in love.

The show - whose title is inspired by French writer HONORE DE BALZAC who wrote that women over 30 were "the greatest ladies in Paris" - will star YULIA MENSHOVA as VERA, a psychoanalyst who narrates the ups and downs of her girlfriends' love lives.

A spokesman for NTV says, "After the resounding success of Sex and the City throughout Russia, it became clear that our fellow countrywomen's search for true love and their funny dialogue are closer and dearer to viewers than those of their prototypes overseas."

The show's screenwriter MAKSIM STISHOV says the idea for a no-holds-barred, all-woman comedy that would also appeal to men first entered his head five years ago, but "the audience was not ready for that kind of openness then".

He adds, "Sex and the City prepared the ground for talking about relationships between men and women more freely, from a less traditional point of view."

28/05/2004 20:09