The TV comedy that launched the political career of Ukraine’s president is fast becoming a global streaming hit amid the prolonged international focus on actor-turned-president Volodymyr Zelensky, the main player resisting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“You asked and it’s back,” Netflix wrote on Wednesday, announcing the return of the 2015 satirical show “Servant of the People”, which stars Zelenksy as a teacher who unexpectedly becomes president after becoming famous on YouTube.
Zelenksy, whose character is elected president after a clip in which he complains about corruption goes viral, was himself elected president in real life after the show was widely watched across Ukraine.
While Netflix is launching the show for US viewers, in Europe, the French-German broadcaster Arte says it has registered an increasing interest in the TV show.
“Due to the high level of public interest in the person of Volodymyr Zelensky, Arte decided to buy the series in autumn 2021,” the broadcaster told dpa. “The current developments in Ukraine have significantly increased this interest.”
In the UK, broadcaster Channel 4 has snapped up the series and has been streaming it online to viewers. Distributor Eccho Rights has also sold the show to MBC in the Middle East, ANT 1 in Greece and PRO TV in Romania, according to entertainment industry news website Deadline.
The show loaned its name to Zelensky’s political party, the Servant of the People party, whose pro-NATO and pro-EU policies have become the target of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The first two seasons of “Servant of the People” are also available free to watch on YouTube.