chapter  8
20 Pages

Domesticating the Western Format on Russian TV: Subversive Glocalisation in the Game Show Pole Chudes (The Field of Miracles)

In this article, I set out to show that neither ‘imperialist’ nor ‘reception’ theories on

their own can fully explain the situation in contemporary Russian television.

Combining semiotic strategies and audience research, I focus on the example of Pole

chudes (hereafter Pole) (Field of Miracles), the Russian adaptation of the world-

famous television format Wheel of Fortune (hereafter Wheel), to analyse the specific

case of subversive glocalisation and the tensions that it provokes. According to the

sociologist Roland Robertson, who popularised the term glocalisation, it ‘means the

simultaneity-the co-presence-of both universalizing and particularizing tendencies’

(Robertson 1997, p. 4). Glocalisation resists the globalisation project by interpreting

the global through the local. In the sphere of television and popular culture it is an

established phenomenon, as is shown in the work of Michael Skomvand, Kim Christian

Schrøder, AlbertMoran and Francis Bonner. Their analysis of the adaptations of global

television formats in different countries reveals that these formats are used as carriers

which are filled with specific cultural content by each national television. Kai Hafez

takes this argument even further and argues that globalisation is no more than a myth

and is often confused with modernisation, which acts as a stimulus for the independent

development of each specific culture (Hafez 2007, p. 172).