Home Television Comedy Ivan The Terrible

Ivan The Terrible

1 9 7 6 (USA)
5 x 30 minute episodes

Ivan Petrovsky (Lou Jacobi) was the head waiter at the Hotel Metropole in Moscow. His wife Olga (Maria Karnilova) drove a truck and worked on a construction crew.

They lived together with seven others and an unseen, vicious Russian wolfhound named Rasputin in a tiny one-bedroom apartment.

Under the same roof were Olga’s first husband Vladimir (Phil Leeds) who was a chess champion; Ivan’s subway conductor mother-in-law, Tatiana (Despo Diamantidou); son Nikolai (Alan Cauldwell) who was a cosmonaut with a fear of heights; Nikolai’s wife Svetlana (Nana Tucker) who was a ballerina; daughter Sonya (Caroline Kava) and young son Sascha (Matthew Barry), the only one without a job and the only one who could control Rasputin.

The only non-family member was Raoul Sanchez (Manuel Martinez), an exchange student from Cuba who had lived with the family for four years but still spoke no Russian.

Five episodes were videotaped taped before a live audience at CBS Broadcast Center, Studio 41 in New York City. Although the show got good ratings, the US State Department (under pressure from the Soviet Government) gave instructions that it should not be renewed.

Ivan Petrovsky
Lou Jacobi
Olga Petrovsky
Maria Karnilova
Phil Leeds
Despo Diamantidou
Nikolai Petrovsky
Alan Cauldwell
Svetlana Petrovsky
Nana Tucker
Sonia Petrovsky
Caroline Kava
Sascha Petrovsky
Matthew Barry
Raoul Sanchez
Manuel Martínez