And by "re-birth" I don't mean that Russia is re-inventing the genre of "sitcom" . . . it's literally just taking American sitcoms and serving them up in Russian. Anything from Married with Children to Who's the Boss? or The Nanny. And you know what? They are hugely popular! And it has something to do with the Russian economy.
From the article: "Sitcoms are typically grounded in middle-class life and poke fun at it. The popularity of Russian versions of “Married With Children” and other adaptations of American sitcoms suggests that Russia has gained enough stability and wealth in recent years that these jokes resonate with viewers."
Oddly enough, in the 90's when the Russian economy was on less stable ground sitcoms were a big flop on Russian TV. What did the population turn to? Dubbed versions of Latin American "telenovelas".
So if Russia's TV tastes are any predictor, the current turmoil in the US economy may soon translate from general malaise to high viewer-ship for "General Hospital". Viewer be warned.