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TV's Betty Goes Global: From Telenovela to International Brand

TV's Betty Goes Global: From Telenovela to International Brand

Edited by: Janet McCabe, Kim Akass

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Premiering in 2006,Ugly Betty, the award-winning US hit show about unglamorous but kind-hearted Betty Suarez (America Ferrera),is the latest incarnation of a worldwide phenomenon that started life as a Colombian telenovela,Yo soy Betty,la fea, back in 1999. The tale of the ugly duckling has since taken an extraordinary global journey and become the most successful telenovela to date. This groundbreaking book asks what the Yo soy Betty,la fea/Ugly Betty phenomenon can tell us about the international circulation of locally produced TV fictions as the Latin American telenovela is sold to,and/or re-made-officially and unofficially-for different national contexts. The contributors explore what Betty has to say about the tensions between the commercial demands of multimedia conglomerates and the regulatory forces of national broadcasters as well as the international ambitions of national TV industries and their struggle in competitive markets. They also investigate what this international trade tells us about cultural storytelling and audience experience,as well as ideologies of feminine beauty and myths of female desire and aspiration.

TV's Betty Goes Global features original interviews with buyers and schedulers,writers,story editors and directors,including the creator of Yo soy Betty, la fea, Fernando Gaitan

Table of Contents

‘Oh Betty, You Really Are Beautiful’ | Janet McCabe

Chapter 1 | The Whole World’s Unlikely Heroine: Ugly Betty as Transnational Phenomenon | Michele Hilmes
Chapter 2 | Our Betty: The Legacy of Yo soy Betty, la fea’s Success in Colombia | Yeidy M. Rivero
Chapter 3 | Acquiring Ugly Betty for Channel 4: Interview with Jeff Ford | Jean Chalaby
Chapter 4 | Interviews with TV Executives Involved in the German Adaptation, Verliebt in Berlin | Andrea Esser
Chapter 5 | Betty and Lisa: Alternating Between Sameness and Uniqueness | Bianca Lippert
Chapter 6 | Ugly Betty, Flemish Sara: Telenovela Adaptation and Generic Expectations | Alexander Dhoest and Manon Mertens
Chapter 7 | Recreating Betty’s World in Spain | Stefania Carini
Chapter 8 | Towards a Cultural Economy of Chou Nu (Nv) Wu Di: The Yo soy Betty, la fea Franchise in the People’s Republic of China | Xiaolu Ma and Albert Moran
Chapter 9 | How Ugly Can Betty Be in India? | Divya McMillin
Chapter 10 | Ugly Betty on Turkish Television: Updating Popular Cinema | Laurence Raw
Chapter 11 | Esti Ha’mechoeret: Ugly Esti as a Local and Successful Israeli Telenovela | Amit Lavie-Dinur and Yuval Karniel
Chapter 12 | The Greek Maria i Asximi: The Never-Ending Journey of a Myth | Betty Kaklamanidou
Chapter 13 | Czech Ugly Katka: Global Homogenization and Local Invention | Irena Carpentier Reifová and Zdenek Sloboda
Chapter 14 | Glamorously (Post) Soviet: Reading Yo soy Betty, la fea in Russia | Elena Prokhorova
Chapter 15 | Travelling Narratives and Transitional Life Strategies: Yo soy Bea and Ugly Betty | Paul Julian Smith
Chapter 16 | Our Betties, Ourselves | Dana Heller

Author Info

Janet McCabe is Honorary Research Fellow in TV Drama at Birkbeck, University of London. She is author of The West Wing and Feminist Film Studies. She has co-edited collections on contemporary US television including Reading Sex and the City and Quality TV: Contemporary American TV and Beyond (2007,both I.B.Tauris). She is a co-founding editor as well as managing editor of Critical Studies in Television journal. Along with Kim Akass, she is series editor of Tauris' Reading Contemporary Television series. Kim Akass is Lecturer in Cultural and Contextual Studies (Film and TV),University of Hertfordshire. Among the books in contemporary television she has co-edited are Reading Six Feet Under (2005),and Quality TV:Contemporary American TV and Beyond 2007,both I.B.Tauris). She is the author of Telematernity: Watching Mothers on Television I.B.Tauris forthcoming).She is a co-founding editor and managing editor of Critical Studies in Television,as well as series editor,with Janet McCabe,of Reading Contemporary Television series.


‘This terrific and timely collection’s distinct focus on the Yo soy Betty, la fea phenomenon allows for an impressively expansive inquiry into contemporary television and global popular culture.’
Tasha Oren, Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

'...there is much of great interest here. Beyond the financial operations involved – the only ones of any real interest to the market players – and the attempts by producers and writers to gauge in advance what will work for their local (national, in some cases regional) audiences, the real story of this collection is the way in which the different studies bear out the various theories of indigenisation which have emerged over the last decade or so: even in a globalising world audiences still prefer products which speak to their concerns and pleasures at the level of their everyday lives...'
Hugh O’Donnell, Media Education Journal

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: Reading Contemporary Television

ISBN: 9781780762678
Publication Date: 18 Dec 2012
Number of Pages: 272
Height: 216
Width: 134
Illustrations: illustrations

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