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 phemen that started life as a Colombian televela,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 televela to date. This groundbreaking book asks what the Yo soy Betty,la fea/Ugly Betty phemen can tell us about the international circulation of locally produced TV fictions as the Latin American televela is sold to,and/or re-made-officially and ufficially-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
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.