‘Ugly Betty’ is getting a South African remake and we are here for it

Ugly Betty

The American film and TV landscape has a wealth of intellectual property that has inspired remakes and adaptations, especially in Nigeria. In 2013, Disney announced a deal with EbonyLife TV to make an African version of ABC’s Desperate Housewives, Hottest Bachelor Nigeria on Linda Ikeji TV replicates the structure of The Bachelor, and Nollywood have ostensibly rewritten movies after existing Hollywood IP.

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And now, Variety has reported that the ABC megahit Ugly Betty will have a South African remake, optioned by South Africa’s Known Associates Entertainment. Ugly Betty was inspired by the successful Colombian telenovela Betty La Fea, and revolves around Betty Suarez who, despite her lack of style, lands a job at a prestigious fashion magazine. “It is a great pleasure to be able to bring this evergreen home to South African audiences and we are looking forward to finding the best broadcaster for the series,” said Known Associates chairman Joel Phiri. “We intend to make it along much the same lines as the other successful ‘Ugly Bettys’: with a local flavour and in South African languages.”

The American version of Betty La Fea was created by Silvio Horta, and debuted in 2006 from executive producers Salma Hayek and Ben Silverman. The show ran for four seasons on ABC and its star America Ferrera went on to become the first Latina to win a lead actress Emmy. Known Associates is currently in talks to bring the series to local audiences and no release date has been announced yet.

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