Betty, the Plaigarist?

15 01 2007

The dust has settled on the UK Ugly Betty hype, and the second week figures were respectable. 3.2 million tuned in, a drop of 1.1 million from the premiere. But a fair portion of that can be attributed to it’s celebrity big brother lead-in, and a promotional campaign that I feel was misleading, giving people the impression that the show was more laugh out loud comedy as opposed to the light-hearted soap opera that it is. What’s starting to bother me is viewers and even esteemed TV critics saying that Ugly Betty is a shameless rip-off of “The Devil Wears Prada“. Here are the facts.

Yo Soy, Betty La Fea (I am Betty, the Ugly) started in 1999 on Colombian network RC1, and ran until 2001. The original was a success all over the world (except notably, in the UK) and spawned many remakes, from France, India, Israel and more recently Germany and the US. Click here for images of the actress who played the original Ugly Betty, Ana María Orozco.

The Devil Wears Prada was written by Lauren Weisberger in 2003, and released as a motion picture in the Summer last year. 20th Century Fox plan to make a TV series of the film this year.

We are living in an age where it is so easy to do a bit of research before you finish your article, or shout your mouth off on some forum, it amazes me how few people do their fact checking. What viewers in the UK should really be asking is, why didn’t we remake our own version of Ugly Betty, instead of importing in the US version?




2 responses

15 01 2007

Probably because in the UK foreign TV in “adult” slots has always tended to be looked down on if it isn’t American – and sometimes even if it is (or to a lesser extent Australian). Children’s TV has usually been more open, even if a lot of the time it IS dubbed.

17 02 2007
Carrie and Jonny for ever

Ugly betty has been around for longer. Ugly betty is the best.

A version of Ugly betty was in columbia 10 years ago.

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