SA’s Ugly Betty set for launch
The South African adaptation of Latin American comedy-drama format Yo Soy Betty la Fea (aka Ugly Betty) is slated to launch on April 5 at 19.30 on SABC1.
With three weekly episodes airing from Mondays to Wednesdays, the show will feature former MTV star Farieda Metsileng, who will portray the title role of Ugly Betty.
The show will also simulcast on streaming service Viu.
South Africa’s version of the well-travelled Colombian format is titled uBettina Wethu. It follows the journey of an intelligent but gawky people-pleaser with a dated, unsophisticated sense of style who finds her self-worth and image challenged when she is hired by a brand management company.
SABC1 head of channel Phumzile Zonke said: “We are very proud to call ‘uBettina Wethu’ our own as SABC 1. The production value is astounding and is a great fit for our growing brand, and spot on in terms of our market domination strategy.
“This first-ever simulcast with Viu is breaking new ground and we are glad to be part of broadcast history in the making. As the largest television brand in Southern Africa, we’ve always set the tone and dominated the landscape with authentic storytelling.”
Regarding the casting of Metsileng and the others actors, Tshepiso Sello Phiri, producer at the SA company behind the series, Known Associates Entertainment, said: “We wanted to cast the net as wide as possible and in order to give a fair chance to talented actors and actresses who may not usually have access to agents or auditions.”
Other cast members include Zweli Dube, Tsholofelo Mashishi, Linda Jiyane, Lesego Tlhabi, Michael Potter, Elliot Makhubo, Mbasa Msongeli, Brighton Ngoma, Ayanda Bandla, Mhairi Fergusson, Motshabi Tyelele, Jason Willemse and Alex Sono.
The show is coproduced by the South African public broadcaster and the video streaming Viu and produced by boutique Johannesburg studio Known Associates Entertainment (KAE) with Tshepiso Sello Phiri the exec producer.