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|Yo soy Betty, la fea|
|Created by||Fernando Gaitán|
|Directed by||Mario Ribero|
|Opening theme||"Se Dice de Mí" (Yolanda Rayo)|
|Country of origin||Colombia|
|No. of episodes||338 (half-hour) or 169(full-hour)|
|Producer(s)||María del Pilar Fernández|
|Original channel||RCN TV|
|Original run||25 October 1999 – 8 May 2001|
|Yo soy Betty, la fea|
|Created by||Fernando Gaitán|
|Directed by||Mario Ribero|
|Opening theme||"Se Dice de Mí" (Yolanda Rayo)|
|Country of origin||Colombia|
|No. of episodes||338 (half-hour) or 169(full-hour)|
|Producer(s)||María del Pilar Fernández|
|Original channel||RCN TV|
|Original run||25 October 1999 – 8 May 2001|
Yo soy Betty, la fea ("I am Betty, the Ugly one") is a telenovela filmed in Colombia, written by Fernando Gaitán and produced from 25 October 1999 to 8 May 2001 by the Colombian network RCN (Radio Cadena Nacional). More than a dozen versions of the telenovela have been made in other countries. In the United States, both the comedy-drama hit Ugly Betty and Televisa program La Fea Más Bella are based on the Colombian soap opera.
Betty, la Fea re-aired on Spanish-language U.S. network TeleFutura in January 2009. Eight years after the telenovela's original run, the highly anticipated return of the original version of Yo Soy Betty, La Fea delivered impressive ratings for the network, attracting over one million viewers, more than half a million of which were adults aged 18–49. In addition, the premiere episode doubled and in some cases nearly tripled its prior audience among all key demographics.
Betty, la Fea is one of the world's most popular television shows and is considered the third most famous Latin telenovelas in history (behind the 1979's Los Ricos También Lloran and 1996's María la del Barrio). It is the first telenovela to have been remade worldwide and has been regarded as bringing the telenovela to new levels of success.
Beatriz Aurora Pinzón Solano, Betty, is an unattractive but brilliant economist working as a secretary at a fictitious Colombian fashion empire, EcoModa. Betty constantly faces the scorn of EcoModa's attractive manager-owners but proves herself indispensable to EcoModa's new president, Armando Mendoza. She becomes Armando's accomplice in a clandestine scheme to save EcoModa from financial ruin and they become romantically involved.
Though she has a masters degree in finance and graduated at the top of her class, Betty has been unable to secure a job interview, because, she claims, her ugly photograph ruins her otherwise impressive résumé. After searching unsuccessfully for a job to match her education and experience, she applies for a position as the secretary to the president of EcoModa, a highly successful, trendy fashion manufacturer/retailer founded by two families, the Mendozas and the Valencias. She sends her résumé to EcoModa without a photograph, thus securing an interview.
Armando Mendoza, EcoModa's new president, is the smart, handsome, and well-educated son of the company's retired co-founder Roberto Mendoza. He is engaged to Marcela Valencia, an EcoModa executive and daughter of the deceased co-founder, Valencia. Armando is in search of a new secretary and first interviews Marcela's best friend, Patricia Fernández. He is reluctant to hire Patricia because he assumes that Marcela would want her to spy on him, given his reputation as a notorious womanizer. Armando then interviews Betty. While he is concerned about her "ugliness", he likes the idea that she could be his ally, rather than a spy. In order to please Marcela, Armando hires as his secretaries both Betty, the ugly but brilliant economist, and the very attractive but not so intelligent Patricia.
Since EcoModa is a fashion company primarily concerned with image and beauty, Patricia is seated in the lobby and Betty is seated in a stock room behind Armando's office. Nevertheless, Betty proves herself invaluable as she maneuvers effortlessly in the business and finance milieu, earning respect among industry insiders and the secretaries whom would become her close friends, lately called El cuartel de las feas (The club of the ugly women). Throughout the weeks, Betty falls in love with Armando but keeps her feelings a secret.
Along the way, Ecomoda falls into a scheme that causes the company to lose millions of dollars, therefore putting Ecomoda into financial ruin. So out of loyalty, and love, to Armando, she helps him launch a risky new business plan that could mean the downfall of EcoModa, but if successful, could bring the company back to firm financial standing. The business plan sets up a fake company, run in name by Betty, as a firm financial backer of EcoModa. The fake company prevents the banks from taking over EcoModa's stocks, primarily because of Betty's business savvy and financial contacts. Once the summer fashion line is released, EcoModa will be secure in their finances and the fake company can be dissolved. However, Armando asked Betty to fake the annual budget reports in order to keep the plan a secret from his family, not wanting to disappoint them regarding his leadership skills as the new president of EcoModa. Betty reluctantly agrees to help him and asks her best friend, Nicolas Mora, to go along with it. EcoModa's vice president (and Armando's best friend) Mario Calderon is the only other person at EcoModa that knows about the business plan. However, because of how the plan works, EcoModa has been sold (in paper) to the fake company, setting up Betty as the president. Mario is concerned that Betty plans to keep the company to herself and convinces Armando to make her fall in love with him for security. Armando is sure that Betty could never be so devious, but when he suspects that Nicholas and Betty have a romance, he begins to worry that they will stay with the company and all its fortune. He takes Mario's advice and starts to seduce Betty, even though he is disgusted by the idea. Once the company is back in Armando's hands, he would break up with Betty and fire her.
As the weeks pass by, Betty falls more in love with Armando. In turn, Armando starts seeing past the "ugliness" and sees the beautiful person Betty is. He falls in love with her for real, but keeps his feelings a secret from Mario, who constantly teases Armando about having to kiss the ugly duckling. A couple of days before the budget meeting, Betty discovers a letter from Mario to Armando describing details about the fake romance.
She is devastated at how Armando could be so cruel and play with her feelings, but instead of confronting him, she decides to play along with his game and makes him believe she is losing feeling for him and falling in love with Nicholas. She begins to torment Armando by spending EcoModa's money on a luxury car and fancy restaurants and then by spending more time with Nicholas, thus making Armando furiously jealous. After a few days of torment, tears, and fist fights (Nicholas and Armando), Betty realizes she is only making her pain worse by playing along with the game and decides to end it.
She exposes the truth of the secret business plan to his family at the meeting by presenting the real balance sheet and not the fake one. At that moment, Armando and Mario realize that she has known about their vicious plan the entire time. The family (who are also stockholders) are informed that EcoModa is in financial ruin and that Betty is the new owner of the company. However, Betty reveals that the fake company was only set up to prevent EcoModa from going bankrupt and that she is handing back full ownership to the stockholders. Roberto Mendoza chastises Betty on her involvement in such a scheme, knowing her to be an honest woman, and Betty is escorted out of the building. Before she leaves, Armando confronts her, only to find out how much Betty was humiliated by his deception. He tries to confess his now true feelings for her, but she refuses to listen. As Betty leaves the building, Marcela suspects her as a thief and demands to know what she is hiding inside a trash bag where she has been keeping all the love letters and gifts from Armando ever since she discovered his feelings for her were never real. Betty has no choice but to reveal the fake romance, Marcela is devastated and shocked but is told that their relationship was nothing more than a cruel plan to make sure she doesn't get away with the company. Marcela cancels the wedding and breaks up with Armando. Everyone, including his family, disowns him.
Hurt and heartbroken, Betty immediately takes a job as the assistant to a fashion icon who is in charge of the Miss Colombia Pageant. She runs to the airport to catch a flight to Cartagena. She decides to confide the whole truth to her new boss Catalina, who has also been her guardian angel and close friend throughout her hard times in EcoModa.
Armando is desperate to find Betty, but can not find her. He must also deal with the fallout of the business situation EcoModa is now in. Armando is fired as president and his father comes out of retirement to take over the presidential duties. The attorney realizes that Betty did not correctly turn over the business back to the stockholders, therefore Betty and her fake company are still the owners of EcoModa, thus preventing the bank from seizing control. Knowing that the only way to save the company is to continue with the "business plan" until after the summer fashion line, the stockholders have no choice but to ask Betty to stay and run the company. The only problem is that they can't find Betty.
Meanwhile, Betty is surrounded by all the beautiful pageant ladies and has become fast friends with a gorgeous French photographer (Michael) who would later find interest in her. Catalina helps Betty come out of her shell and rather slowly helps Betty shed some of her ugliness. First she convinces Betty to accept an advance on her salary so that she can buy clothes that complement her figure better. The next day she took Betty to a hair stylist and asked them to give her a more modern cut. A few days later she is taken back to the hair stylist to have her unibrow and stache waxed out and she is fixed with make up. Catalina "accidentally" breaks her glasses and the new pair is much more suited to her face. It seems that Betty has shed her "ugliness" overnight and looks quite beautiful. But then Betty gets a call from her father saying that she needs to return to finish some business with EcoModa. Reluctantly, she returns home after finishing her work in Cartagena.
When she walks into EcoModa, nobody recognizes her. Everyone is quite shocked at her transformation. Roberto tells Betty about the financial situation they are in and asks Betty to help him save the company. Although hesitant about working at EcoModa again, Betty agrees, feeling some responsibility as to why they are in that situation. She is to be the new president of EcoModa until the company can be financially stable again.
Months later, the new fashion line is a success thanks to Betty's business savvy and her idea of modeling ugly women (the club of the ugly ones) instead of the usual beautiful models. Although Betty appears to be dating Michael, who came to visit her from Cartagena, she is still in love with Armando but does not believe him when he confesses his feelings for her. Michael offers Betty to move to Cartagena with her family to work and start a new life once she finishes her job in EcoModa. She is unsure whether to take the offer at first, but later accepts it.
Betty tells her friends she is leaving Bogotá and they are all devastated by the news. In fact, she decides to leave earlier than planned in order to forget Armando forever. This puts the company back in danger because EcoModa's is not yet stable. In order to prevent this, Armando decides to move far away so that Betty can stay and continue as president. The club of the ugly ones(Betty's friends) try convincing her to stay, truly believing that Armando has changed, but she refuses to stay and give him a chance. This means that the presidential role would go Daniel Valencia, another executive and stockholder, Marcela's brother, and Betty and Armando's enemy. He would sell the company and save whatever is left of it, therefore causing hundreds of people to be unemployed. When Marcela hears about this, she decides to swallow her pride and resentment and tells Betty the truth about everything that happened when she left to Cartagena. Because of this, Betty realizes that Armando has really had a change of heart and she stops him from leaving. They both stay and run the company together and after a few months, the two eventually marry.
The final scene shows everyone gushing over Betty and Armando's new-born daughter, who is just as beautiful as Betty when she was first born.
In 2001, Yo soy Betty, la fea won the New York Latin ACE Award for Best Scenic Program (Mejor programa escénico) and International Female Personality of the Year (Figura internacional femenina del año) to Ana María Orozco, and, in 2002, the TP de Oro for Best Soap Opera (Mejor telenovela), and the INTE Award for Best Soap Opera and Actress of the Year (Actriz del año) to Ana María Orozco.
Betty la fea was created, filmed, and produced in Colombia and originally aired on RCN and was released to air on Telemundo on 2000, and on TeleFutura nine years later, in the United States. Several similar programs were created in other countries, as well as its rebroadcast in other languages around the world. The success of Yo soy Betty, la fea led to its first sequel in 2002 with Univision's release of "Ecomoda". Some scenes from the first episode were filmed in Buenos Aires and some scenes for the opening sequence were filmed in Miami, Florida.
The phenomenal success of Betty la fea accounts for numerous adaptations and airings around the world. The story appeals to global audiences because it is centered around the life of an unattractive character rather than that of a typical attractive character.
Spinoffs include an animated series called Betty Toons, featuring Betty as a child with her friends. In the U.S., Betty Toons previously aired Saturday mornings on most affiliates of the Telefutura network, as part of the Toonturama block.
Ugly Betty, the U.S. adaptation of Betty La Fea, aired on ABC from 2006 to 2010. The hour-long program was developed by Silvio Horta and co-produced by Salma Hayek and Ben Silverman. America Ferrera played the title role. The show has received a Golden Globe and Peabody Award.
The original Colombian version of the show has been dubbed or subbed then broadcast in India, Lithuania, Indonesia, Poland (BrzydUla), Bulgaria, Romania (Betty cea urâtă), Malaysia, Hungary (Betty, a csúnya lány), Czech Republic (Ošklivka Betty), Italy (Betty la cozza), Switzerland, Georgia (უშნო ბეტი), Japan – under the title Betty, Ai to uragiri no hishojitsu ("Betty, The Secretarial Office of Love and Betrayal ", ベティ愛と裏切りの秘書室)–, Turkey, Philippines and China. The show was also broadcast in virtually all of Latin America plus Spain, achieving record ratings in every single country, including those where Colombian soaps do not usually achieve high ratings, such as Brazil and Mexico. Later the cast went on tour to meet fans throughout the continent.
|Region/Country||Local name||Network||Main protagonist||Date premiered||Date ended|
|Albania||Beti e Shemtuar||Top Channel||Dritan Hoxha||July, 2004||Octember, 2005|
|Belgium||Sara||vtm||Veerle Baetens||25 September 2007|
|Brazil||Bela, a Feia||Rede Record||Giselle Itié||4 August 2009||2 June 2010|
|China||Chou Nu Wu Di||Hunan Satellite TV||Li Xinru||September 2008|
|Czech Republic||Ošklivka Katka||TV Prima||Kateřina Janečková||3 March 2008|
|Egypt||هبة رجل الغراب||OSN, CBC2||Emy Samir Ghanem||1 January 2014|
|Imedi TV||Tiko Makharadze||24 May 2010|
|Germany||Verliebt in Berlin||Sat.1||Alexandra Neldel||28 February 2005|
|Greece||Μαρία, η Άσχημη|
Maria, i Aschimi
|Mega Channel||Aggeliki Daliani||1 January 2006|
|India||Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin||SET India||Mona Singh||1 September 2003||4 May 2006|
|Channel 2||Riki Blich||2003|
|Mexico||La Fea Más Bella||Televisa||Angélica Vale||2005||2006|
|Philippines||i ♥ Betty La Fea||ABS-CBN||Bea Alonzo||8 September 2008||24 April 2009|
|Poland||BrzydUla||TVN||Julia Kamińska||October 2008||December 2009|
|Russia||Не Родись Красивой|
Ne Rodis Krasivoy
|STS||Nelly Uvarova||5 September 2005||7 July 2006|
|Ne daj se, Nina||Fox Televizija|
|Lana Gojak||29 October 2007 (SRB)|
3 January 2008 (CRO)
|3 March 2008 (SRB)|
4 August 2008 (CRO)
|Spain||Yo Soy Bea||Telecinco||Ruth Núñez||2006||2008|
|Turkey||Sensiz Olmuyor||Show TV, Kanal D||Özlem Conker, Yeliz Şar|
|United States||Ugly Betty||ABC||America Ferrera||28 September 2006||14 April 2010|
|Vietnam||Cô Gái Xấu Xí||VTV3||Nguyễn Ngọc Hiệp||11 February 2008|
(There's No One Like Jassi) (2003, SET, India): Mona Singh as Jasmeet Walia. The Indian version is not so much about beauty and ugliness, as about a simple middle class girl with strong family values being catapulted into the amoral world of high fashion upper society, although Jassi was made to appear ugly by having on thick rimmed glasses, braces and an unsightly hairstyle. Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin concluded in 2006.
Turkey's "Sensiz Olmuyor" (Won't Work Without You) told the story of Gönül and Arda on two separate TV networks, with each channel showing thirteen episodes. When the weekly series debuted on Show TV in January 2005, Özlem Conker played Gönül (which means 'heart' in Turkish), the intelligent swan in ugly duckling clothing, and pop star Emre Altuğ appeared as her boss and love interest, Arda. The show did not go on hiatus when it was moved from Show TV to rival network Kanal D, but there was one big change: Yeliz Şar took over the role of Gönül, but the rest of the original cast remained intact.
In February 2005, the German TV network, SAT 1, began airing a version called Verliebt in Berlin (The title is a word-play and can mean either In Love in Berlin or In Love with Berlin), starring local soap opera star Alexandra Neldel as Lisa Plenske and Swiss actor Mathis Künzler as David. The show had 5 million viewers daily and was extended beyond its initial 250 episode run in early 2006.
A few weeks later it was announced that the show would be renewed for a second season, but without Neldel and Künzler. The focus shifted onto a male lead character named Bruno Plenske (Lisa's half-brother, played by Tim Sander). Without Alexandra Neldel, however, the show lost much of its original appeal and dwindling ratings led to its cancellation in 2007. Verliebt in Berlin has also been broadcast in dubbed versions in Hungary (as Lisa csak egy van) and France (as Le destin de Lisa). Although Verliebt in Berlin continued with new featured characters and original storylines, it is still credited as "based on Yo Soy Betty La Fea".
(Be Not Born Beautiful, from the Russian phrase, "be not born beautiful, but be born happy" "Ne Rodis' Krasivoy', Rodis' Chastlivoi'")
In 2005, STS broadcasting in Russia created a version of the show called Ne Rodis' Krasivoy starring Nelly Uvarova in the title role of Katya. This version was also broadcast throughout the former Soviet Union.
The Mexican Televisa television network, produced its version La Fea Más Bella ("The Prettiest Ugly"), which debuted on 23 January 2006 and ended on 25 February 2007. In the United States, the series aired on Univision, and in the Philippines it was broadcast on ABC 5, where it debuted on 24 April 2006 and concluded on 25 June 2007. It was also aired in Lebanon on the Lebanese MTV network from 2009 to 2010. In both these versions, the protagonist's nickname is "Lety", which is also the name of the show in Lebanon.
(2006, Talpa, Netherlands): Nyncke Beekhuyzen as Lotte Pronk. In 2006, the Dutch TV network Talpa began airing Lotte, starring Nyncke Beekhuyzen as the main character and Lars Oostveen as Vico Maesland.
Despite the original Colombian production already being in Spanish, Telecinco launched an adaptation in Spain called Yo soy Bea in July 2006. The Spanish version title (which translates to "I am Bea") is a pun, with "Bea" sounding like both fea ("ugly") and bella ("beautiful"), and being the short version of the protagonist name, Beatriz. Ruth Núñez played Beatriz Pérez Pinzón and Alejandro Tous was Álvaro Aguilar, the company boss.
The Spanish adaptation screens weekdays at 6:00 pm and pulls in an average of more than four million viewers (more than +35% share of the audience). The series' record is a 42,1% of share. It has become Spain's top-rated daytime programme. Ruth Núñez, known to Spanish viewers for her portrayal of a Yugoslav student in teen soap, Compañeros, plays the heroine.
In this version, Beatriz Pérez Pinzón (Núñez) is an unattractive 26-year-old economist whose looks aren't important to her. She's intelligent and kind, and one day, after having cared for her widower father for two years, she decides to look for a job. Although she's very well educated, she gets only a secretary job at the magazine "Bulevar 21". She becomes the secretary of Álvaro Aguilar (Alejandro Tous), the company boss. In the company, Bea will be against Cayetana (Mónica Estarreado), Álvaro's fiancée, and her friend Bárbara (Norma Ruiz), who is also Álvaro's secretary. The Spanish Version won a TP de Oro to "La mejor telenovela" in 2007.
The American production was broadcast on ABC in the United States from 28 September 2006 to 14 April 2010. This production also aired internationally on Citytv and Radio-Canada (as Chère Betty) in Canada, Channel 4 in the United Kingdom; 2007, RTÉ Two in Ireland, TV2 in New Zealand, Seven Network/7Two in Australia, TVB Pearl in Hong Kong, Nova Television in Bulgaria, 8TV in Malaysia, Studio 23 in the Philippines and STAR World in Asia (Southeast Asia, India, Philippines and Middle East feeds).
In 2004, actress Salma Hayek's production company, Ventanarosa, in a joint venture with Reveille Productions and ABC Television Studio bought the rights to Betty la fea, converting it to an English-language seriocomedy series. ABC would acquire the series under the title Ugly Betty, and initially slated the program for broadcasting in summer of 2006 as a daily series, but its success led to ABC slating it as a weekly series. The hour-long program aired Fridays at 9:00 pm (Eastern time); the first episode was broadcast 28 September 2006. Actress America Ferrera portrayed the title character Betty Suarez – an unattractive, but efficient editorial assistant at a fashion magazine.
Mega Channel in Greece is airing its own version titled Maria, i Aschimi (Μαρία, Η Άσχημη – Maria, The Ugly One) starring Aggeliki Daliani and Anthimos Ananiadis . Maria exudes intelligence, humor, and kindness, but what she is missing is conventional beauty. She considers her appearance to be an obstacle in her search for employment, despite her collection of degrees, which are displayed proudly by her parents, Kaiti and Irakles. Having no luck in her job search, Maria decides to try for a job for which she is overqualified, secretary to Alexis Mantas, the director of a noted fashion house called Ecomoda. Alexis is the most coveted bachelor in Athens, but he has recently gotten engaged to Markella, who tries to get him to choose her best friend, Lilian, to be his secretary and to keep an eye on him. Lilian doesn't have Maria's natural intelligence or fine education, but she has a beautiful appearance, which makes her a better superficial fit at the fashion house.
This adaptation was originally supposed to start airing on 1 November 2006, but within two weeks of that date the show was removed from Mega Channel's schedule. Finally, it began on 1 January 2007 at 21:00 and although it was scheduled to move at 18:15 two weeks later, due to its high ratings (± 45% according to Agb Hellas and more than 2 million viewers) finally remained in the prime-time slot of the channel.
The Flemish adaptation is called Sara, starring Veerle Baetens as Sara De Roose. The show was first broadcast on 25 September 2007 by VTM, a Flemish commercial TV-station. Sara was broadcast daily (except weekends) at 6:25 pm. On Sunday, VTM aired 'the week of Sara' at 9:25 pm, containing all the episodes of that week. Sara had a weekly audience between 650,000 and 750,000 viewers. The show ended in June 2008.
Sara works for 'Presence', where she falls in love with her boss Simon Van Wyck (Gert Winckelmans). Actors such as like Veerle Baetens, Sandrine André, Kürt Rogiers, Gert Winckelmans and Bieke Ilegems appeared on the show.
On 13 February 2008, the nominees of the Flemish TV-stars were announced. 'Sara' was nominated for 3 awards. Veerle Baetens, who plays Sara, and Sandrine Andre, who plays Britt, were both nominated in the category Best Actor or Actress. The show was nominated in the category Best Fiction programme. Veerle Baetens won in her category and also won the award as 'Most popular TV personality'. The show won the award for 'Most Popular TV Programme'.
A version of Betty la Fea made by Croatian RTL Televizija and Serbian Fox Televizija begins production in October 2007. The working title of the show is "Ne daj se, Nina" ( "Don't give up, Nina"). After a long audition, newcomer Lana Gojak has been cast in the role of Nina (Betty). Other reported cast members include established actors such as Robert Kurbaša, Edvin Livarić, Bojana Ordinačev, Petar Ćiritović, Andrija Milošević, Kristina Krepela and Sloboda Mićalović.
(Ugly Kate) (2008, TV Prima, Czech Republic): Kateřina Janečková as Kateřina Bertoldová. The series debuted on 3 March 2008 and it airs Mondays and Wednesdays at prime time.
The Vietnamese version of Yo soy Betty, fea premiered on 11 February 2008. The series stars Ngọc Hiệp as Huyền Diệu and Chi Bảo as An Đông, the new president of SB Brands Trading J.S.C.. A number of real-life models co-starred in prominent roles, such as Nguyễn Bình Minh (who plays Tiến Mạnh), who competed in the 2002/03 Manhunt International competition and finished in the top ten; Phi Thanh Vân (as Phương Trinh), who worked as a top model and has freely admitted that she owes her beauty to the wonders of plastic surgery; Lý Anh Tuấn (Đăng Dương); and Trịnh Kim Chi (Huyền Thư). This adaptation is one of the most faithful remakes of the Colombian original so far, with episodes being recreated practically scene for scene, with only minor adjustments to account for cultural differences.
Filipina actress Bea Alonzo was chosen to play the title role of Betty Pengson and actor John Lloyd Cruz to play Armando Solis in the Philippine adaptation of the famous Colombian telenovela. The series started airing on 8 September 2008 on ABS-CBN network in primetime. Former beauty queen and actress Ruffa Gutierrez, plays the role of Daniela, the female version of Daniel from the original series.
This soap opera, Ugly Wudi (, literally "The Ugly Without Rival" for the name Wudi means Non-Rival, unconquerable, unbeatable or matchless), is a co-production of Televisa México, China's Hunan Satellite TV, the independent producer Nesound, and the Colombian network RCN Television. The program began broadcasting on 28 September 2008 and will be divided into five seasons of 80 half-hour chapters. The show has received some criticism via 3,300 comments on Baidu and newspaper articles stating the actress who plays Wudi isn't ugly enough, despite gaining weight and exhibiting glasses, braces and tan skin which is considered unattractive in China. Some even suggested that the name of the show be changed to Pretty Wudi.
Despite criticisms, the debut episode was watched by 73 million viewers. The show is sponsored by Unilever's Dove brand, which is woven into the plot as Wudi works on a Dove advertising campaign. The show has also been used as a way to launch Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty in China.
Four seasons of Chounu Wudi have been aired in China. The 4th season started on 20 February 2010. It was named as the final season of Chounu Wudi.
Poland's adaptation of the Betty story, BrzydUla (play on words: Brzydula means ugly girl but Ula is a reference to main character's name), premiered on 6 October 2008 on the TVN network. This version stars Julia Kamińska as Ula Cieplak and Marek Włodarczyk as her father, Józef. Ula works for Marek Dobrzański (played by Filip Bobek) at a prestigious Warsaw fashion house called Dom Mody Febo & Dobrzański.
After months of speculation, the Brazilian TV network Record officially announced on 22 May 2009 that Mexican-Brazilian actress Gisele Itié would portray Bela, the protagonist of the Brazilian version of Yo soy Betty, la Fea. The extensive cast included Ana Roberta Gualda, André Mattos, André Segatti, Angela Leal, Aracy Cardoso, Benvindo Sequeira, Bia Montez, Bruno Ferrari, Bárbara Borges, Carla Regina, Cláudio Gabriel, Daniel Erthal, Denise Del Vecchio, Esther Góes, Gabriela Moreira, Henri Pagnocelli, Ildi Silva, Iran Malfitano, Jonas Bloch, João Camargo, Laila Zaid, Luiza Thomé, Marcela Barrozo, Natália Guimarães, Pérola Faria, Raul Gazolla, Simone Spoladore, Sérgio Hondjakoff, Sérgio Menezes, Sílvia Pfeifer, and Thierry Figueira, with guest appearances by Babi Xavier, Gracyanne Barbosa, Rogério Fróes, Sérgio Mallandro, and Viviane Araújo. The series was produced by Record in partnership with Mexico's Televisa, which produced La Fea más bella. The story was adapted by scribe Gisele Joras and the series was directed by Edson Spinello. The novela premiered on 4 August 2009, and ended on 2 June 2010.
Georgia's version of the Betty story began on 24 May 2010, about one month after the U.S.A.'s Ugly Betty ended. The first episode was a pretty faithful remake of the pilot episode for Ugly Betty, with only minor changes, making this the first series to be adapted directly from the American Ugly Betty and not the Colombian Yo soy Betty, la fea. The series stars Tina Makharadze as Tamuna and takes place in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital (Tamuna lives in the outskirts, hence the show's title, which translates as "Girl from the Suburbs"). The first season consisted of 10 episodes and concluded on 26 July 2010. The second ran from 8 October 2010 through 31 December 2010, and consisted of 13 episodes. The second season diverged even farther from the story lines of Ugly Betty than the first season had, but many details within various episodes were directly or loosely based on details from second, third, and fourth season episodes of Ugly Betty. The third season began on 11 February 2011 without the show's leading man, Tornike Gogrichiani, who played Tamuna's boss, Nika Kekelidze. Gogrichiani was absent from the season's first four episodes and it was rumored online that he may be leaving the series altogether.
El amor no es como lo pintan (Love is not as they depict it) aired in 2000 in Mexico on TV Azteca and told the story of Alicia, an intelligent young woman began working at "Segovia and Segovia", a prestigious advertising agency. Alicia began an online correspondence with an aspiring film director. What Alicia didn't know was that this "cinefilo" was actually Cesar Segovia, the son of the ad agency's owner, Rolando, who has forced Cesar to give up his failed movie career to work at the agency. Alicia finds herself despised by Cesar's brother, Alberto, as well as by Cesar's former fiancee, Marisela.
Tudo Por Amor (Everything For Love) was a 2002 remake of Mexico's El Amor no es como lo pintan, which was probably inspired by Yo soy Betty, la fea, but was not an official remake or adaptation. The novela was shown on TVI in Portugal, but it did not have a large audience, even though it had some of the biggest stars of Portuguese television. Sofia Duarte Silva starred as the protagonist, Alice. Centered on an ugly young woman who ended up finding her love online, but she lacked the courage to meet him in person, because of her appearance. Little does she realize her online love is actually the handsome rich son of the owner of the company she has gotten her new job at. She had great difficulty finding a job because of her ugly appearance. Later, she discovered the existence of her twin sister, Daisy—a sensual and sexy girl, full of "girl power", determination, and rebellion—who turns her life upside down.
Many sources Esti Ha'mechoeret (אסתי המכוערת) on the internet claim that this series was a remake of Yo soy Betty, la fea, it was actually another remake of Mexico's El Amor no es como lo pintan. This story was adapted by Israel's SET in 2003, and was named אסתי המכוערת Esti Ha'mechoeret ("Ugly Esti"). The series starred Riki Blich as Esti Ben-David, a cop's daughter. After legal action was pursued by RCN, the company that owns the rights to Yo soy Betty, la fea, changes were made to Esti Ha'mechoeret for its second and third seasons, during which the title was changed to Elvis, Rosental, VeHaIsha Hamistorit and then just plain Elvis.
Lyubov-ne to, chto kazhetsya (Любовь-не то, что кажется) Lyubov-ne to, chto kazhetsya (Love-Not what it seems), the 40-episode Russian remake of Mexico's El Amor no es como lo pintan, was produced by Russian World Studios (RWS) and aired on the STS (Set Televizionni Stantsii) network, the same network that aired the Russian "Betty" adaptation Ne Rodis Krasivoy in 2005 and 2006. The series premiered in May 2009 and starred Darya Ivanova as Alisa Malyshkina and Pavel Barshak as Artem Knyazev.
Mi Gorda Bella (2002–2003) was a Venezuelan telenovela that was produced by and seen on Venezuela's Radio Caracas Televisión. This telenovela lasted 178 episodes and was distributed internationally by RCTV International. The novela told the story of Valentina, a plump young woman with an even bigger heart who hoped to win the love of the man of her dreams, Orestes. The great ambition of Olimpia (who everyone thought was Valentina's aunt) was the compass that ruled her life, taking her on different roads, where she had the opportunity of having fun and falling in love, but it also made her become the victim of great deceptions, humiliations and sufferings.
Dekho Magar Pyaar Se (2004) – Just as India was the first country to adapt Yo soy Betty, la fea, they also had the first adaptation of Mi Gorda Bella. This romantic comedy focused on a full-figured girl named Nikita Sareen (played by Shweta Agarwal, and later by Shraddha Nigam), who was loved by almost everyone who knew her. Young Nikita turned to food for comfort after she was exiled to a boarding school at an early age. Just when it seemed that fate was about to smile on her, tragedy took her mother's life, so Nikki was forced to live under the same roof with her uncle's menacing wife, Devyani (Reena Wadhwa), who tried everything in her power to rob Nikki of her inheritance. Nikki had two great loves during the course of the series: Karan (Keith Sequeira) and Arjun (Kushal Punjabi).
(2007) – After Malaysians were seduced by the beautiful fat Valentina and her antics in Mi Gorda Bella, a private television station decided to buy the rights from Venezuela's RCTV to produce a local-flavored version of the telenovela called Manjalara. Using the same format, but with a few alterations to suit Malaysian cultural sensitivity, the 75-episode serial was shown every Monday to Thursday at 6.30 pm on TV3. The series starred Jehan Miskin, Emelda Rosmila as Manjalara, Sheila Rusly, Mustapha Kamal and former national gymnast Raja Farah.
The Mexican remake Llena de amor premiered on 3 May 2010 in Mexico (9 August 2010 on Univision in the U.S.) and is produced by Televisa. This adaptation stars Ariadne Díaz (Marianela Ruiz y de Teresa Pavón), Valentino Lanús (Emmanuel Ruiz y de Teresa Curiel), Azela Robinson (Fedra Curiel de Ruiz y de Teresa), César Évora (Emiliano Ruiz y de Teresa), Alexis Ayala (Lorenzo Porta-Lopez), and Cecilia Gabriela (Camila "Muñeca" Rivero de Porta-Lopez)