Inspired by a Colombian telenovela Yo soy Betty, la fea, ABC Studio planned to create a weekly program for U.S. audience. Differing from the original one, the American version had a different main plot and explored different themes. After its premiere on September 28, 2006, Ugly Betty has been a tremendous success, remaining in the top five in the seasonal ratings in the United States. The show follows the life of the unglamorous but good-hearted Betty Suarez, and her incongruous job at the ultra-chic New York City fashion magazine Mode. The second season of Ugly Betty was aired one year later, whose theme turned to “Brighter, Bolder, Bettyer”. It contains a degree of surrealism used to express the inner thoughts of the characters. The typical example goes to “I See Me, I.C.U”.
The network screened the debut episode on the web and made the whole season available for download on iTunes. The show’s podcast, which was usually presented in audio, became also available on video for the first time.
Due to public relations campaigns, along with fans, posters, fashion magazines, blog, messages board, the release of DVDs and advertisement, the brand of “Ugly Betty” is successfully established. “Ugly Betty: The Book” was released with interviews from the cast and crew, tips and quotes from the characters, and mock ads. In addition, calendars, greeting cards and photos were issued as well to enhance facial features of Betty. Even super cute dolls were introduced, which can be purchased on the market.
The success of Ugly Betty also brings huge cultural impact. It was hard to imagine before the show that thick-framed eyeglasses, fat suits, oversized cotton blouses and covering jeans...