Yo soy Betty, la fea

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Yo soy Betty, la fea
Yo soy Betty, la Fea.jpg
Also known asBetty, la fea
Created by Fernando Gaitán
Directed byMario Ribero Ferreira
Theme music composer
  • Francisco Canaro
  • Ivo Pellay
Opening theme"Se dice de mí" performed by Yolanda Rayo
Country of originColombia
Original languageSpanish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes335
Executive producer María del Pilar Fernández
Production locations Bogotá, Colombia
CinematographyAlirio Farfán
EditorMaría Vásquez
Original network RCN Televisión
Original release25 October 1999 (1999-10-25) 
8 May 2001 (2001-05-08)
Related shows Betty Toons (2002) I ♥ Betty La Fea

Yo soy Betty, la fea (transl.I am Betty, the Ugly one), often referred to simply as Betty, la fea, is a Colombian telenovela, written by Fernando Gaitán and produced from 25 October 1999 to 8 May 2001 by RCN (Radio Cadena Nacional) network. More than a dozen versions of the telenovela have been made in other countries due to the popularity of the plot. American comedy-drama hit Ugly Betty and Mexican series La fea más bella are both based on this 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 acclaimed and popular television shows and is considered the most famous Latin telenovela in history. It is the first telenovela to have been remade worldwide and has been regarded as bringing the telenovela to new levels of success. [1]


Taking place mainly in Bogotá, Colombia, Betty La Fea is essentially a Cinderella comedy about the rise of poor, ugly 'Betty' Pinzón and the fall of rich, handsome Armando Mendoza. Armando is a very incompetent playboy with a scheme to turn a huge profit as the new president of Eco Moda, a famous clothing manufacturing company. But his scheme is doomed for his faulty mathematics. Because Betty, his secretary (and economics wizard), is enamored with him, she helps Armando deceive the board of directors as he loses money and brings the company to ruin. The story has three movements: 1) Armando's foolish destruction of Eco Moda, 2) Betty's flight from the disgrace and her vacation in Cartagena where she is transformed to a beauty, and 3) Betty returned to Eco Moda, installed as new president.


In 2001, Yo soy Betty, la fea won the New York Latin ACE Award for the Best Scenic Program (Mejor programa escénico) and International Female Personality of the Year (Figura internacional femenina del año) to Ana María Orozco, and, also 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.

Series evolution

Betty la fea was created, filmed, and produced in Colombia and originally aired on RCN and was released to air on Telemundo in 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. [2]

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. [3]

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 Telefutura (now UniMás), as part of the Toonturama block from 2006 to 2008.

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 [4] and Peabody Award. [5]


Main cast


Original Colombian version in other countries

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) [6] –, 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.

Official international adaptations

CountryLanguageNameNetworkProtagonistDate premieredDate ended
Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria Algerian Arabic طيموشة (Timoucha) ENTV Mina Lachter24 April 202009 May 2021
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium Dutch Sara vtm Veerle Baetens 25 September 200729 June 2008
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil Portuguese Bela, a Feia Rede Record Giselle Itié 4 August 20092 June 2010
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  People's Republic of China Mandarin Chinese 丑女无敌 (Chou Nu Wu Di)Hunan Satellite TVLi XinruSeptember 2008
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic Czech Ošklivka KatkaTV PrimaKateřina Janečková3 March 200820 April 2009
Flag of Ecuador.svg  Ecuador Spanish Veto al Feo Ecuavisa Efraín Ruales16 April 201326 April 2013
Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt Arabic هبة رجل الغراب (Heba Regl El-Ghorab) OSN, CBC2, MBC 1 Amy Samir Ghanem1 January 201414 October 2014
Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia Georgian გოგონა გარეუბნიდან (Gogona Gareubnidan) Imedi TV Tina Makharadze24 May 201021 October 2012
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany German Verliebt in Berlin Sat.1Alexandra Neldel28 February 200512 October 2007
Flag of Greece.svg  Greece Greek Maria, i Aschimi Mega ChannelAggeliki Daliani1 January 200723 June 2008
Flag of India.svg  India Hindi Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin SET India Mona Singh 1 September 20034 May 2006
Flag of Israel.svg  Israel Hebrew אסתי המכוערת
Esti HaMekho'eret
Channel 2 Riki Blich 3 July 20032006
Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia Malay Misi Betty TV9 Siti Fazurina2011
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico Spanish El amor no es como lo pintan TV Azteca Vanessa Acosta20002001
La Fea Más Bella Televisa Angélica Vale 20062007
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands Dutch LotteTalpaNyncke Beekhuyzen
Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines Filipino i ♥ Betty La Fea ABS-CBN Bea Alonzo 8 September 200824 April 2009
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland Polish BrzydUla TVN Julia Kamińska October 2008December 2009
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Russian Не родись красивой / Ne Rodis Krasivoy STS Nelly Uvarova5 September 20057 July 2006
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia
Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia
Не дај се, Нина
Ne daj se, Nina
RTL Televizija
FOX Televizija
Lana Gojak29 October 2007 (SRB)
3 January 2008 (CRO)
3 March 2008 (SRB)
4 August 2008 (CRO)
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa English uBettina Wethu SABC1 Farieda Metsileng 2021-
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Spanish Yo soy Bea TelecincoRuth Núñez20062008
Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand Thai ยัยเป็ดขี้เหร่
Ugly Betty Thailand
ThairathTV Piyarat Kaljaruek 9 March 20157 September 2015
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey Turkish Sensiz OlmuyorShow TV, Kanal DÖzlem Conker, Yeliz Şar
Flag of the United States.svg  United States English Ugly Betty ABC America Ferrera 28 September 200614 April 2010
Spanish Betty en Nueva York Telemundo Elyfer Torres 6 February 201912 August 2019
Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam Vietnamese Cô Gái Xấu Xí VTV3 Nguyễn Ngọc Hiệp11 February 200831 March 2009

El amor no es como lo pintan

(Love is not as it looks) (2000, Azteca Uno, Mexico): Vanessa Acosta as Alicia "Licha" Ramírez Campos. El amor no es como lo pintan concluded in 2001.

Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin

(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.

Sensiz Olmuyor

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.

Verliebt in Berlin

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".

Ne Rodis' Krasivoy

(Be Not Born Beautiful, from the Russian phrase, "be not born beautiful, but be born happy", "Ne Rodis' Krasivoy, Rodis' Shchastlivoy")

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.

La Fea Más Bella

(The Most Beautiful Ugly Woman) (2006–2007, Televisa, Mexico): Angélica Vale as Leticia Padilla Solis.

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.

Yo Soy Bea

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.

Ugly Betty

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. [7] The hour-long program aired Fridays at 9:00 pm (Eastern time); [8] 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. [9]

Maria, i Aschimi

Mega Channel in Greece is airing its own version titled Maria, i Aschimi (Μαρία, Η ΆσχημηMaria, 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'.

Ne daj se, Nina

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.

Ošklivka Katka

(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.

Cô gái xấu xí

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.

I Love Betty La Fea

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. In this version, they are working for an advertising agency. This is the only version where Betty refused to have a makeover.She accepted herself in the end.

Chou Nü Wu Di

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 Mexico's Televisa, China's Hunan Satellite TV, the independent producer Nesound, and the Colombian network RCN Televisión. 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. [10] 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. [11] The show is sponsored by Unilever's Dove brand, which is woven into the plot as Wudi works on a Dove advertising campaign. [11] 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. [12]


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.

Bela, a Feia

After months of speculation, the Brazilian TV network Record officially announced on 22 May 2009 that Mexican-Brazilian actress Giselle 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, Bemvindo 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.

Gogona Gareubnidan

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.

ยัยเป็ดขี้เหร่ Ugly Betty Thailand

A story of Pet (Thai: เป็ด; meaning 'Duck') (Pratchayanan "Babymind" Suwanmani), a young girl who looks ugly but is very capable. She works as a secretary for Danai (Wasin "Ko" Atsawanaruenat), who is a young playboy and the son of CEO of POSH Inc., a high-end cosmetics company and Ngamkhae (Nicole Theriault). Danai is the new CEO but things are not as they seem, because Danai has competition from the managing director Alisa "Alice" Phalakon (Sonia Couling) and the Phalakon family who holds shares of his company, Pet also has problems resulting from Danai's previous secretary, a young and beautiful woman.

See also


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  8. From "Ugly Betty – ABC.com" (3 December 2009)
  9. Guider, Elizabeth (9 October 2006). "From "Variety" (9 October 2006)". Variety. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
  10. Branigan, Tania. (19 September 2008). Chinese reject newest TV star as too pretty for ugly role. The Guardian. Retrieved on 13 March 2009.
  11. 1 2 Yuan, Lily. (13 January 2009). Ugly Betty adapts again, this time for China and Dove. Ogilvy Entertainment. Retrieved on 13 March 2009.
  12. Chounu Wudi perfect finishing season debuts on Hunan Saterlite TV on the 7th day of the first month of lunar calendar (in Chinese language).