The SABC 1 will be launching a new and exciting TV drama, uBettina Wethu, an adaptation of the USA’s “Ugly Betty” on Monday, 5 April 2021. All episodes will simulcast on the online platform, Viu.
According to reports, the directors of uBettina Wethu were overwhelmed with the number of online submissions, which were broad in spectrum. The call invited a diverse cast comprising familiar faces and a selection of new and upcoming talent.
Tshepiso Sello Phiri, the Producer at Known Associates Entertainment, said the team wanted to provide an opportunity to all talented actors and actresses regardless of whether you had agent representation or not. The casting format helped us throw the net wider as it gave a fair chance to all actors and actresses to audition. This approach warranted an extended reach with international talent inclusion, ensuring an abridged TV industry gap.
uBettina Wethu’s Casting Director, Ayanda Sithebe, said the producers mandate to find a balance in casting experience and inexperienced you, fresh and new talent was clear and straightforward. This technique was in response to the outcry of young and aspiring actors-through social media discussion vehicles as #OpenTheIndustry. Young talent often does not have accessibility and opportunities to audition.
A statement by SABC1 Head of Channel, Phumzile Zonke, highlights SABCs drive to deliver on the mandate, which is to entertain, educate and inform. In the statement, Zonke emphasises the production value of uBettina Wethu, stating that it is an excellent fit for SABCs growing brand and spot in terms of the SABC’s market domination strategy. The show is SABC1s first-ever simulcast with Viu.