Will it travel? The Local vs. Global Tug-of-War for Telenovela and Turkish Dizi Producers

In Özgü Y, Aslan, P. & Mujica, C. (Eds.) Transnationalization of Turkish Television Series. Istanbul University Press.

ABSTRACT: Long-established telenovela production powerhouses face new opportunities and threats that complicate the differences between their local and global audiences. In addition, new non-Latino-American players, such as Turkey, have been displacing telenovela producers in several markets, including on their own turf. Turkish dramas—dizis—have made a global footprint giving Turkey a 25% share of the international market for television fiction. As production decision makers for both telenovelas and dizis factor in both their national audiences and contexts and the global market trends, the perennial tension between prioritizing the domestic or the international market has become even more critical. Underpinned by how they rank local ratings versus global sales, these tensions influence the writing, casting and production processes. In this chapter, I examine the tensions between local and global markets for the telenovelas produced for Telemundo and Univision—which are inextricably linked to Mexico’s telenovela production and consumption—and for Turkish dizis, and how these impact their production.


Carolina Acosta-Alzuru 

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