Not your abuela’s telenovela : Mujeres Asesinas as a hybrid Latin American fiction format
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This dissertation traces the trajectory of Mujeres Asesinas (“Killer Women”) as a fiction series developed in Argentina for a domestic audience (2005-2008), to the Mexican television format adaptation explicitly produced for a transnational Spanish-language audience (2008-2011). A critical transculturalism theoretical framework (Kraidy, 2005), centered on hybridity, provides a multi-layered approach to the inquiry by counterposing two distinct locales with the institutions, practices, processes and relationships that link them, as well as the hybrid text that serves as the site of negotiation. As a reality-based fiction series developed and adapted by independent producers with links to powerful media players in their own countries, Mujeres Asesinas provides a vehicle through which to understand some of the tensions and contradictions surrounding the regional television format business from a local-to-local perspective with attention to local, national and transnational forces and constraints. The format’s production and localization reveals a complex web of contextual and relational links that complicate current understandings of media globalization, particularly around the rise of independent media production and the transition to a multi-channel media environment. My findings underscore the role of nation states as primary sites of media, regulation and cultural policy-making. As a case study, this work contributes to the growing bodies of research on counter flows of global television formats and intraregional television flows in Latin America.