chapter  6
Localizing Sesame Street: The Cultural Translation of the Muppets
Pages 14

This chapter focuses on socio-cultural precincts of television formats in sub-Saharan Africa. It examines cultural considerations in transnational adaptations and challenges of transnational localization of TV formats, drawing on examples from the pan-African versions of shows such as Big Brother Africa, Idols East Africa, and Idols West Africa. The opportunities and limitations for localization of television formats in sub-Saharan Africa are examined here from cultural economy perspectives. In the localization of transnational television formats like Big Brother Africa, Idols West Africa, and Idols East Africa English is the main language of choice, because of expedience rather than cultural considerations. Audiences in sub-Saharan Africa are also imbued in the increasingly global celebrity cultures. The Big Brother Africa series has capitalized upon the increasing phenomenon of celebrities, stars, and fan culture by drawing participation from local celebrities such as budding musicians, models, and media personalities. Television programs like Idols South Africa and Masterchef South Africa carry some traits that are uniquely South African.