US ABC network to offer more shows dubbed in Spanish

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Friday, September 9, 2005

Due to a growing US Hispanic population, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) announced that all primetime shows in their upcoming lineup will be closed captioned in both English and Spanish. In addition, four of the shows, as well as many theatrically-released films and other specials, will be dubbed in Spanish.

The move was a major one for ABC. Previously, only the Hispanic comedy The George Lopez Show was captioned and dubbed in Spanish. "We wanted to move beyond toe-dipping and really dive in," said Stephen McPherson, ABC entertainment chief. "Almost half of the 41 million Hispanics in this country watch only or mostly Spanish-language television, and we want to bring that audience to ABC."

The SAP function allows an optional second audio transmission, which may be used for transmitting programs in Spanish. However, the additional costs of hiring voice actors to provide Spanish dialogue, as well as production costs, have been prohibitive for most networks. McPherson said that while it was "not inexpensive", having Spanish-speaking viewership could yield a significant benefit.

George Lopez will continue to air, dubbed in Spanish. In addition, two of the network's most popular shows, Desperate Housewives and Lost, as well as the new comedy Freddie, will be dubbed; Spanish voice actors are currently being cast for the roles.