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Why is ABC treating Ugly Betty so badly?

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 29th 2009 1:28PM
ugly_betty_2009The ratings are in from Friday night -- that was the Friday after Thanksgiving, a night when the major networks were showing movies and reruns -- and, not surprising, the numbers are pretty low.

Oh, wait, one network had new shows, ABC. But the ratings for a new Ugly Betty at 9 p.m. were dismal. Ugly Betty came in dead last with just a 0.9/3, only 3.39 million viewers for that timeslot.

A few weeks ago, I thought -- hoped -- things were looking up for Ugly Betty. It looked like the show was going to get a timeslot switch to Eastwick's Wednesday at 10 p.m. Alas, ABC has done nothing. Eastwick is not picked up for the season and it's still losing in that spot -- it had a 1.2/4 and just 3.89 million viewers this past week. That said, why isn't ABC giving Betty some love with a time change?

Good question. I wish I had the answer, but I don't. I can speculate and it seems to be that ABC has decided that there is no future with Ugly Betty. The network has abandoned the show. Why else would it waste a new episode on Friday night? I think I may be one of the only people who watched it, and I did because I DVR'd it. The numbers aren't in yet, but I suspect that part one of the Monk finale was the ratings juggernaut of the night.

Sad to say, Ugly Betty is not destined to survive beyond this season. ABC has given no indication that it has faith in the show. It'll probably show the allotment of episodes and kiss it goodbye, a once-great, award-winning show being given short shrift. And you know what really sucks? Ugly Betty is still a good show.

Yes, it's suffered from some cast erosion and the show no longer has the "hot" buzz, but it's still good characters and situations that are interesting. It's ripe for a resurrection. If only ABC would give it some love and encouragement.

[Watch Ugly Betty episodes on SlashControl.]

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It is a show that has run it's course. ABC is going to let it run out. They have enough episodes to package it out already. It will run this season, possibly have a short season after that, to pad out to 100 eps.

November 30 2009 at 12:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Look at what NBC is doing with Jay Leno. Broadcast TV is dying, and all the powers that be recognize it.


November 30 2009 at 12:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is simply a case of being in the wrong time slot and ABC not willing to move it where it might survive. I'm thinking Monday or Tuesday @7pm would help.

The show is aimed at teenagers, whether adult viewers want to admit it or not. The topic is not heavy, and it deals with a lot dramatic issues that a teen might go through, despite the theme of the show. I mean no slight to the adults who enjoy this show. My sister who is in her early 40's enjoys this show with her teenage daughter. But it really was just lead in for Grey's Anatomy.

Now that Ugly Betty is no longer a lead in program to ABC's once hottest show, I really don't see it surviving on Fridays.

November 29 2009 at 11:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's my favourite show on television--and I know what that brand usually earns a show: Cancellation-Is-Imminent. C'mon! The acting's great, the lines still punch, and the show doesn't feel like a merry-go-round of Case 1, Case 2, Case 1, Case 2, Case 1....

Oh, but one thing I want to happen:

Bring. Gio. Back.

November 29 2009 at 9:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yes, I don't understand it either. They changed the season premier date three times, and moved it to a Friday. Knowing that "Ugly Betty" is not the type of show that would do well on a Friday night. Plus the ratings were already declining. If they truly cared about the show they would have moved it to Wednesday nights after the 3rd season, because it would have fit perfectly with the "Cougar Town" & "Modern Family" comedy block. I'm just truly convinced that ABC has stopped caring. A lot of people didn't even know that a new episode aired on Friday, because ABC fails to promote it properly. They didn't even put a "In Two Weeks" promo at the end of 4x06. Now let this be "Grey's Anatomy" or "Desperate Housewives" there is no way they would do that to them! It's just such a shame, because Ugly Betty is just such a truly entertaining show with wonderful acting and story lines. The writing hasn't been this strong since season 1, and ABC is just totally ignoring that.

November 29 2009 at 9:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

wow! my DVR didn't even pick up on the new episode of Betty. which means my service provider didn't have it scheduled as a new episode. wonderful job, ABC.

November 29 2009 at 8:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

First season had bite to writing. Scored with Calif based snarky references. By time it was going reverse coastal the edge was fading.
As much fun as Fashion Week and such could offer in Man'h for inside yucks, well no one here has any time for this mess given the jobless recession impacting Metro crowd. That 20s & 30s young things that might have made Ugly lovable like Cheers just ain't buying into this. Man'h wealthy crowd is way over the level presented here. Less wealthy, larger, crowd is wasting days away in coffee Net shops seeking work in an economy that doesn't need them. Imagine years on parents' dime thru college and Ugly Betty is best that is offered!? Ugly is just Ugly.
Ironically, I saw a 3 word t-shirt in front window of quietly hip store in Hell's Kitchen last week. Handmade special.
God Hates Ugly.
No audience for playland anymore. With at least 10.3% jobless in Man'h who cares about these petty pampered players. Escapism has had its day for awhile. Will take a more
prosperous lifestyle era to support this. Things like Community seem more in keeping with the tone hard as that is to imagine. Comm is funny show with a lower common denominator to make it go down smoother.
Remember how 'out' fashion became as the French Revolution roared on.
On to White Collar.

November 29 2009 at 7:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I actually have no idea why they're treating Ugly Betty so bad. It can't be because the show is crazy and melodramatic--it's always been that way. It can't be because it's trying to improve its reputation--what are they competing against really, when other channels show crap like Survivor, Big Brother or Melrose Place/90210/Gossip Girl? And if reputation is what they really cared about, they would've axed Brothers and Sisters and Private Practice already.

It just seems idiotic to give up on a show that still has a lot of life, and ratings, left in it. And for no real reason.

Anyway, I saw the last episode, because I don't bother with Black Friday sales. I thought this season has been pretty great so far. I've particularly enjoyed Wilhelmina's storyline with her daughter, though I had hoped there'd been more going on in their final confrontation than there was.

And I don't know why people think the Betty in this version should get with Daniel just because she did in other versions--they dont' fit at all! Regardless, those who feel that way might get their wish, considering they kissed in this last episode (even if Daniel was drugged up at the time).

November 29 2009 at 7:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree; ABC is taking too long with Betty's transformation. I gave up watching Ugly Betty a year ago because I tired with the whole "ugly" thing, plus the campy storyline. If the show is going to end, let Betty and Daniel have an adult relationship. ABC also ditched American Dreams suddenly and it was an excellent serial.

November 29 2009 at 7:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to hike108's comment

American Dreams was on NBC. All networks are guilty of doing this, I remember when they dumped Third Watch on Fridays when it was still a great show, It was too expensive so they moved it there to justify cancelling it when the ratings would unsurprisingly decline.

November 30 2009 at 10:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's sad because the show has actually improved from last season.

November 29 2009 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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