After four years on the air, ABC has decided to pull the plug on Ugly Betty. There won’t be a fifth season but will longtime fans get a true series finale?
Ugly Betty debuted in 2006 and follows young Betty Suarez (America Ferrera) as she navigates her way through the world of high-fashion, working at the trendy magazine Mode. Others in the cast include Eric Mabius, Tony Plana, Ana Ortiz, Becki Newton, Mark Indelicato, Michael Urie, Vanessa Williams, and Ashley Jensen.
After being a modest hit for its first two seasons, the series’ viewership dropped to an average of eight million viewers and a 2.8 rating in the 18-49 demo last year. That would usually put a series “on the bubble” but ABC gave it an early renewal. It was pretty clear that the network wanted to try to keep it going to accumulate more episodes for the syndication package.
The network assigned the series to a Friday night timeslot this season, hoping that the loyal fans would follow it there. Not many did. After cancelling Eastwick, they moved Ugly Betty to a better slot, on Wednesday nights. The ratings haven’t been very good there either.
The show’s fate seemed essentially sealed by Ugly Betty’s syndication deal. While episodes of The Mentalist and NCIS: Los Angeles sold for about $2.2 million each in syndication, Ugly Betty episodes have been licensed to the TV Guide Network for “a low six figures.”
Today, the network and production team made a joint statement, saying, “We’ve mutually come to the difficult decision to make this Ugly Betty’s final season, and are announcing now as we want to allow the show ample time to write a satisfying conclusion. We are extremely proud of this groundbreaking series, and felt it was important to give the fans a proper farewell.”
What do you think? Are you surprised that the show’s been cancelled? What would you like to see happen before Ugly Betty goes off the air?