Ugly Betty: Will a New Timeslot Save the Show from Being Cancelled?

Ugly BettyAfter spending several weeks stranded with a “Friday night death slot,” ABC has decided to give former hit show Ugly Betty a better time slot. Will it help or is the show still doomed to be cancelled?

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.

The series was a modest hit for the 2006-07 season with a 3.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 11.3 million total viewers. The following year, the prized demo remained essentially the same (3.6) but dropped in viewers to 9.4 million.

For year three, Ugly Betty fell significantly, to a 2.8 rating in the demo and 8.0 million viewers. That slump would have likely placed the show “on the bubble” but the series was given an early renewal for season four. ABC Studios co-produces the series and a fourth season would ensure that there would be enough episodes for syndication.

Should Ugly Betty be cancelled?

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Unfortunately for the show’s fans, year four has seen Ugly Betty stranded on Friday nights, a little-watched evening. Predictably, the dramady has continued to lose viewers. The two-hour season premiere attracted just a 1.4 rating in the demo and 5.07 million viewers. The numbers have fallen from there and, outside of Thanksgiving weekend, hit a season low of a 1.1 in the demo and 4.26 million viewers.

With the recent cancellation of Eastwick, ABC has now decided to move Ugly Betty to the Wednesday at 10pm timeslot. It’ll move there beginning January 6th. While this is certainly a better timeslot for the show, it seems unlikely to save the show.

Ugly Betty’s viewership had already dropped significantly last season and even more fans have abandoned it this fall. Some believe that the show is having a creative comeback but, once viewers stop watching a serial, they’re unlikely to return.

While syndication helped get the show renewed for season four, it’s unlikely to help this time around. Episodes of The Mentalist and NCIS: Los Angeles were sold for about $2.2 million each to TNT and USA, respectively. In contrast, episodes of Ugly Betty only brought “a low six figures” for each installment from the lower-profile TV Guide Network.

TV show supportSo, unless the ratings for Ugly Betty miraculously see a big increase in its new timeslot, the show is destined to be cancelled in the spring. Thankfully, for fans, ABC has given the writers a heads-up so that they can plan ahead and give the show some closure if that should happen.

What do you think? Should Ugly Betty end this season or continue? Is ABC’s move too little, too late? If the show should end, should Betty end up with — Gio, Daniel, Henry, Matt, or none of them?

Canceled and renewed TV show

33 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Zac says


    Bring back “Ugly Betty” Give us Season 5

    I am a huge fan of Ugly Betty from Hong Kong. I just want you to know how important it is to give us Ugly Betty season 5.

    The show was great and it deserves better than being cancelled. I know the show had low rating on season 4. I don’t think it is the problem of the show, because you have fired several excellent writer of the show and changed the role the several characters. And most importantly, you changed the show on Friday when people seldom watch TV.

    The show was honored with several awards and why don’t you give it a chance? Just because it had low rating on one season doesn’t mean people don’t love the show! A lot of people do love Ugly Betty, these people includes those outside United States!

    When it has low rating, the first you do is to cancel it! Why don’t you think about how you could do better? The show was excellent on season 4, where it produced several best episodes.

    You will never know how heartbreaking it is to hear that the show was cancelled. By the way, several shows that now air is totally boring and none of them can compare with Ugly Betty, for example, “Lost” is the worst of the worst and you have so many crime-theme shows such as “Castle”, come on, they are totally and extremely boring!!

    If you don’t bring back Ugly Betty, it is totally irresponsible and your audience will leave because you made the worse decision ever!

    UB fan

  2. LoreOya says

    Hi, I´m from Argentina. Please, do not cancel Ugly Betty. Its a healthy program. Its a family program, we love this show. Betty,Matt, Daniel, Whillie, Mark, Mandy, Hilda…we love all!

  3. jamisona says

    DO NOT cancel ugly betty! I absolutely love this show! you guys that dont like it, no one is forcing you to watch this show. if you hate it then dont look at it.


  4. Flor says

    Don’t cancel Ugly Betty! It makes me laugh and is so diverse we can all identify ourselves with one of the characters. As a latina is good to see latinos acting in good roles and America has done a great job. I will miss it…

  5. Dee says

    I think it is a disgrace they are cancelling Ugly Betty. There are not that many good shows on television these days and then when they do get one they cancel it. It doesn’t make any sense. They need to keep Ugly Betty on the air. Wish there was a way to get them to change their mind about cancelling Ugly Betty.

  6. Anonymous says

    With so many reality programs taking over and forcing me and most to turn to cable for quality programming, fantastic comedy or drama series, why would ABC cancel the one comedy that the entire family can enjoy? That being said, please do NOT cancel Ugly Betty. ABC should have left Ugly Betty in its Thursday 8PM slot, by moving it to Friday and then to Wednesday, ABC has been the direct cause of its demise since folks have to keep looking to find the time slot Betty is in. Do NOT cancel!!!

  7. librachrm says

    Matt should come back from Africa (or wherever he is) and elope with Betty; taking her back with him to do some do-gooder work. Daniel should get Wilhelmina pregnant, causing her to leave to be a full-time mom. Amanda should agree to be a surrogate for Marc and his boyfriend. Bobby and Hilda should get married, move out to their own house, and take Justin with them. Ignacio should go live with the lady from Dexter in Season 3.

  8. says

    NO!!! Please don’t let this show get cancelled. It is such a diverse show that complents the current events, and represents different cultures. Most shows today are non-diverse and they try to bring current events to the surface, but are one sided. I like how this show provides a comic relief to hard hitting issues.

    I know that network is trying to bring new shows in but we are totally driven by reality television. I am so sick of watching other people’s drama, that I like I nice story line. I have drama in my life and I use television as an escape. But on every channel is a reality show that I really don’t care. Give me some fiction. What happen to a story plot? the creative mystery? they should have kept Ugly Betty after Greys, it was a perfect time slot.

  9. j.j says

    Why Oh Why did you cancel UGLY BETTY and EASTWICK!!!!!!!!
    THEY were my favorite shows. I’m an old woman. I watched them faithfully unless I was
    ill. PLEASE BRING THEM BACK!!!!!!!

  10. Alan says

    This is a stupid, silly show. It is a total waste of time. I can not believe the network would keep this show and cancel Eastwick. Do us all a favor and put this show to rest once and for all.

  11. Rose says

    I love watching this show. I love the twists and turns & how the characters of the show are evolving. I love the actors and the characters they play. All of this keeps me coming back. I think this should be at a 8:00 time slot. If it was to end, I’d like to see her fully empowered without a man in her life & her braces off.

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