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'Ugly Betty' gets a new look

"Ugly Betty" is about to get a makeover and it has nothing to do with Betty's bushy eyebrows or shiny braces.

The ABC comedy is moving its set to New York City, where the fictional Mode magazine actually is based and where Betty, Daniel and the gang supposedly roam the streets.

For the last two seasons, Los Angeles (mostly a Hollywood studio lot) has posed as Manhattan on the Golden Globe-winning show, but creator Silvio Horta and star America Ferrera have always wished the show was filmed in the Big Apple so that it would have more authenticity.  The pilot was shot in Manhattan, but ABC decided to base the show in Los Angeles to keep costs down.

But new tax incentives enacted by the New York Legislature are now making it more affordable for the series to be shot in New York,  sources close to the series said.  Although the move may prove financially sound for ABC, it will leave hundreds of unhappy crew members, stylists and designers out of work.

ABC referred interview requests about the change to ABC Studios, which produces the show. An ABC Studios spokesperson said the studio could not confirm the location switch because the deal was not final.

On Tuesday, however, actors who were working on some of the season's last scenes found it difficult to concentrate after learning that they would have to move across the country as soon as possible in order to keep their jobs, according to sources close to them. 

"Ugly Betty" wraps filming for this season on Friday and is scheduled to begin production on next season at either Silvercup Studios in Long Island or Steiner Studios in Brooklyn on June 30.

--Maria Elena Fernandez

Comments () | Archives (14)

Let me tell you a little story about New York, Disney and Southern California's desire to give everything it has AWAY! New York, a city I don't respect, is on the right track. It takes the Canadien route and fights for production by offering incentives. This show is about New York so why shouldn't it relocate there? Why Betty, why now? Because Disney has shown an affinity for promoting New York for some reason unknown to me. Case in point: Disney infusing its own culture, developed mostly in Southern California, into New York City for last summer's 'Enchanted'. Dropping a ton of money into Times Square is another Disney example. Kinda sick! New York State enacts their deal, now they're shopping. Betty won't be the last. Hollywood just sits there. Burbank and Glendale and Los Angeles can counter very easily, but won't. Now you have 150 people out of work here, an economic tragedy about to unfold because- this is just the beginning! Can you imagine uprooting from an established studio workplace to trudge all the way across the country to SAVE money? Never have I seen such cowardess in an area so willing to give itself away. Go for it, New York. The embarrassment is all on us!

Tom, it's just business. Those 150 jobs will still exist, just in NYC instead of LA. If LA wants the jobs, they should offer incentives. If they don't want to do that, then the jobs will go where the studio bosses want them to (to save money). It's economics, plain and simple.

Disney is smart to invest money in a city where it has the expectation of finance returns.

Also, the words are spelled "Canadian" and "cowardice" -- really, what are non-east coast schools teaching folks these days? ^_~

Oooh, I found a brain! Tori (Spelling?), tell me something I don't know. I probably have been tracking this "New York feeding off of Los Angeles" phenomenon since before you were born. These are nowhere near the only examples that are currently active. If you want to correct the spelling of my drunken rant from this morning, g'head! I'm sober enough now to tell you that it is "..the expectation of financial return." Calm down, lil' Gossip Girl! Enjoy the rain! :)

More east coast girl school mistakes! That would be 'Canadian' and 'Cowardice', NOT what you entered. See if you can spot your egotistical mismanagement!

Tom is absolutely right. This city just sits back expecting the studios to stick around without offering them any tax incentives. Villarigosa and the city council need to pay more attention to these kind of issues than spending time protecting illegals!

This can be a potentially substantial problem. Akin to having a rival town kidnapping your children and raping your women and sitting there and doing nothing. Now, I don't watch this particular program because it's not my style but it can portend a trend that will cost the area- not only it's economy but its reputation. I suggest that similar tax-incentive programs be drawn up and presented to Governor Schwarzenegger, who would undoubtedly be interested given his background. Any production being lured away would be offered the same incentive package, plus 1 dollar. I could care less about 150 jobs being gained elsewhere. Ridiculous! Bidding wars would result of course and should be at least considered. This is disgusting, this shouldn't even be happening!

Here it is..... Michigan is offering 40 percent across the board. That is huge. Film makers are flocking to all these states offering huge incentives. They trully care about the people. Here we get zip, the Governor could care less, he has all his money and seems very relaxed. Are hands are tied. I wish there could be some oranized groups to go and make some noise. We are dying here in L.A. I wonder why he dosn't care???

Tom, we here in New York don't give a damn about YOUR respect? But thanks for the chuckles.

Welcome Ugly Betty! The one thing that was lacking in this warm and fun series was the actual New York background. LA passing for New York has always been a negative for me. Btw, Silvercup Studios is in Long Island City (that's in Queens). Betty Suarez supposedly comes from Queens right?

While the loss of jobs is never something that one wishes to happen to anyone, business is business. Until California begins to take seriously what is happening and looks for ways to offer very good tax incentives, more entertainment businesses will be lost to other locations.

Tania? (If that is your real name) We in uh,..Los Angeles, don't give a damn about you in little New York not giving a damn! What has me completely floored are the lazy writers who peddle as many Snooze York projects as they do. Much less the lazy producers who green them. Los Angeles can pass very well for just about any location in the world- that's what we do. Sitcoms don't really need so much exterior setting. The apartment that was used in 'Seinfeld', for example, is actually located in Los Angeles. Would be a hoot to see NY stand in for L. A! Can't imagine New York producing anything about anything other than itself, can you, and it's funny you bring up the 'business' angle repeatedly. Because this is really supposed to be art and entertainment.. "Ugly Betty" notwithstanding. Which brings us to something else I'll just have to learn 'ya; New York doesn't have a filmed entertainment industry. It has a filmed ADVERTISEMENT industry. So maybe something as provincial as Ugly Betty belongs there. You, as Tori, are correct in the business end. We'll have to wake up from our siesta in the sun and get down in the dirt to battle the likes of poseurs such as you, if only to save the industry from being watered down. When it comes to competition in the 'BIZ', our attitude was usually "..the eagle does not hunt flies." Looks like that will have to change, or else everyone in the world will be watching films like "Sleepless in Seattle" and "What happens in Vegas", both movies having more to do with NY than either Seattle or Vegas! Oooh, I'm so looking forward to "I love New York!" Corny! Folks, if you find yourself in a theatre watching someone flying, driving or 'swinging' down the center of Times Square, You're not at the movies. You're in the middle of a twenty dollar commercial! .....GAME - SET - MATCH!

Tom, DON'T KNOCK NY...the real reason they are flocking here is that they are sick and tired of LA and all the drugs, booze and unappreciative actors/singers/losers .... New Yorkers take life seriously and are more professional....just face facts.....AND not to mention CT and other neighboring states offering tons of incentives to shoot movies here - talent agencies are now following in the studios footsteps.....They recently shot Revolutionary Road with DeCaprio and Winslet as well as the dog movie with Travolta (don't recollect the name)....LA has a poor reputation for all its fake people, plastic surgery and unaffordability........BRAVO NY! It is the world's greatest city! Welcome Ugly Betty!

"Old Dogs"? Uhhh,..so exhausting. Setting New York people straight is taking up too much of my time. I will state this; If I have to see another smarmy, New York couple walk past another brownstone with the stupid, simple music from yesteryear playing in the background....yuch, Nora Ephron. Go away. NY (movies?) are all the same. So sorry, sad and lame. Why? Because you never drift from self love in the content of your scripts. I stopped watching them years ago when I was able to predict when the next hotspot or landmark would be 'popping' up in the background! Still, the fault is ours. When something is overlooked, neglected, disease is introduced. When something is not tended to, cancer will make itself known. You are that cancer, guys! You can try as hard as you might, but you'll never be A-list! You'll never be Hollywood. You'll never be US! And before you try to come back with something clever, realize that fact and you can move on with your rain soaked lives. We're working to correct the problem now.

I love the 'the hell with everybody else,' attitude. When outsourcing to Canada first reared it's head we heard all the complaints. All I could think was, 'We don't care if they starve to death? They don't deserve any of what we have?'
Wake up. It's a global market place. There are LOTS of peeps out there just as talented as us, I work in LA and that's the way of the world.
Get used to it or find something else to do or just keep complaining. I don't care, but this is not going away. It's circular anyway. I think I got that idea from a Disney play about a lion I saw in NYC. It'll come back to LA and work itself out. Everyone wins the Super Bowl once in a while. It's just a question of time. Unfortunately you may be long dead before it comes back to you.

When one has to assert an argument with so much rancor, in an attempt to prove a point, the basic premise is suspect.
Will you be surprised when the 2012 Academy Awards are broadcast "Live from Singapore"?

Than I'll leave it with a simple question.
Do 'Outsiders' have a right to earn a living in 'our' business if it means it's less work for us or do we let them do without?


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