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'In the Motherhood' and 'Samantha Who?' get a tryout in the 'Ugly Betty' hour

January 26, 2009 |  3:41 pm

ABC will yank “Ugly Betty” from its Thursday slot to make way for a new comedy block.

Starting March 26, the new comedy “In the Motherhood” will kick off the network’s Thursday prime-time lineup, followed by “Samantha Who?” with Christina Applegate. Now in its third season, “Ugly Betty” stars America Ferrera as a plain-looking young woman who works at an upscale New York fashion magazine.

“Ugly Betty” started with promise but has lately stumbled in the ratings. The 8 p.m. Thursday time slot is critical for ABC because it leads in to “Grey’s Anatomy,” one of the network’s top-rated series.

ABC said “Ugly Betty” would return to its previous schedule once the comedies have finished their runs, but did not specify a date.

In addition, the network announced that starting March 18, “Scrubs” will move to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, followed by the new comedy “Better Off Ted.” This winter that slot has been occupied by repeats of the thriller “Lost.”

-- Scott Collins