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ABC moves 'Ugly Betty' to Wednesdays at 10 -- but will it help?

December 2, 2009 | 12:30 pm


Will ABC's move of "Ugly Betty" from the Friday-night dead zone to Wednesday be enough to save what was once a watercooler show?

The network is expected to announce today that "Betty" will begin airing Wednesdays at 10 in January, replacing the ill-fated "Eastwick."

But is the move too little too late?

On one hand, the Wednesday move does give the fourth-season show a strong lead-in with hit comedy "Cougar Town." Meanwhile, some critics are rallying behind what they've deemed a creative comeback this season, which has seen Betty undergo a makeover and become an editor at fashion magazine Mode.

On the flip side, "Betty's" most recent episode -- which concluded the major storylines revolving around Daniel joining a Scientology-esque cult and Wilhelmina's demonic daughter -- drew just 3.26 million viewers. Ten o'clock might also be too late for the "Betty" audience, which stuck with the show through three seasons Thursdays at 8 but did not all follow it to Fridays at 9. And "Betty" has lost more viewers in its new time slot than any other returning show.

Drawing viewers back to its heavily serialized stories, after many have already abandoned it, will be the show's real challenge -- one that will determine whether or not those braces come off in time to see Season 5.

-- Denise Martin

Photo: America Ferrera stars in "Ugly Betty." Credit: ABC