ABC will move the hour-long comedy, about a plain-Jane secretary who becomes a key adviser to the owner of a fashion magazine, from its original slot on Friday night to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, just before the network's hit "Grey's Anatomy."
The Thursday slot was to be filled by another series, "Big Day," starring Wendy Malick, about the drama of a wedding day. That show will now be slotted midseason.
Favorite of critics
"Ugly Betty," previously named "Betty the Ugly" after the Colombian hit "Betty La Fea," became a favorite amid a sea of dark dramas at the annual broadcast-network press tour for regional TV critics. A number of TV writers suggested it should win a better time period.
As well as being a campy take-off of the catty themes that ran through the summer movie hit "The Devil Wears Prada," the show pilot also tackles serious issues. In one scene, Betty -- played by America Ferrera -- goes home to a small house in Queens and listens to her father's frustration with his health insurance.
Ben Silverman, the executive producer who worked for five years to bring the show to air, told Advertising Age in an e-mail: "It was not seen as being the potential breakout that it is now, but I personally always believed it would work and could be huge."
Mr. Silverman's company Reveille also produces NBC's "The Office," which airs at 8:30 p.m. and follows "My Name is Earl." "I hate to compete with myself but am psyched ... that ['Betty' is] linked to 'Grey's Anatomy,'" he said.
Besdies the NBC comedies, "Betty" will also do battle with Fox's "Til Death" (starring Brad Garrett from "Everybody Loves Raymond") and "Happy Hour," CBS's "Survivor: Cooks Island," and the CW's "Smallville."
ABC also confirmed it is canceling the poorly rated reality show "One Ocean View." The "Real World"-style series aired for two weeks on Mondays at 10 p.m. and averaged a 1.5 rating in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic. It will be replaced by episodes of "Super Nanny."