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ABC has ordered a full season of its comedy-drama Ugly Betty, the most-watched new series this season with an average of 14.8 million viewers.
While it has slipped a bit from its stellar premiere three weeks ago, Betty still ranks as a solid second to CBS's Survivor in the 8 p.m. Thursday slot among total viewers and adults 18 to 49, delivering ABC's best numbers in the hour with scripted programming in 13 years.
Based on popular telenovela Yo Soy Betty La Fea, Betty stars America Ferrera as a sweet, intelligent assistant to the editor of a fashion magazine whose unglamorous look makes for an easy target in the superficial fashion world. The order for nine episodes brings the total order for the show to 22.
Meanwhile, Fox's struggling rookie comedies 'Til Death and Happy Hour, which run against Betty, have received orders for three additional scripts.
'Til Death is back in production following an extended hiatus prompted by star Brad Garrett's reported unhappiness with a script.
Happy Hour emerged as a possible first casualty of the 2006-2007 season when it was pulled off the schedule last month two weeks before its scheduled preemption for the network's postseason baseball coverage. But then early this month, Fox said that the sitcom would return post-baseball in its original 8:30 p.m. Thursday slot, following 'Til Death. (Reuters)