ABC cancels “Ugly Betty”

In a sad but unsurprising move, has ABC announced that they are canceling Ugly Betty. In fact, they’ve asked the writers to trim down the fourth season from 22 to 20 episodes. Entertainment Weekly‘s Michael Ausiello broke the news with the following joint statement from network and Betty execs:

We’ve mutually come to the difficult decision to make this Ugly Betty’s final season, and are announcing now as we want to allow the show ample time to write a satisfying conclusion. We are extremely proud of this groundbreaking series, and felt it was important to give the fans a proper farewell.

Betty‘s ratings last season were dismal, and they didn’t get any better when ABC moved the show to the Friday night death slot this season. In a last ditch effort to revive the flailing telenovela, they gave it a chance on Wednesday night with their breakout sitcoms Cougar Town and Modern Family — but it never could recapture its original audience.

It’s a bummer to see the end of Betty for a lot of reasons. It is one of the most ethnically-diverse, women-friendly shows to ever air on network television. It includes a positive (and positively hilarious) gay male portrayal in Michael Urie‘s Marc St. James. And during this season’s creative resurgence, we also got a peek into Justin’s world as he battled with (probably) being a gay teen.

Hollywood is painted with a very white brush, so I am a little bereft to see America Fererra, Vanessa Williams and Ana Ortiz leave primetime. All three played strong, complex, well-rounded women. Unfortunately we don’t see lot of characters like that on TV — especially not women of color.

The only bright spot on the otherwise bleak horizon is that the show’s creators do have time to plot a tight, satisfying end for the Suarez family. What would you like to see for these characters as Betty comes to a close?

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