In its first-ever deal for scripted programming, TV Guide Channel will have the cable rights to air episodes of “Ugly Betty” within two weeks of their premiere on ABC. The deal, beginning in Fall 2010, also includes some online rights.
Calling it “a significant move to bolster its programming and attract new viewers, TV Guide Network announced that it has entered into an agreement with Disney-ABC Domestic Television to acquire the exclusive basic cable off-network rights to ABC Studios’ Golden Globe Award winning television series “Ugly Betty.” It is TV Guide Network’s first scripted series acquisition and part of a multi-tiered programming strategy to evolve the network as an entertainment destination.
The deal includes access to existing and future episodes of “Ugly Betty” which will begin airing as a weekly strip on TV Guide Network in fall 2010. As part of the agreement, TVGuide.com will have rights to stream up to five “Ugly Betty” episodes at a time online. In addition, the deal includes repurpose rights for the new season of “Ugly Betty” premiering in October 2009 on ABC. The repeat telecast of the new episodes will air on TV Guide Network within two weeks of their premiere on ABC.
“We are thrilled to be the exclusive cable and satellite home for a show as popular as ‘Ugly Betty,’ which will become a cornerstone of TV Guide Network’s schedule,” said Ryan O’Hara, President, TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com. “’Ugly Betty’ is a show that both fans and critics love, and one we believe will attract new viewers and advertisers to our network and web site. This acquisition is the first step of a larger, ongoing plan to strengthen our programming schedule and redefine TV Guide Network as a place to watch great television,” added O’Hara.
Some episodes of “Ugly Betty” have aired in the past on ABC’s sister Disney cable networks, ABC Family and SoapNet.
Premiering its fourth season on ABC this October, “Ugly Betty” stars Emmy Award winning actress America Ferrera as Betty Suarez, Eric Mabius as Daniel Meade, Vanessa Williams as Wilhelmina Slater, Ana Ortiz as Hilda, Tony Plana as Ignacio, Becki Newton as Amanda, Mark Indelicato as Justin, Michael Urie as Marc and Judith Light as Claire Meade. Executive producers are Silvio Horta, Academy Award-nominee and Emmy Award winner Salma Hayek, Jose Tamez, Richard Heus, Ben Silverman, Teri Weinberg, Tracy Poust and Jon Kinnally.