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The Thursday Night War Gets More Interesting...

By RD Heldenfels Published: August 9, 2006

This from ABC today:

ABC announced today it is shifting the hour-long series “Ugly Betty” to Thursdays, leading into the critically acclaimed hit, “Grey’s Anatomy.” “Ugly Betty” will premiere THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

Please Note: “Ugly Betty” had originally been scheduled to premiere on Friday, Sept. 22 at 8PM.

“Ugly Betty,” the highly anticipated American take on the international phenomenon from executive producer Salma Hayek, has been well received by critics, advertisers and others who have previewed the pilot. Encouraged by the early positive response, ABC will move “Ugly Betty” from its previously announced Friday timeslot (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET).

            Comedies “Big Day” and “Notes from the Underbelly” will now kick off later in the fall after Dancing With the Stars completes its run.

          America’s Funniest Home Videos will continue to do double duty on Fridays and Sundays, as it has been doing since March.  (end announcement)

''Ugly Betty'' has gotten some good buzz; I liked the pilot and America Ferrera is an appealing star. But this is no cakewalk; the planned competition in that time slot is CBS's ''Survivor,'' CW's ''Smallville,'' NBC's ''My Name Is Earl/The Office'' and Fox's'' 'Til Death/Happy Hour.'' The Fox comedies look the weakest of the lot, except that '' 'Til Death'' has Brad Garrett, who is very funny even when all else around him is not. Planning ahead, I expect to have the DVR running hard, since at first I'll definitely be wanting ''Survivor,'' ''Earl/The Office'' and ''Ugly Betty,'' and maybe '' 'Til Death'' (especially if it dumps the young couple to focus just on Garrett and Joely Fisher).

Funny that ABC made the change today. I was working on the chart for the fall season, noting all the title changes and time-slot switches that have happened since the networks announced their lineups in May, and here came another one.

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