July 22, 2009 by Tom
TV Guide Network has picked up the cable off-network rights to Ugly Betty. The move comes as the Network is changing its programming direction under new ownership.
Under the deal inked with Disney-ABC, TV Guide network will begin airing new installments of Ugly Betty within two weeks of their run on ABC. This will begin following the show’s October 9th 2-hour season premiere.
TV Guide will also run the show as a weekly strip beginning in fall 2010 when TVGuide.com will have rights to stream up to five Ugly Betty episodes at a time. (Currently, new episodes are available at ABC.com and Hulu.com the next day after airing).
Sources say the license deal was at about $200,000 per episode. Now it makes sense why this hasn’t already happened at ABC Family, where I expected Ugly Betty to land on cable. That kind of moolah can turn a few executive heads. (But then again, Spike TV paid 3 times that much for Entourage).
Ryan O’Hara, president of TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com, said Betty “will become a cornerstone of TV Guide Network’s schedule.”
“It gives us really good stability,” he said. “We’ve had spikes with events but never a great amount of stability, and ‘Betty’ will give us that. It will be on every night of the week in primetime for years to come.”
TV Guide has been moving toward acquiring shows to complement its in-house offerings. It canceled TV Watercooler, turned Hollywood 411 into a weekly, rather than daily show, and changed weekly show Infanity into specials.
Next up for TV Guide? Signing new people as anchors and stars of new unscripted series, and pursuing new original series.
So, if you can’t get enough Betty, check it out this fall on TV Guide Channel!