The critically-acclaimed television series Ugly Betty, once described as "arguably the most queer-friendly program in the history of broadcast television", has been canceled by ABC. The show will end its four-season run in April, reports Variety.
Show still has four episodes left to produce this season—and series exec producer Silvio Horta now plans to use that opportunity to tie up loose ends and wrap things up. "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," Horta and ABC Entertainment Group chairman Steve McPherson said in a joint statement. "We are extremely proud of this groundbreaking series, and felt it was important to give the fans a proper farewell. Decision to end "Ugly Betty's" run doesn't come as a huge surprise; the show narrowly avoided cancellation last year—but was moved from its longtime Thursday home to a rough Friday night berth this fall. More recently, the show has joined ABC's hot Wednesday night lineup, bowing earlier this month in the 10 p.m. slot.
Based on the Columbian telenovela "Yo Soy Betty La Fea", the series stars America Ferrera as Betty Suarez, a fashion-challenged editorial assistant. Out actor Michael Urie is also in the cast, as well as gay faves Pattti Lupone, Judith Light, and Vanessa Williams, who plays the scheming Wilhelmina Slater to delicious perfection. Mark Indelicato was cast as the fashion-obsessed, showtune-singing pre-teen Justin (below), endearing himself to America and promoting LGBT acceptance in Latino communities. Rebecca Romijn plays a transgender character Alexis Meade and her character and sex re-assignment surgery storyline was a breakthrough.
After Elton's Michael Jensen described one typical episode:
So in one episode, Middle America witnessed a coming-out, two parental rejections based on sexual orientation and transgender issues, a defense of a swishy pre-adolescent, heard the praises sung about one's chosen family, and delivered a message that being honest about who you are is nothing to be ashamed of. You can't get much more queer —or freaking fabulous—than that.