Ugly Betty Is About To Make A Move

Ugly Betty may be moving cross-country. The hour-long comedy/drama/soap now in its second season on ABC, is set at the fictional Mode magazine in New York City. Betty, however, is shot in L.A., with New York being created using green screens and studio sets. Now TV Guide is reporting that this may soon change. In what is being called a cost-cutting move, Ugly Betty is likely moving production to the real New York City. In fact, a source close to the show is already calling it “a done deal.”

TV shows that film in different cities from which they’re set are always hit or miss. Lost, for instance, does a fantastic job of making Hawaii look like Germany, Korea, L.A., etc. However, due to budget or other constraints, other shows don’t fair as well. For instance, on one episode of Alias, another J.J. Abrams show, they shot what was supposed to be Kenya in L.A., leading to an awkward scene that was set in a Kenyan hotel, but was easily recognizable as a dressed-up Standard Hotel, a popular celebrity hangout in Los Angeles.

Ugly Betty, however, does a fairly good job portraying New York. The elaborate green screen they use for Betty’s Queens neighborhood is definitely one of the better ones that I’ve seen. The problems they have are more with the little things, like the crazy-fancy bagel carts where Betty sometimes gets Daniel’s bagels, or the fact that Gio can go from delivering sandwiches to owning his own deli in Midtown in like, a week.

The thing that I never realized is that it would be cheaper for them to shoot the show in New York. Knowing that, it’s hard to believe that more series don’t do it. I understand that most actors are based out of Los Angeles, but the amount that shooting at the actual location adds to the quality of the show is tremendous. I truly believe that the realism that comes from filming in New York is one of the major factors in the Law & Order franchise’s ongoing success. Plus, I’m always randomly stumbling across random L&O filming locations, so the potential of a Vanessa Williams sighting would be quite exciting.