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Report: VH1 developing reality show based on ABC's 'Ugly Betty'

By Christopher Rocchio, 06/28/2007 

ABC had success adapting Columbia's Yo Soy Betty La Fea telenovela into its Ugly Betty dramedy, and now VH1 is apparently interested in seeing if the show's concept has any legs as a reality series.

VH1 is developing a new reality show called America The Ugly, Radar Magazine reported Wednesday.  The series is reportedly inspired by ABC's Ugly Betty, a Golden Globe-winning series that follows a "slightly plump plain-Jane from Queens" who ended up working at a prestigious New York-based fashion magazine.  Ugly Betty -- which airs Thursdays at 8PM ET/PT, opposite CBS' Survivor -- premiered on ABC last fall.

VH1's show would reportedly follow several unattractive women as they enter the glamorous world of fashion and modeling while trying to cope with the sometimes hideous nature of the business, according to Radar.

America The Ugly will reportedly star Becky Southwick, a former executive at Wilhelmina Modeling Agency who should be familiar to reality television aficionados from her role in VH1's The Agency, which premiered in February and focused on the harsh nature of the modeling industry.

Southwick is currently employed by Trump Model Management and confirmed to Radar that a pilot for America The Ugly has been filmed but she's still unsure if it's going to be ordered by VH1.

"I'm not even confirmed for it, anyway, so I don't know what's happening with it," she told Radar. "I've got other things of my own going on."

If VH1 does move forward with America The Ugly, Ugly Betty wouldn't be the first ABC scripted hit to "inspire" a reality-based cable network knockoff.  Two years ago, Bravo developed The Real Housewives of Orange County, a real-life Desperate Housewives-like series that follows a group of affluent housewives in California's Orange County.

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