NBC TOOK WINNING ADVANTAGE of this hour this season, courtesy of game show Deal or No Deal, which arrived with great success in midseason. But a hasty move to Thursday at 9 p.m. (opposite CBS’ CSI and ABC’s relocated Grey’s Anatomy—good luck!) suddenly frees up the hour for new ABC comedy Betty the Ugly and Fox benchwarmer Nanny 911. Can an oversized square peg named Betty working in the fashion industry and a strict disciplinarian named Jo Frost find success opposite CBS sleeper Ghost Whisperer, NBC’s relocated Crossing Jordan, and CW’s Friday Night Smackdown? Although you have to give ABC points for trying to push the envelope with the anything-but-traditional (and hour-long) Betty the Ugly, you have to wonder about its shelf life. How long, after all, will Betty really be that frumpy? After all, braces aren’t forever! What might sound promising could turn into a one-joke wonder, so it looks like Nanny Jo Frost could have an advantage—a large one—if the similar appeal Ghost Whisperer and Crossing Jordan cancel each other out. In the world of prime-time TV, never underestimate the value of a non-scripted show with a happy ending each week. Now, if Jo Frost can give Betty the Ugly some fashion tips, maybe this would be a battle more worth noting.
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