Ugly Betty Cast

ABC

"It did not go over well."

This is what a source on the set of Ugly Betty tells me about this week's breaking news that the show's production will be moving to New York City for the upcoming third season.

Word is the majority of the cast and crew learned of the move on Tuesday (along with the rest of the world), and shooting the finale this week has been...challenging. "Everyone has been on their BlackBerrys all day long figuring out what the move means for them," says the on-set source. "The mood on the set is low." (Production on season two is set to wrap tomorrow.)

So why is the move happening? Well, for starters, there's that beneficial NYC tax cut that will save the show a heap of cash—something which has prompted the crew to place an ad in Variety asking the Governator to step in and help. (And with Betty's downturn in the ratings, pinching a few pennies is probably a good idea. On some weeks, the ratings are about half of what they were in the series premiere.)

But clearly, it isn't solely a financial decision, as other sources who work on the series told me that Ugly Betty is in talks with wardrobe guru extraordinaire Patricia Field (Sex and the City) to take over styling—and she's not exactly a budget choice. So it seems the producers are highly interested in upping Betty's cool factor with a more authentic New York vibe, new sets and even different costuming. Could that help bring some eyeballs back to the show? Only time will tell.

Obviously, this move could not happen without the cooperation of America Ferrera and the majority of the core cast. According to insiders, America seems to be OK with relocating to Gotham, as are Mark Indelicato, Becki Newton and, of course, Vanessa Williams, who has long had a residence in New York.

Still, at least two main stars are hard-hit by the news: Ana Ortiz, a newlywed who is happily settled into the L.A. life, and Eric Mabius, a new dad and family man. Word is, Ana is expected to make the move, but Eric might not be willing to do so, and would fly to NYC for his episodes, which probably means we would see less of him next season.

As for the writers and postproduction staff, I'm told they will stay in Los Angeles.

Thoughts? Is this move a good thing for Betty? Comment below.

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