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Farewell, “Ugly Betty”: A look back at the series, which wraps tonight

As “Ugly Betty” ends its four-season run tonight, above, exec producer Silvio Horta tells a Paley Fest crowd how the show finally made it to air.

“Betty,” of course, is based on the megahit Colombian telenovela “Yo soy Betty la fea.” U.S. producers had been trying for years to turn it into a TV series; Salma Hayek and Ben Silverman finally made it happen in 2006, with an adaptation created by Horta.

In his original review, Variety’s Brian Lowry was mixed on the show, but certain on one thing: His raves for star America Ferrara. (“It’s going to be fun to watch America discover America.”) The start of his review:

America Ferrara is just a wisp of a thing, which makes it all the more remarkable that this whimsical new drama fits so neatly on her shoulders. Unspectacular in every other way, this adaptation of a popular Spanish telenovela — liberally adorned with swatches of “The Devil Wears Prada” — rises above the norm almost entirely on Ferrara’s winsome, winning portrayal of an duckling treading water amid fashion snobs. Pairing “Ugly Betty” with “Grey’s Anatomy” raises expectations, but the series will still need all Betty’s charms to survive an hour as cutthroat as her work environs.

Variety first broke the news of “Ugly Betty’s” cancellation in January. Here’s what we wrote then.

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