2008-05-14 / Front Page

'Ugly Betty' Comes Home

'Ugly Betty' star America Ferrera. 'Ugly Betty' star America Ferrera. Governor David A. Paterson, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and ABC Studios President Mark Pedowitz on Monday announced that the production of the popular ABC drama "Ugly Betty" will be moving to New York City to take advantage of the 35 percent tax credits provided by the state and city. This move marks the first time an established television show has made a move to New York City and will create more than 200 full and part-time jobs.

Last month, Paterson announced the expansion of the New York State Film Production Credit during the opening of the seventh annual Tribeca Film Festival. The expansion of the state's tax credit program tripled the percentage of qualified film production costs eligible for the credit from 10 percent to 30 percent and extends the program to 2013.

With the increased competition from neighboring states, New York has been losing film and television business for the past several years. This has resulted in a loss of approximately $750 million to the New York economy. Coupled with the city's 5 percent 'Made in NY' tax credit, film companies can now take advantage of 35 percent of tax credits allowing New York to once again reclaim its spot as the premiere location for film production.

"New York City is one of the most desired filming locations in the country and we are pleased to welcome 'Ugly Betty' into that storied history," said Governor Paterson. "With this hit show set to film in Manhattan and Queens, this will allow viewers to see more of our great city. We welcome ABC Studio's series which joins a list of other hit television shows, including 'Law & Order', '30 Rock' and 'Gossip Girl', all of which are filmed right here in New York City."

Bloomberg said: "While there's no better backdrop than New York City for virtually any television show, a show about a young woman from Queens whose job combines publishing and fashion was made to be 'Made in New York'. Film and TV production contribute $5 billion per year to New York City's economy. I want to thank ABC for their growing commitment to New York City, congratulate Governor Paterson, and thank City Film Commissioner Katherine Oliver for traveling to Los Angeles to help seal the deal."

Pedowitz said: "New York is an integral part of the creative storytelling of 'Ugly Betty'. These new tax incentives have made it possible to bring Betty Suarez back to her home town. We appreciate the support from the state and local government and their forward thinking incentives that have helped the series' creative vision and bottom line."

Empire State Development Corporation Downstate President Avi Schick said, "We anticipated that the tripling of New York's incentives would lure productions to New York but even we didn't expect to see such immediate results. With 'Ugly Betty' coming home to New York, we are already seeing the promotion of an industry that creates billions of dollars in economic activity in New York each year. We expect many more productions to

follow their lead and decide that New York is the best place for film and television businesses to operate."

Pat Swinney Kaufman, executive director of the Governor's Office for Motion Picture & Television Development, said: "We are thrilled that Betty is coming home to the city where she began. Three years ago, the pilot for 'Ugly Betty' was shot in New York, but the series itself was pulled back to Los Angeles, where it has been filmed for two seasons. We are pleased that New York will again play itself in this hit series and that our talented actors and crews, many vendors and great infrastructure will be here to service this show."

Katherine Oliver, commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting, said, "New York City is proud to welcome ABC's 'Ugly Betty' back home. 'Ugly Betty' is the ultimate NYC show- she lives in Queens, she works in Manhattan, and now those real locations can be featured in every episode. Why fake it when you can get the reel deal right here? Now that New York state has tripled its tax credit, productions can take advantage of a 35 percent refundable tax credit when they film in the five boroughs. We're thrilled that 'Ugly Betty' will join our city's thriving film and television production industry, which employs 100,000 New Yorkers and generates $5 billion to the city's economy each year."

The New York State Film Production Credit is administered by the New York State Governor's Office for Motion Picture and Television Development, an agency of Empire State Development. For more information on eligibility, requirements, visit www.nylovesfilm.com.

In "Ugly Betty" (Thursdays, 8-9 p.m., on the ABC Television Network), in the superficial world of high fashion, image is everything. Styles come and go, and the only constants are the super-thin beauties who wear them. How can an ordinary girl from Queens possibly fit in?

If you took a moment to get to know Betty Suarez, you'd see how sweet, intelligent and hard-working she is (if a bit fashion challenged). When publishing mogul Bradford Meade handed the reigns of Mode, the bible of the fashion industry, over to his son, Daniel, he specifically hired Betty as his son's new assistant- mostly because she was the only woman Daniel wouldn't sleep with. Both outsiders in their own way, Daniel and Betty form an unlikely team, each helping the other navigate the choppy waters of New York City's fashion scene.

"Ugly Betty" stars Emmy-winner America Ferrera as Betty Suarez, Eric Mabius as Daniel Meade, Tony Plana as Ignacio, Ana Ortiz as Hilda, Ashley Jensen as Christina, Becki Newton as Amanda, Mark Indelicato as Justin, Michael Urie as Marc, Judith Light as Claire Meade, Christopher Gorham as Henry, Rebecca Romijn as Alexis and Vanessa Williams as Wilhelmina Slater. Freddy Rodriguez is a recurring guest star as Gio.

Based on "Yo Soy Betty La Fea", the groundbreaking Columbian telenovela that became an international phenomenon, "Ugly Betty" is from ABC Studios. This past two seasons the series has been awarded three Emmy Awards, two GLAAD Awards, as well as Golden Globe, Peabody, DGA, NAACP, ALMA, Costume Design Guild Award and Imagen Awards. Academy Award-nominee and Emmy Award winner Salma Hayek is executive producer, along with Jose Tamez ("The Maldonado Miracle"), Silvio Horta ("Urban Legend"), and Joel Fields ("Dirt").

ABC Studios has emerged as a leader in the development, production and strategic distribution of entertainment content across television and emerging digital platforms. The studio's brand identity as a haven for filmmakers has resulted in an impressive slate of diverse, critically acclaimed programming that is distributed worldwide. ABC Studios is part of Disney-ABC Television Group, a division of The Walt Disney Company.

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