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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 September 2006, 13:55 GMT 14:55 UK
Ugly Betty is top US autumn debut
America Ferrera, star of TV's Ugly Betty
Ugly Betty is about "a slightly plump plain-Jane from Queens", ABC says
Ugly Betty, a comedy about a plain girl who tries to succeed in the fashion industry, has become the most popular new TV series of the autumn in the US.

The debut of the ABC show, based on a popular Colombian "telenovela" - or soap opera - was seen by 16.1m viewers.

However, it was beaten by established hits CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Grey's Anatomy and Survivor.

Survivor's contestants were segregated by race but the experiment was ended on Thursday's episode of the reality show.

The black, white, Asian and Latino tribes seen on Cook Island in the first two editions of the programme were merged into two mixed-race gangs instead.

The stunt had led to CBS - which secured an audience of 16.6m, according to Nielsen Media Research - being accused of divisiveness by some members of New York's city council.

The cast of US TV show Survivor
23.5m - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS)
23.3m - Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
16.6m - Survivor (CBS, pictured)
16.1m - Ugly Betty (ABC)
Source: Nielsen Media Research

The network had always promised to end the segregation but had not previously said when it would happen.

The 13th series of Survivor is competing in the same timeslot as Ugly Betty, which stars America Ferrera, 22, as Betty Suarez.

Ugly Betty has scored higher ratings than any other programme making its debut this season.

But the evening's biggest success was the Las Vegas version of forensics drama CSI, which has dominated Thursdays in the US in recent years.

It was watched by 23.5m people, with medical drama Grey's Anatomy just behind on 23.3m.

Ferrera has previously appeared in an episode of CSI called Harvest, which was part of its fifth series, from 2004.

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31 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
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31 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
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