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"Ugly Betty" celebrates release of first-season DVD

The cast and crew of "Ugly Betty" celebrated Monday the release of a first-season DVD, but the excitement was cuased by being part of an instant hit, and looking ahead to its fall return.

"It's nice, for me at least, to look back and think, `Wow, this has been such an incredible year,"' series star America Ferrera told the Associated Press. "There has been so much blood, sweat and tears of happiness and tiredness and joy and all of that put into it."

A Hollywood adaptation of the Colombian telenovela "Yo Soy Betty La Fea," "Betty" swirls around a plain young woman who lands a job as assistant to a fashion-magazine editor. The show was an out-of-the-gate hit following its autumn 2006 debut on ABC, and has also scored well overseas.

British actor Ashley Jensen ("Extras"), who plays Betty's workplace confidante Christina, said, "I think you can see a bit of Ugly Betty in all of us, and I mean men, as well, because it's about the underdog."

On the red carpet at the swanky Skybar in Hollywood's Mondrian Hotel, the actors looked like anything but underdogs, donning duds from such heavyweight designers as Prada (Jensen), Nanette Lepore (Ferrera) and Bill Blass (Ana Ortiz, who plays Betty's sister, Hilda).

Making her way through the arrivals gauntlet, Ferrera said that in the upcoming season viewers can expect Betty to "grow up a lot," and implied she may move out of her father's house.

Eric Mabius (Betty's boss Daniel Meade) revealed that season-two guest stars will include Victoria Beckham, in an episode still to be filmed, and Freddy Rodriguez ("Six Feet Under").

Ortiz said Hilda would be dating and looking for a job. "And you know Hilda's track record with jobs!" she noted, laughing.

Rebecca Romijn was tightest-lipped, simply acknowledging she was still employed. When last we saw her character Alexis, she and Mabius' Daniel were unconscious in a smoldering crashed car. "I'm at least alive!" the newlywed (to Jerry O'Connell ) said, smiling.

And what of the ill-fated love birds Betty and Henry? In one of the final scenes, he was headed to Arizona, along with his evil, possibly pregnant, girlfriend Charlie. "Well, there is a pretty good chance that Henry comes back," revealed Christopher Gorham, his portrayer.

"I can't tell you how he comes back. I can tell you that you cannot miss the first five minutes of the first episode of season two. It's one of the funniest scenes that we have shot to date. It's a Betty, Henry, Charlie scene. It's subtitled. It's really incredible."

Incredible certainly defines the past year for Ferrera. A relative unknown 12 months ago, she is now considered the front-running nominee for the leading actress in a comedy Emmy.

"There are definitely moments when I've stepped outside myself and said, `Wow! ... But then I go home and scrub my bathroom floor, and I do what I do. Or I don't scrub my bathroom floor. You don't want to know about my bathroom floor."

"Ugly Betty" is scheduled to start its second season on September 27.

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