Pop Culture

Private jet? ABC replaces Paula on ‘Ugly Betty’

Take note, “American Idol”: This is how you replace Paula Abdul.

“Ugly Betty” has tapped “3rd Rock” Emmy winner Kristen Johnston to replace Abdul in the now-recurring role of Helen, Mode’s newest office temp and Amanda’s elder doppelganger. Abdul had been in negotiations to play the part, but last week the deal came undone — in part, I hear, due to the ex-“Idol” judge’s insane list of demands. (Two words: Private. Jet.)

“I’ve always considered myself a poor man’s Paula Abdul,” Johnston says with a laugh. She describes her Betty character as “Amanda in 10 years. She’s still trying to get into the right clubs, wearing tight dresses… tragic. I think (Helen) sees herself as Samantha from ‘Sex and the City.’ Except, of course, she’s a temp.”

Johnston will first appear in the second half of “Betty’s” two-hour premiere on Oct. 9.

Thoughts? Did Betty trade up by hiring Johnston? (Hint: The answer is yes.) Sound off in the comments!