Kristen Johnston Replaces Paula Abdul on Ugly Betty

Entertainment Aug. 24, 2009 AT 1:01PM
Kristen Johnston Replaces Paula Abdul on <i>Ugly Betty</i> Credit: Jemal Countess/WireImage.com; Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

First, it was American Idol. Now, Paula Abdul has lost her upcoming role on Ugly Betty -- to former 3rd Rock From the Sun star Kristen Johnston.

See Paula Abdul's wackiest outfits.

Johnston is replacing the ex-Idol judge in the recurring role of Helen -- Mode's crazy new office temp -- after contract negotiations fell through, reportedly due to her long list of demands. (Entertainment Weekly, which first reported the news, says she wanted a private jet.)

"I've always considered myself a poor man's Paula Abdul," Johnston told EW.

See photos of stars on set.

How does she describe her latest character?

"[Helen is] Amanda in 10 years," she said, comparing herself to Becki Newton's character. "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."

See photos of today's top news stories.

Johnston will first appear on the show's two-hour season premiere on Oct. 9.

 

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