Pennette replacing Parriott at 'Betty'

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"Ugly Betty" executive producer/showrunner Jim Parriott has left the hit new series. Marco Pennette is in negotiations to replace him.

Sources said the switch from Parriott, whose background is in drama, to comedy writer-producer Pennette illustrates the creative direction the one-hour comedy has been going, lightening the tone and amping up the comedic quotient.

As part of his overall deal at Touchstone TV -- the studio producing "Betty" -- Pennette has been serving as a consulting producer on the show.

He now will executive produce alongside the pilot's writer Silvio Horta, Ben Silverman, Salma Hayek, Jose Tamez and James Hayman.

"Betty" stars America Ferrera as not-so-attractive but intelligent and sweet Betty Suarez, who works at a fashion magazine.

The show, a solid performer in the 8 p.m. Thursday hour, co-stars Eric Mabius, Vanessa Williams, Alan Dale and the recently added Rebecca Romijn.

Pennette has created/co-created and executive produced such series as the comedies "Caroline in the City," "All About the Andersons," "I'm With Her" and "Crumbs" as well as the light drama "Inconceivable."

He is repped by UTA and attorney Bob Myman.
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