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ABC Replaces Quirky “Ugly Betty” with Strange “Happy Town”

After last year’s cancellation of Pushing Daisies and Life on Mars, we thought that ABC had decided to give up on quirky new shows all together in favor of reality programming, Kelsey Grammar, and cougars. And then we saw the trailer for Happy Town, the show that’s replacing Ugly Betty. The new mystery drama (which premieres in late April) is about a peaceful small town with a grisly past (Harper’s Island much?), and the trailer is so bizarre that we can’t help but be intrigued.

Check it out after the jump.

From ABC’s official press release:

“The residents of the sun-splashed town of Haplin, Minnesota — also known as ‘Happy Town’ — have enjoyed an uneasy peace for the past five years — but that is about to change. Still haunted by a number of unsolved kidnappings, Haplin now faces a disturbing new crime that brings all of its unresolved fears to the surface. Has the elusive ‘Magic Man’ who many believe is responsible for the bizarre abductions — returned to claim yet another innocent victim? As Haplin’s mysteries are revealed, many of its prominent citizens’ motives come under scrutiny as their own secrets and personalities are peeled back one layer at a time.”

The Magic Man? Are you serious? Although they’re playing up a connection with Twin Peaks, there’s a Lifetime Original movie element to the melodramatic acting and dialogue seen below. The cast includes Sam Neill, Geoff Stults, Steven Weber, and Amy Acker, and the series was created by the Life on Mars team, Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec, and Scott Rosenberg — which should bode well for its quality, if not its longevity.

Will you watch? Let us know what you think in comments.

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