Kathy Griffin, Tim Gunn will guest star on Ugly Betty, which is sponsoring a dress design challenge

Normally, reality show star guest appearances on TV shows aren’t really newsworthy; there are just too many of them. But in the span of a few weeks, ABC’s Golden Globe-winning drama Ugly Betty will have both Kathy Griffin and Tim Gunn as guest stars.

The show’s executive producer, Silvio Horta, told The Chicago Tribune’s Maureen Ryan that he’s “a big ‘Project Runway’ fan.” In addition, he said, “A lot of us watch the show, we talk about it a lot in the [writers] room.” Thus, “we always thought when [our] Fashion Week [episode] comes along we’d love to have him, whether as a fashion TV reporter or just have him there as part of the mix,” Horta said.

Tim “will play a fashion correspondent during ‘Ugly Betty’s’ version of New York City’s Fashion Week,” the paper reports. He’ll be on two episodes which will air Feb. 1 and 8, according to ABC. To recap, then, Tim now his own reality show on Bravo and a guest appearance on network television, but no contract to appear on Project Runway 4.

Ugly Betty’s nod to Bravo’s number one series goes beyond casting the reality show’s star. The drama is also sponsoring a design contest, asking viewers to “design a fabulous couture dress … that will appear in an episode” of the drama.

Like a Project Runway challenge, there’s a twist: The formal garment has to be made from “everyday office supplies.” The winner gets “a trip for two (2) to Los Angeles, CA for the taping of the Ugly Betty television show scheduled to take place on 02/02/2007, where a dress based upon the winner’s Design will be incorporated in the Show.”

‘Ugly Betty’ snags Tim Gunn as a guest star [The Chicago Tribune]
Tim Gunn (“Project Runway”) Guest Stars as a Fashion TV Reporter, on ABC’s “Ugly Betty” [ABC press release]
ABC Ugly Betty Design-A-Dress Contest [ABC]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.