Michael Ausiello
July 30, 2009 AT 04:49 PM EDT

ABC is pretty serious about the extreme makeover it’s giving Ugly Betty. According to my sources, the network is going so far as to conduct a round of focus groups this week to get feedback on the heroine’s season 4 metamorphosis.

In particular, execs are showing test audiences two scenes from early in the season, both featuring a newly glamorized Betty working at her new job as Mode‘s associate features editor. In one, she’s rocking a Chanel-esque pastel pink suit; in the other, she’s sporting a short-sleeved black dress with a ruffled V-neck. “She looks a lot classier,” says one guinea pig, “but she’s still far from perfect.”

Based on ABC’s questions to the panel, the suits appear most concerned about whether fans of the show will deem Betty’s transformation appropriate, given her four-year journey from flunky to editor, or whether the changes are too drastic and compromise the essence of the Everygal. They’re also asking for opinions about Betty’s new hair, styled eyebrows, and makeup.

Whatever the outcome of the focus groups, this seems like a fine time to remind you that it was in an April interview with me that exec producer Silvio Horta first broke news of Betty’s revamp — which he said would eventually include her braces coming off. “There’s going to be a progression in her look overall,” he said. “It’ll still be Betty, but you’ll see some growth in that direction.”

Maybe they can tackle my eyebrows next.

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