Ugly Betty's intrepid, scandal-seeking fashion reporter Suzuki St. Pierre's scoops often have the "Mode" staff gasping, and actor Alec Mapa, who plays the catty journalist, says his goal for St. Pierre was "to get out of the television." While production for the ABC series has been shut down, there's still a new, upcoming episode in which Mapa gets his wish. In addition to playing opposite star Vanessa Williams, Mapa got to bask in the glow of a Golden Girl, with guest star Betty White. Mapa tells TV Guide, "In the middle of a take, I actually looked over at Vanessa Williams and I was like, 'It's Betty White!'" Mapa enthuses, "She's a pro. She got the lines right every single time. She got the laugh every time. She's amazing." With the strike still suppressing new production, Mapa has managed to stay busy, focusing on "reality" series. "I'm doing VH1's The Smartest Celebrity, a new quiz show that's not about what you know, but how you think." Famous folk get to show off their brain power, he explains, "A lot of it is brain teasers. They'll ask questions like, 'What is three days before the day after tomorrow?' or 'Who's your father's mother's daughter's son?'" He's also the host of

Transamerican Love Story, a reality dating series due in February for the LOGO network. "The bachelors are an interesting bunch," says Mapa. "They all want to date her (star Calpernia Addams) and they all know she's transgender." - Reporting by Bekah Wright