Is Betty White leaving Hot in Cleveland?

Jan 17, 2012 at 9:59 a.m. ET

Retirement? Eek! Is beloved showbiz legend Betty White, now 90, leaving her "Hot" TV Land sitcom? Well, that depends on who's telling the story.

Happy Birthday, Betty White! Your TV Land sitcom, Hot in Cleveland, has been renewed for a fourth season.

But will you be back?

The beloved Golden Girl is 90 years young Tuesday and if tittle tattling tabloid tipsters have the scoop, she's finally eyeing retirement.

Cleveland, currently in its third season, has received the green light for a fourth season, TV Land said Monday. The surprise comedy hit just nabbed a season order for 24 all-new episodes that will debut in November.

On Wednesday's new episode of the show, White's Elka celebrates her 90th birthday with a trip to the Cleveland Browns locker room.

But celebrity tattle Mike Walker claims Hot in Cleveland fans will be seeing a lot less of Elka/Betty next season -- if at all. Insiders say the daily grind of shooting a weekly sitcom has simply become "too much" for the previously "anti-retirement" nonagenarian. (That's the word for a 90-something -- awesome!)

"Betty's finally acknowledged it's just too much for her -- as much as she loves it, it's just so much aggravation," reports an inside production source.

Not everyone will be disappointed to see Betty go. Word on the curb has it that the accommodations made for the showbiz legend by Cleveland producers have long been the source of contention among the show's cast members.

"While she's close pals with co-star Valerie Bertinelli, she's had to face sniping from co-stars Wendie Malick and Jane Leeves, who b***h that shooting schedules are often turned upside down to accommodate Betty's routine -- and she doesn't blame them," the set informant reveals.

After more than 70 years in front of the camera, Betty is now content to spend the rest of her life championing animal rights issues. She recently published a tome about her life's work: Improving conditions for animals housed in zoos.

Betty White lauded at People's Choice Awards >>

"She doesn't want to feel she's being a burden on anyone, but says she just can't go through a workday like younger actresses."

Hot in Cleveland revolves around three best friends from Los Angeles -- novelist Melanie Moretti (Bertinelli), eyebrow archer to the stars Joy Scroggs (Leeves) and former soap opera actress Victoria Chase (Malick) -- who rent a house from feisty landlord Elka (White) and start a new life -- in Ohio.

TV Land's first original scripted sitcom, Cleveland debuted to 4.8 million viewers in 2009, setting a network record. The show remains the highest-rated and most-watched series in the history of the nostaglia-lovin' network.

No word on what this rumored retirement might mean for White's upcoming NBC hidden-camera prank seriesBetty White's Off Their Rockers.

Photo credit: TV Land