Stewart's move to cable TV follows that of talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who is ending her popular ABC TV chat show in September 2011 to focus on her Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) joint venture with Discovery Channel.Bill Abbott, President and CEO of Hallmark Channels, Martha and Charles Koppelman, Chairman of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.
Under the deal with Hallmark and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, "The Martha Stewart Show" will appear across the United States in the same morning time slot and will be followed by 90 minutes of other original Martha Stewart programing, currently in development. Stewart's company will also develop original holiday and interview specials for prime time on Hallmark. The format of "The Martha Stewart Show" will not change under the terms of the new deal; it will still be filmed in front of a live audience at the Chelsea Studio in Manhattan.
Stewart, who has been a popular service show TV host since 1993, said she was delighted with the move. "Our core values and content areas -- entertaining, weddings, crafting, cooking, gardening, holidays, pets and humor -- are a perfect fit with Hallmark Channel," she said in a statement.
The Hallmark Channel is available in the UK, Australia, Italy, Russia, parts of Asia, South Africa and parts of Scandinavia. It is not currently available in Canada.
In related news, it was recently announced that Emeril Lagasse will be hosting a new television cooking show on ION. The show will be produced by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, which purchased the rights to the Emeril brand last year.