>> Hallmark Cancels 'The Martha Stewart Show'

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Martha Stewart’s daytime program will not continue on Hallmark after the current season wraps in May, sources close to the network confirm.

The Martha Stewart Show will continue to air in reruns until the end of the summer, but Hallmark declined to renew it in light of its steep price-tag.

The lease on the show’s expensive Manhattan studio expires this year and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia president and COO Lisa Gersh has said that the company will shop for a more economical location.

“Our expensive studio lease is expiring next year, and we will either bring television in-house or find lower cost space, which will significantly reduce our TV operating margins,” said Gersh at the UBS investor conference last December.

Hallmark is still in discussions with MSLO about renewing the company’s other programs which include Emeril’s Table and Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn.

Spokespeople for Hallmark and MSLO would not confirm that the show has been axed.

“The daytime block on Hallmark Channel demonstrated year over year ratings growth and earned The Martha Stewart Show two Daytime Emmy Awards in its first season on Hallmark Channel," the companies said in a joint statement. "That show will continue to air through the end of summer 2012. MSLO and Hallmark Channel are in discussions about potential new programming and concepts for daytime.”

The Martha-branded programming block launched on Hallmark in September 2010 at a hefty eight hours but was downsized only a month later in the face of underwhelming ratings. It now stands at five hours.


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