Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Martha Stewart Show Moves to the Hallmark Channel in September.

Original Episodes of “The Martha Stewart Show” Move Exclusively to Hallmark Channel as Anchor of Network’s Daytime Lineup Beginning September 2010.  Hallmark Channel and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Form Strategic Alliance to Create Lifestyle Programming

Hallmark Channel today announced a multi-year strategic partnership with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. to exclusively televise original episodes of the Emmy™ Award-winning, popular daytime home and lifestyle series “The Martha Stewart Show” on Hallmark Channel beginning September 2010. Hallmark Channel is a cable television network owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc.
Announcement of the partnership was made today by Bill Abbott, President and CEO, Hallmark Channels, and Charles A. Koppelman, Executive Chairman of MSLO.

As part of the agreement, MSLO will also develop a range of new and original series and prime time specials that will complement Hallmark Channel’s current schedule of popular original movies, movies from the acclaimed “Hallmark Hall of Fame” library collection, specials and classic television series. In 2010 the network will produce 24 original movies.

Beginning in the fall, Mondays through Fridays, “The Martha Stewart Show” will be presented 10-11 a.m. (ET/PT), kicking off a two-and-half-hour block of original Martha Stewart programming. The flagship how-to series will continue to be filmed in New York City with a live studio audience, informing and inspiring viewers on subjects from cooking and entertaining to crafting and gardening. Encore performances of the daily show will also be presented on the network.

Following “The Martha Stewart Show” from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (ET/PT) each weekday, Hallmark Channel will present exclusive original programming currently in development at MSLO that will feature a portfolio of creative content for which the Martha Stewart brand is known and which will showcase experts and personalities from within MSLO. Additionally, MSLO will develop numerous holiday and interview specials for prime time on the network.

“This is a match made in TV heaven. We couldn’t be more excited about welcoming Martha Stewart to the Hallmark Channel family. She is the undisputed leader in cooking, home décor, design and gardening, and ‘The Martha Stewart Show’ is the kind of high-quality programming that celebrates life, exemplifying Hallmark Channel and the Hallmark brand,” said Mr. Abbott. “We believe the creative programming, branding and advertising opportunities this partnership presents are limitless. As these properties join our already strong lineup which includes a full slate of original movies, our viewers, distributors and advertisers will continue to see in Hallmark Channel a destination like no other.”

Mr. Koppelman stated: “We're very excited about this partnership, which brings together two powerful and trusted brands in the lifestyle arena. The new relationship builds our broadcast strategy, greatly extends our media platform and reach, and we anticipate will have a positive impact on our business. This also will benefit our merchandising and advertising partners, while offering viewers multiple opportunities to watch and learn from Martha and MSLO experts on a single channel at consistent time periods around the country.” Mr. Koppelman added: “As we make this move to Hallmark Channel, we also want to thank NBC Universal Domestic Television and their affiliates for their support over the past five years. We’re proud of all that we have accomplished together.”

MSLO Founder Martha Stewart added: “It has long been a dream of mine to bring our unique evergreen content to television in an expansive way. I’m delighted that we have found the perfect home for the kind of programming that consumers look to us for, a home that is devoted to excellence, family life and celebrations – what we call Living. Our core values and content areas--entertaining, weddings, crafting, cooking, gardening, holidays, pets and humor--are a perfect fit with Hallmark Channel. I’m thrilled with the opportunity to further develop MSLO’s deep pool of talent and provide audiences with exciting new programming that educates, informs, entertains and inspires.”

“The Martha Stewart Show” is in its fifth season and is currently distributed by NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution.

In addition to “The Martha Stewart Show,” MSLO offers a growing roster of television series and specials presented elsewhere including the popular “Everyday Food” and the critically-acclaimed “Whatever, Martha!” Upcoming programming includes the weekly series “The Emeril Lagasse Show,” featuring celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse. Other current programming includes “Essence of Emeril,” “Emeril Live” and “Emeril Green.”


John R. said...

Wow, very interesting and can't wait to see what's to come in the new season! I'm still wishing to see the old formet of Martha Stewart Living Television come back. Good thing I switched back to Comcast Cable a few months ago and now I have my "Martha OnDemand"!

Will in Texas said...

Is this good news? While I have cable and Hallmark, many people still watch Martha on NBC - a "free" network. Won't she lose all these cable-free viewers?

Also...does anyone have a comment on the new opening of the show where Martha has ALL the guests open the show via roundtable?

Kenn said...

I'm still trying to figure this out. The benefit I see, is that the time slot is 'firm' from market to market; where with syndication, it was left up to the local stations to place the show where they saw fit. In some major markets, Martha was on in the wee hours of the morning... which led to a decrease in viewership. With the Hallmark agreement, viewers will always know that Martha will be on at the 10-11 time slot, with additional programming from 11-1230. There will also be re-airings of the show, same day.

According to industry trades, cable viewership is steadily increasing, while syndicated shows are steadily decreasing. With syndication, the ability to sell ad time is definitely locked into the ratings whereas with cable, not so much. Hallmark has a very high viewership among the typical MSLO demographic (women, 30-49) so it would seem it's a good fit. You have to wonder, however, if the flat to falling ratings this season as well as the fact that the show has not been a money maker contributed to this decision. Word has been 'on the street' that MSLO made the decision that if the show didn't start making money, they would not be able to continue the show in it's current format. Perhaps with the Hallmark agreement, there is a better opportunity to have a positive cash bottom line for television.

If you recall a year or so ago, MSLO sent out a survey asking about viewer likes/dislikes as it relates to cable channels. Perhaps this is a test for a Martha Stewart cable channel? We can only hope.

I agree with John regarding the format of the show. I've never liked the live audience format and quite frankly, never will. The talk show format (including the new show opening) is NOT what I watch Martha Stewart for. Martha's not real good at interviewing and making chit chat with guests.. I much prefer the informative 'how-to' format of the Living series.

I'm interested in what others have to say!

Anonymous said...

I think this is the final curtain call for Martha television. Hell, they can't even get Emeril on a decent network. The glory days are over for the domestic diva.

Diane said...

I'm not sure I agree that this is "the end" of Martha on television. I think it's a smart move. Cable is where it's at from a business standpoint. The viewers are there, especially with Hallmark.

Anonymous said...

I love the Hallmark channel. I can't wait to see what changes they make to the show when they make the move.
Great blog by the way!
Kathy in Maine

mike said...

At least I have the Hallmark Channel on my limited basic, barebones, reception-only comcast package! Hallmark? Brings to mind Pollyanna.... hm... Great news thought!

Will in Texas said...

I too think the new round table of all guests at the beginning feels a bit forced. It's awkward when Martha has to excuse two or three of them to start a segment with the other one.

I have mixed feelings about the old shows. While they were "filmed" and more stylized, the live element of tv really allows Martha to come thru, warts and all, to the viewer. The last five years have really humanized her to her audience. I enjoy her show being more current and topical as well.

Anonymous said...

She, and her company, loses cache by going to a cable channel like Hallmark. Maybe she's just relieved she's staying on TV, given her low ratings. As for audience share, how large can it be when in the morning Hallmark has literally 5 or 6 Golden Girls re-runs in a row? Wouldn't she have more at home at FLN or Style? But maybe this deal is more lucrative, or alllows her the freedom to develop new shows and specials which she can then perhaps sell to other channels.

Elaine said...

I do get Hallmark, but I have never watched anything on it. I am sure I will do what I do with her show now - set the DVR. That's the only way I get to view her show since it airs during work hours, so for me it doesn't really matter what channel she is on.

I do hope that she does return to the old format - at least do more field trips. I hope there will be a craft 1/2 hour or hour show. I think there are some very talented people in the craft department and it would be great to get more instructions on some of the tools especially for those who might be new at crafting.

With regards to the new opening - it is not a round table because everyone is on a stool lined up behind the table which makes it difficult to even look one another in the eye. It does not look comfortable for the guests and it looks awkward and does nothing to set the tone for the show, especially when they are 'dismissed' to wait until their time to re-appear.

Pamela said...

I will look forward to knowing that Martha is on at a regular time every day and that there will be repeats. I record the show, but my DVR gets quite full with soccer games, so there is not always room.

Although I like the live audience, I do not want Martha to be "dumbed down." I look to Martha for more in depth cooking, crafting, fashion, etc. than I see elsewhere on TV. I think her move to Hallmark will allow her to do this. I was in heaven when she had Ralph Rucci on the show. My favourite segments are when she visits the businesses of exceptional craftspeople/artists.