Hallmark Channel announced a multi-year strategic partnership with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia to televise “The Martha Stewart Show,” beginning in September 2010. The deal ends Stewart’s previous relationship with NBC Universal.
Announcement of the new partnership was made Tuesday by Bill Abbott, President and CEO, Hallmark Channels, which is owned by Crown Media Holdings, and Charles A. Koppelman, Executive Chairman of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (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 am (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” daily for an hour and a half the 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 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,” he added.
“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,” said Koppelman.
“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,” Koppelman 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,” said Martha Stewart in the joint announcement.
“The Martha Stewart Show” is in its fifth season and is currently distributed by NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution.