"The Martha Stewart" show will not return to The Hallmark Channel after this season, but the network hopes to continue to work with Stewart on other programming, TheWrap has confirmed.
Stewart's show will stop taping live episodes in the spring, and will air reruns in the summer. Then it will end, and Stewart and the network will look to work together in other ways, a person familiar with the situation told TheWrap.
The official word of the show's ending was as gracious and gentle as, well, a Hallmark card:
"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," Hallmark and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia said in a statement. "That show will continue to air through the end of summer 2012. MSLO and Hallmark Channel are in discussions about potential new show formats and concepts for daytime."
The key language is that the show will "continue to air through the end of summer 2012." After that, the person familiar with the situation confirmed to TheWrap, the show will end.
The show, which was syndicated before it joined Hallmark, has aired for seven seasons and is folding due to falling ratings. But it represented a major comeback for Stewart after she served five months in prison after she was convicted of lying to investigators about a 2001 sale of Imclone shares.
She rejoined the board of MSLO last May, after a five-year-period in which she was barred from being a director or officer in a public company under the terms of a settlement of the charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The New York Post first reported the show was ending in a story Wednesday morning. The Post also reported that Home Depot will no longer sell Martha Stewart Living-branded paints but will allow customers to mix her color palette into Glidden-branded paints.
MSLO president Lisa Gersh took issue with the story in an internal company email obtained by TheWrap. It uses some of the same language as the official statement on the show's end, and is printed below in its entirety.
Today's New York Post business section had an inaccurate and negative portrayal of some of MSLO's businesses, including its television production relationship with Hallmark and its paint business with The Home Depot. Unfortunately, the reporter, whose story cited unnamed 'sources,' stopped far short of including all the facts that MSLO presented to her and leaves readers with several incorrect impressions.
In fact, MSLO has never had a more vibrant, more diversified umbrella of strong, popular brands and loyal, enthusiastic audiences across TV, digital, print and radio, as well as across numerous product lines available through top retail partners.
The Martha Stewart brand has been a successful TV presence for nearly two decades and we expect that to continue. The daytime block on Hallmark demonstrated year-over-year ratings growth and 'The Martha Stewart Show' earned two Emmys in its first season. The show will continue on Hallmark through the end of this season and we are currently exploring programming concepts for Martha Stewart and other MSLO brands beyond this fall. In addition, MSLO continues its thriving partnership with The Home Depot (THD), which spans a number of home and décor categories, including our very popular paint palette, and they continue to perform well.
As just a reminder of the power of our audiences and brands, a recent study conducted in August last year by Public Strategies indicated that Martha Stewart remains a strong brand with incredible awareness. Unaided, meaning without being prompted, 53% of women name Martha Stewart as the first person who comes to mind for providing lifestyle ideas and information on the home. The next-closest competitor is mentioned by only 6% of women, and that's Rachael Ray.