NEW YORK – Martha Stewart's syndicated television show, "Martha Stewart Living," (search) was taken off the air Monday on Viacom-owned CBS and UPN stations.
There was no immediate word about the show's future from King World, the show's syndicator, but the Viacom-owned stations in major media markets were considered its most important customers, said Bill Carroll, an expert on syndication for Katz Television.
While "Martha Stewart Living" was considered a dependable performer in some markets, it was shunted off to undesirable time slots elsewhere — airing at 2:05 a.m. in New York City, for example.
A spokesman for King World, Arthur Sandow, did not immediately return a call for comment on Monday. The Viacom cancellation was confirmed by CBS spokesman Dana McClintock.
Even before Stewart's conviction Friday in her stock trading case, her TV show's future was in question. King World was not actively trying to renew contracts in markets where the show aired, Carroll said.
Carroll doubts it will continue now.
"If she'd been acquitted, I think everyone would have taken a step back and made an evaluation on what the potential was for the show," he said. "I think it was almost an automatic decision once the verdict came in."
"Martha Stewart Living" was a low-key alternative to shows like "Extreme Makeover" and "Trading Spaces," Carroll said.
Who's positioned to claim Stewart's crown? Carroll said there's been industry speculation that Oprah Winfrey's (search) production company is considering a spinoff makeover show, much like it launched the popular "Dr. Phil" (search) talk show.
Winfrey has been doing a handful of makeover segments on her show each month where it seems like she's auditioning concepts and personalities, he said.
"That would be the next generation Martha Stewart," he said.