Martha Stewart's Daytime Talk Show Renewed
NEW YORK – With the renewal of her daytime show, "Martha," for a second season, Martha Stewart is batting .500 in her post-prison television comeback.
NBC Universal Domestic Television said Monday her home-oriented talk show, produced by famed reality honcho Mark Burnett, will be back next fall. The company said the show had improved the time-slot ratings in 17 of the top 20 markets in the country.
NBC had already said that Stewart's prime-time turn as the boardroom boss in "The Apprentice," a spin-off from the hit Donald Trump series, would be short-lived. Stewart's edition will end when the current game is over.
"The Apprentice" and "Martha" were Stewart's first television projects after spending five months in prison and another five months wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet, the result of a conviction of lying to the government about a stock sale.
It wasn't a certainty that "Martha" would return, but its ratings have improved recently and several stations that are carrying the show have two-year contracts, said Marc Berman, an analyst for Media Week Online.
"Martha" currently ranks eighth among the 11 talk shows on the air, her ratings less than a quarter of current daytime queen Oprah Winfrey, he said.
"You aren't going to look at the numbers and say she's going to be Oprah, she's going to be on for 20 years," he said.
NBC Universal said the show is currently available in 98 percent of the country, and that it expects that number to improve next year.