Martha Stewart Eyeing Reality TV Comeback
Tue Nov 30, 2004 01:57 AM ET http://wwwi.reuters.com/images/w148/amdf780019.jpg
By Cynthia Littleton and Kimberly Speight
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Martha Stewart is making big plans to return to the small screen next year following her five-month gig in a West Virginia prison.
Sources said Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, having tapped former ABC Entertainment chief Susan Lyne as its new CEO this month, is close to sealing a deal with NBC for a primetime reality series to feature the domestic diva. It will be produced by "Survivor" Svengali Mark Burnett.
Specifics of the series are still murky, but sources said that it would have an elimination-style competition element along the lines of Burnett's "Survivor" and "The Apprentice."
Separately, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is in negotiations with top syndicators to revive Stewart's daily show, which was effectively canceled in May after she was convicted of obstructing justice in an insider stock-trading investigation.
Burnett, who announced plans to collaborate with Stewart on new TV projects in September, also is on board to produce the new syndicated show. Sources said it would focus on many of the same topics as her previous "Martha Stewart Living" lifestyle/how-to show but would have a different style.
Sources said the company is in active talks with NBC and King World. CBS-owned King World, the company behind "The Oprah Winfrey Show," distributed "Martha Stewart Living" during the final four years of its 13-year run. Reps for NBC, Martha Steart Living Omnimedia, Mark Burnett Prods., and King World declined comment Monday.