Hallmark Cuts Down Low-Rated Martha Stewart Block

by | October 11, 2010 at 2:32 PM | TV News

Martha Stewart (Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Digitas)

Martha Stewart (Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Digitas)

Moving to cable hasn’t turned out to be such ‘a good thing’ for Martha Stewart.

The domestic goddess has experienced seriously low ratings ever since she took her ‘Martha Stewart Living‘ Omnimedia franchise to cable this fall.

As a result, the Hallmark Channel has reduced the amount of coverage dedicated to its daily Martha Stewart Lifestyle block of programming, which was originally conceived to air from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Beginning this week, the channel will return to its regular scheduled programming during the 3 to 6 p.m. time slots, airing reruns of the TV classic ‘Little House on the Prairie.’

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“People don’t yet think of cable, or Hallmark Channel, as having daytime original programming,” Hallmark Channels CEO Bill Abbott said to THR. “So, we condensed the lifestyle block, focused on fresh, topical content and cut out library product that didn’t do the ratings we were hoping for and lost us momentum.”

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“We were very aggressive and likely a bit too aggressive,” he said of the block, but added, “We are committed to our lifestyle programming and investment in Martha and believe we can make it work.”

This week, in a new aggressive promotion to expose the daytime slate to a wider audience, the cable channel will be airing ‘The Martha Stewart Show‘ in prime time, Monday through Friday at 8 p.m., for one-week only. Martha will be followed by reruns of ‘Mad Hungry With Lucinda Scala’ and ‘Whatever With Alexis & Jennifer.’

‘The Martha Stewart Show’ regularly airs at 2 p.m. on the Hallmark Channel, Monday through Friday.