For Martha Stewart, 2012 Has Already Had Some Ups and Downs

Staff departures, a new grandchild, a canceled show, and even a cameo on "Two Broke Girls" amound to a bizarre 2012 for the TV and merchandising icon.

Suffice it to say, when Martha Stewart was released from prison in 2005, no one could have imagined that her future would include her show being replaced by Marie Osmond, her merchandising crown being stolen by Kathy Ireland, and an acting gig on ‘Two Broke Girls.” But all that and more have been Stewart’s reality… all in the first three months of 2012.

The first blow came when The Hallmark Channel decided to end it’s two year relationship with Stewart, whose live show was underperforming in it’s 10am ET timeslot. (The 80’s sitcom The Golden Girls was it’s lead-in and often got a higher rating.) Instead, they’re wrapping production on the show in April and clearing the way for a talk show featuring Marie Osmond and a lifestyle show called “Home & Family.”  It’s currently unclear which will take the lifestyle maven’s timeslot, but a source says that Osmond is more than likely her replacement. The shows will debut in the fall.

What is likely an additional fly in Stewart’s ointment: reports that Rachel Ray’s talk show will move into Stewart’s old studio, which Stewart’s company had been leasing. The facility is already well equipped for a show that centers around home and cooking.

Then, the February issue of Forbes magazine came out with a surprising cover model and a surprising accolade. The magazine reports that former swimsuit model Kathy Ireland, gracing the cover with the headline “Super Model, Super Mogul,” sold $2 billion worth of licensed products at retail last year… more than Martha Stewart.

Mind you, it hasn’t been all bad news for the icon. Don’t cry for Martha …  She is by no means poor, with 8,500 products in more than 38,000 stores nationwide. So what’s with her upcoming CBS cameo?

Stewart will appear on the popular new CBS sitcom “2 Broke Girls” on May 7th. The show centers around two female characters (Max and Caroline) who hope to open up a cupcake-shop. Stewart will play herself, as the leading ladies attend a fashion event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where Stewart is on the guest list. Hijinks and hilarity will undoubtedly ensue.

In other Martha news she’s now a grandma two times over. Daughter Alexis 46, just welcomed her second child, Truman, this week He was born via a surrogate mother on Tuesday.

A source tells PGTW that Stewart is far from abandoning television, and is already strategizing about how to get a higher profile than what Hallmark could offer with a fresher concept. I wouldn’t count her out.


In related news: Back in 2005, Stewart’s longtime publisher Suzanne Sobel raised eyebrows and caused a lot of jaws to drop around the MSLO (Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia) offices (and the world of publishing as a whole) when she announced she was leaving, opting instead to become the Managing Director of Indian Country Today Media Network. Now she’s launching a multicultural web portal. a personal portal that allows people to identify their core areas of interest and create their dream page by aggregating sites in Spanish and English.



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