Martha Stewart Joins HGTV Roster

Home & Garden Television will be home to a slew of Martha Stewart programming, starting this fall.

As part of a two-year deal with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., HGTV will air a pair of series and three one-hour specials gleaned from the nationally syndicated Martha Stewart Living, the companies announced at the recent The Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif. Stewart's company will produce the new programming from the "how-to" skein.

Adding Stewart to its schedule is part of HGTV's plan to offer over 1,500 hours of new programming for the upcoming 2001-2002 TV season. All told, HGTV will bow 13 news series, 40 new specials and new episodes of 54 returning skeins, including Designing For the Sexes, Fantasy Open House, Weekend Warriors
and Appraisal Fare.

The network will kick off the slate with "Extreme Week" from Oct. 1 through Oct. 7. The stunt will be highlighted by sneak previews of such new series as Worse Detective, Smart Design, Renovations
and A Place to Call Home, as well as the premieres of specials, Extreme Garages
and The World's Most Extreme Homes.

Set to premiere Oct. 8, From Martha's Home
is a series that will center on home decor and craft projects, while From Martha's Garden, scheduled to premiere in first-quarter 2002, will concentrate on both indoor and outdoor garden activities. All told, MSL Omnimedia will produce 140 half-hour episodes of the two daily series.

As for the specials, HGTV will come out of the gate with Stewart fare on Oct. 6, when the haute homemaker focuses on Halloween projects. She will then turn her attention and fingers to a holiday-season show in the fourth quarter. Next year, Stewart will highlight spring activities sometime in the first quarter.

"More and more, HGTV is becoming the premier cable venue for experts in the home and garden category," said HGTV president Burton Jablin in a statement. "The fact that an international authority like Martha Stewart has joined our programming lineup is a crowning example of that position."