[12/08/04 - 12:00 AM]
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and NBC Universal Reach Long-Term Distribution Agreement for New Television Series

[via press release from NBC Universal Television Studio]


Syndicated Program Starring Emmy-Award Winning Stewart, Produced by Mark Burnett Will Debut in fall 2005

New Daily Show Will Feature Studio Audience, Celebrity Guests; Program Will Debut on NBC's Owned and Operated Stations

NEW YORK -- December 8, 2004 -- Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE: MSO) and NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution today announced a multi-year distribution agreement that will bring Martha Stewart back to local television stations in a new nationally syndicated daily series starting in fall 2005. The program has been sold to NBC-owned and operated stations, covering more than 30% of the nation. The joint announcement was made today by Susan Lyne, President and CEO of MSO, and Jeff Zucker, President of NBC Universal Television Group.

Mark Burnett, producer of NBC's hit reality series 'The Apprentice' and upcoming 'The Contender', will executive produce the new daily Martha Stewart television series. In September, MSO announced that it would collaborate with Mr. Burnett on new television programming opportunities. This is the first of these programs.

The hour-long show will be taped live with a studio audience and feature a new programming format that allows audience members and special guests to participate and interact with Martha. Viewers will learn new ways to enhance their lives as audience members and even celebrity guests help Martha unveil great ideas and new projects -- from cooking and entertaining, to decorating and home renovating, and more. The segments will be engaging, illuminating and fun, appealing to a broad audience of viewers.

'This is the first of several new initiatives at MSO that will have positive implications across the entire spectrum of our business,' Ms. Lyne said. 'The new format should appeal to Martha's loyal core audience, as well as a new generation of viewers interested in home and lifestyle. We are especially pleased to be teaming with NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution and Mark Burnett. Mark's ideas for reshaping Martha's show have excited everyone at MSO, and the support of NBC's syndication arm will guarantee the program a broad national platform.'

"I have known Martha since her days on 'Today' and am thrilled to have her back in the NBC Universal family," said Mr. Zucker. "Martha is a proven winner across all media. The power of the brand is stronger than ever and a terrific addition to the NBC Universal Distribution portfolio. Martha is an incredibly appealing and engaging talent with an enormously loyal following. We look forward to working with Martha, Susan Lyne and Mark Burnett to bring the new program to millions of viewers next year."

'Martha has incredible value and enduring appeal. As the arbiter of taste, Martha teaches people in a practical, helpful manner how to include style in everyday living. Our new show will build on this Emmy-award-winning formula by incorporating more interaction, accessibility, vibrancy, and most importantly, humor. Together, I know we can create a show that breaks new ground in daytime, and bring new viewers to Martha's already strong base,' said Mr. Burnett.

'We have been fortunate to work with some of the best distribution partners in the business and it is wonderful to team with NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution in this next phase,' stated Heidi Diamond, President of MSO's Television business segment. 'MSO's Television team is particularly excited by the opportunity to reach more viewers and roll out the new show format to marketing clients, who we believe will benefit greatly from the new integrated marketing and advertising opportunities,' Ms. Diamond added.

'The powerful brand recognition and the promise of high-quality programming will greatly appeal to local broadcasters. The program will provide many opportunities for both national and local advertisers. We anticipate a broad and successful distribution effort,' stated Barry Wallach, President of NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution. 'I worked with Martha in the early days of her TV career, so it is personally very rewarding to be partnering once again with Martha and her terrific team,' added Mr. Wallach.

About Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (MSO) is a leading provider of original "how-to" information, inspiring and engaging consumers with unique lifestyle content and high-quality products. MSO is organized into four business segments: Publishing, Television, Merchandising, and Internet/Direct Commerce. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol MSO.

About NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution
NBC Universal is a leader in providing entertainment programming to the domestic and international marketplaces. It's NBC Universal Television Distribution division is responsible for the global distribution of NBC Universal product to all forms of television throughout the world. This includes distribution of current and library film and television product, including formats and non-scripted programming, in the pay, free, and basic markets, as well as the domestic syndication of first-run syndicated TV programs and theatrical and TV movie packages.

NBC Universal's vast library of theatrical and television titles includes more than 4,000 feature films and more than 40,000 episodes of television programming. NBC Universal's world-class filmed entertainment library offers customers a compelling selection of titles, including such contemporary hit feature films as Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Fast and the Furious, The Mummy Returns, and Bruce Almighty, as well as classics including the Academy Award??-winning All Quiet on the Western Front (1929), To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), The Deer Hunter (1978) and Schindler's List (1993). NBC Universal's library is also home to some of pop culture's most popular classic television programs, including Magnum, P.I., Miami Vice, The A-Team, Alfred Hitchock Presents, Murder, She Wrote and Columbo.

Current and upcoming first-run strip syndicated programming includes Access Hollywood, Blind Date, The Jane Pauley Show, The Jerry Springer Show, Maury and Starting Over. Current and upcoming first-run weekly syndicated programming includes The Chris Matthews Show, The George Michael Sports Machine, Rebecca's Garden, The Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo, Your Total Health and the off-network distribution of Crossing Jordan, Fear Factor, Providence, the Law & Order franchise and special programming including Good Housekeeping Reports news inserts, a series of The Remarkable Journey specials, as well as a collection of feature film packages. Current format and non-scripted programming includes Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Outback Jack, Last Comic Standing, Average Joe and NBC News programming including Dateline and Nightly News with Tom Brokaw.

About Mark Burnett Productions
Mark Burnett Productions (MBP) is a leading production company in the world of primetime non-fiction television. MBP revolutionized television with hits such as Eco-Challenge, Survivor, The Apprentice and the upcoming Contender. MBP also successfully reintroduced product placement as an integral part of each of its shows and has garnered a total of 24 Emmy nominations since 2001. Mark Burnett was listed as the #1 Most Valuable Player by TV Guide and also in Time Magazine??s Top 100 most influential people in the world today.

  [december 2004]  


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