Tube Talk: Martha Stewart invades Hallmark Channel

September 8, 2010

By Paula Hendrickson
Contributing Writer

A week from now, if it seems like Martha Stewart has invaded Hallmark Channel, it’s probably because The Martha Stewart Show and other Martha-centric properties have found an exclusive home on the cable network.

The sixth season of The Martha Stewart Show (the first on Hallmark Channel), premieres Monday, Sept. 13, and airs weekdays at 9 a.m. (repeats at 8 p.m.). Whatever With Alexis & Jennifer follows at 10 a.m. The lively, new daily talk show is produced by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and stars Stewart’s daughter Alexis Stewart and Alexis’ good friend and radio co-host, Jennifer Koppelman Hutt. Just like on their Sirius Radio show, Alexis and Jennifer will tackle just about any subject with their unique blend of blunt honesty and wit.

Fans of Alexis and Jennifer’s Fine Living series, Whatever, Martha, where the pair reveled in mocking—Martha might even say “skewering”—clips from some of Martha’s earlier shows can breathe a sigh of relief: Hallmark ordered a season of the half-hour laugh fest set to debut in 2011.

The next show in the daily lineup, Mad Hungry With Lucinda Scala Quinn, might seem like a break from the Martha mold, but Quinn is Executive Food Editor at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. She’s also the author of the cookbook, Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys. You guessed it: Martha Stewart executive produces the show.

Sunday, Sept. 19, marks Martha’s first foray as a primetime interviewer with Martha Stewart Presents: The Women Who Dress America, which airs at 8 p.m. In this special, she’ll interview fashion and design icons Diane Von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, Tory Burch and Jenna Lyons.

If that’s not enough Martha for you, Hallmark will show classic episodes from Martha’s older series in late afternoon, and old episodes of Whatever, Martha in late night. And you thought Oprah was going to be the first daytime queen with her own network.

On a serious note, several cable channels and all broadcast networks will air the same program this Friday, Sept. 10, from 7 to 8 p.m.: Stand Up To Cancer.

If you or one of your loved ones hasn’t battled cancer, odds are you know someone who has. If you’re fortunate enough not to personally know anyone who has fought the disease, countless people you know from TV have had firsthand experiences with cancer. Maura Tierney (set to return to TV this fall in The Whole Truth) and Christina Applegate both recently fought breast cancer; Applegate’s Samantha Who? co-star Barry Watson and Dexter’s Michael C. Hall both underwent treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma; Modern Family bombshell Sofia Vergara conquered thyroid cancer a decade ago; The Nanny’s Fran Drescher had uterine cancer; and Michael Douglas, recently diagnosed with throat cancer, got his start on the ’70s TV series, The Streets of San Francisco. These are just a handful of actors who’ve had to stand up to cancer in their real lives.

Why the wall-to-wall coverage? It’s not so much to raise awareness as to raise funds to fight the disease. Thanks to the economy, most charitable organizations are struggling for donations. Even if you can’t afford to donate, you can still learn what groups like Stand Up To Cancer are doing to eradicate the disease.

Paula Hendrickson is a regular contributor to Emmy magazine and Variety, and has been published in numerous national publications, including American Bungalow, Television Week and TVGuide. Send in your suggestions to tubetalking-paula@yahoo.com.

From the Sept. 8-14, 2010 issue

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