Martha gets Life term

Previous deal had expired in December

MONTREAL — Martha Stewart is returning to Canuck TV after a one-year hiatus.

Toronto-based broadcaster Alliance Atlantis announced Tuesday that it has inked a deal with Stewart’s MSL Omnimedia to acquire episodes of “Martha Stewart Living” for the Alliance-owned Life Network. The episodes will run at 2 p.m. from Jan. 10 through September. Net also purchased a package of 13 Martha Stewart specials.

“Martha Stewart Living” had aired for years on the Life Network, but the deal expired last December and was not renewed.

Kirstine Layfield, senior VP of lifestyle programming at Alliance Atlantis, maintained that the company did not drop the Stewart show because of her legal problems. She said the two parties couldn’t come up with a deal that worked for both at the time. That Stewart is now serving time in prison was not an issue for Alliance Atlantis.

“I think you could never fault her in terms of her professionalism in making great shows,” said Layfield. “There’s been a huge groundswell of support from (fans) who feel that she’s been wrongfully persecuted. … If you want to do something in your house with class and style, Martha is still held up as the champion of that. People who watch Life want to know all about style.”

The episodes of “Martha Stewart Living” are new to Canada. Three specials, all Christmas-themed, will run on Life as part of its holiday season programming this month.

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