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Inside Move: Stewart show simmers, ‘Ali’ starts cooking

Competish might end martha's 'Living'?

Even without Martha Stewart‘s legal tangles, the upcoming season is likely to be the last for of her eponymous how-to show.

Slipping ratings (pre-dating the ImClone scandal), plus the debut of fellow King World property “Living It Up! With Ali & Jack,” which is positioned for the same morning timeslot as “Martha Stewart Living,” were the one-two punch for the domestic diva’s series.

“Ali & Jack” will “probably be the death of Martha’s show,” says Garnett Losak, a syndication expert for Petry Television. “I hate to predict, but it’s unlikely that a program that doesn’t have a good time period in most of the country is going to survive.”

“Martha Stewart Living” currently airs 9-10 a.m. in 46% of the country, including hubs like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. (The show has been cleared for its upcoming 11th season and will be produced as planned this summer, according to a Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia rep.)

But those stations are likely to run “Ali & Jack,” an hourlong talkshow that tapes live at 9 a.m. and cribs the older man-younger woman dynamic and chipper banter from “Live! With Regis & Kelly,” with which King World aims to compete.

The result is that “Martha Stewart Living” will be bumped, most likely to latenight, where it already airs on some stations, in some cases due to poor ratings.

Such a move typically signals the demise of a show, especially if its ratings are already suffering.

“Ali & Jack” has been cleared in 88% of the country, including 29 of the top 30 markets. King World has put more than $20 million behind its new investment.

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