Martha's Probably History
New York—King World wouldn't comment Friday on the future of Martha Stewart Living after a jury found its host guilty on all stock-trading-related counts against her. Most industry observers think the show is history. "I think it would be highly unlikely that the show will be back next year," says Katz Television's Bill Carroll, though he expects the show to remain on the air through the end of this season. Up to this point, rumor had been that, if Stewart was found innocent, King World might return her show to its 9 a.m. time slots on the CBS O&Os, canceling struggling Living It Up! With Ali & Jack. Stewart was nominated for six Daytime Emmys last week. Both Warner Bros.'The Larry Elder Show and Sony's Life & Style are waiting in the wings, but no decision has been made yet on Living It Up.
New York—ABC is likely to ask stations to swap some of its Good Morning America inventory for other spots as part of a broader deal with affiliates. But ABC wants only two GMA commercial positions "at most" from affiliates, says ABC Television Network President Alex Wallau. Many affiliates worried the net would power-grab most of the local ad spot positions in GMA.
New York—College Sports Television has secured distribution on Time Warner Cable—with a catch. It will be part of on the more thinly viewed sports tiers, rather than digital basic cable. Not that CSTV chief Brian Bedol minds. "As a new network, [a sports tier] gives us a place to go right away and an opportunity to roll out quickly." CSTV's other major distributors include DirecTV and Adelphia.
When Hollywood Met HBO
New York—Actor George Clooney and director Steven Soderbergh, the creative forces behind HBO's one-season Washington-insider show K Street, remain on the pay-service's payroll. The two will produce a hybrid improv/reality show about wannabe Hollywood actors in five half-hour episodes.