Program Partners' ‘Marie' a No-Go

Talk show had been cleared in 80% of country, but economic conditions halt launch
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Program Partners' Marie will not go forward due to the difficult economic conditions, the company said July 31.

The one-hour strip talk show, starring Marie Osmond, had been cleared in more than 80% of the country, but stations had steadily been pulling their offers over the last couple of weeks, reported several sources. The show had been expected to launch on Sept. 14, but the program's ability to launch had been increasingly in doubt.

Program Partners announced Marie to great fanfare during NATPE 2008. In January, the company said the show would go forward and that it had clearances in New York and Los Angeles. With very few distributors able to eke cash out of TV stations in this tough advertising market, however, Program Partners could not make Marie's economic model work after months of trying.

"We acknowledge with gratitude the many stations, advertisers and marketing partners who have been totally enthusiastic and incredibly patient with us as we worked hard to maintain solid footing for this project," said Program Partners' Ritch Colbert in a statement. "Our belief in Marie's creative vision for a new kind of talk show is unshakable, but in the end, the marketplace this year was simply unyielding."

"I want to express my deep appreciation for the faithful support and dedication shown by the numerous stations," said Osmond, who returned to the public spotlight after a popular run on ABC's Dancing with the Stars. "It was my sincere desire to return their enthusiastic responses by producing an exceptional talk show for their fall schedules; produced with the high quality that is associated with the Marie Osmond brand for over four decades. This project, under proper conditions, still remains a strong passion of mine."

Osmond, with her brother Donny, currently performs five shows a week at Las Vegas' Flamingo Hotel. She recently launched a new home decor and gift line with Giftcraft, and has two new albums coming out: an inspirational album is set to be released in August, and an album of duets with Donny is scheduled to debut in November. She also has a successful line of dolls and became a spokesperson for Nutrisystem after losing 40-plus pounds on the diet.

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