NBC confirms the obvious -- Martha's 'Apprentice' won't be renewed
By Reality TV World staff, 11/15/2005
In a non-news "scoop" that would appear to represent the very definition of a "slow news day," The Hollywood Reporter "reported" Monday that according to its sources at NBC, the network will not be renewing Martha Stewart's struggling The Apprentice: Martha Stewart for a second season.
According to The Reporter, a NBC spokesman stressed that regardless of the low ratings that The Apprentice: Martha Stewart has drawn, "the show always had been scheduled to run for only one cycle."
While NBC's decision not to renew such a low rated television series is certainly no surprise, the report's implication that the NBC spokesperson's comments marked the first time that anyone involved with the program had stated that The Apprentice: Martha Stewart was always envisioned as a one-shot deal is surprising.
As Reality TV World reported several weeks ago, both Stewart and Susan Lyne, CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, have repeatedly stated that they -- along with series producer Mark Burnett (who also produces Stewart's syndicated Martha daytime show) -- always considered the show to be a one-time "wonderful advertisement."
"I accepted Mark Burnett's offer because I thought it would be a wonderful vehicle to expose the beautiful nature of our company to the public. It was a fun thing to do coming out of Alderson and a wonderful advertisement for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia," Martha Stewart had told attendees of the American Magazine Conference in October. "But it was always perceived to be for one season only and we have no plans for renewal."
"It was a one shot promotional concept and we are not getting into the primetime television business," Lyne had also insisted to reporters. "We wanted to expose Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia to an audience that otherwise might not think of us."
Although heavily hyped, The Apprentice: Martha Stewart proved to be a ratings flop. After two broadcasts in its original Wednesday 8PM ET/PT, NBC moved the show back an hour into the sacrificial lamb slot opposite ABC's Lost megahit. For the season, the show has averaged only 6.8 million viewers and 2.6/6 rating/share in the Adults 18-49 demographic.
Despite the show's ratings struggles, Stewart (channeling her inner Donald) insists the show is doing well. "We're getting six to seven million viewers a night," Stewart gushed in a recent Fortune magazine feature. "Guess what? That's damn good."