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NBC Universal, Stewart Plan New Show

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NEW YORK NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution has entered into a multi-year distribution agreement with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, to air a new syndicated program starring Stewart beginning in 2005.

The hour-long, daily offering, produced by reality-show maven Mark Burnett, will feature ways for viewers to "enhance their lives" and will allow live audience members and special guests to participate and interact with Stewart in cooking and home decorating projects.

The program will air on NBC owned-and-operated stations, covering more than 30 percent of the nation's TV homes.

"This is the first of several new initiatives at MSO that will have positive implications across the entire spectrum of our business," said Susan Lyne, president and CEO of MSO. "The new format should appeal to Martha's loyal core audience, as well as a new generation of viewers interested in home and lifestyle."

"I have known Martha since her days on [the Today show] and am thrilled to have her back in the NBC Universal family," added Jeff Zucker, president of NBC Universal TV Group.

Stewart in October began serving a five-month prison term (to be followed by five months' home confinement) at a federal facility in Alderson, W.Va. In March she was found guilty of lying to federal investigators about the circumstances surrounding her 2001 sale of ImClone stock.