The Golden Age of Martha Stewart is ending. The expert homemaker's Hallmark talk show ceases production this month after seven seasons, just as funny gal Kathy Griffin launches her own talk show on Bravo. We check in with experts to find out why Martha is out and Kathy is in.
Hallmark ended up with five straight hours of Stewart per day. Bravo, on the other hand, will use Griffin to break up a Real Housewives-heavy schedule, says Zara Randera of the consultancy Attentional.
Daytime talk is cutthroat. "There are so many specialty channels on cable. Every niche program has its audience," says Randera. Not so with Griffin, whose show will air in the evening; her only significant competition will be Chelsea Lately.
"With Martha Stewart, you get some sort of house-and-home type of thing. It's issue oriented programming," says David Campanelli of Horizon Media. Viewers these days, however, want open-format, personality-based talk. Cue Griffin.
We've seen it all. The last thing modern viewers want is actress Jessica Alba uncomfortably handling meatballs under Stewart's watchful eyes (true story!). "Kathy's guests will misbehave with her," says Scott Sternberg, an Emmy winning TV producer. "Martha would say, 'Have you cooked before?' Kathy will say, 'What the hell do you look like in a bikini?'"
A version of this article appeared in the April 2012 issue of Fast Company magazine.