Martha Fizzles, Hallmark Retools Lineup

The Hallmark Channel is scrambling to retool its lineup now that Martha Stewart’s show has failed to get big ratings, a disappointment that forced out a programming executive brought on to the channel only four months ago. Hallmark had decided to ditch the feel-good reruns, like Little House on the Prairie, and maudlin movies in favor of original lifestyle shows like Stewart. And though Laura Sillars, an ex-HGTV exec, wasn’t part of that decision, she was hired to work closely with Stewart. Hallmark said Sillars wasn’t a good fit, and that her commute to New York from New Orleans was taxing. The channel took the risky step of giving more than eight hours of its daytime schedule to Stewart, but her marquee Martha Stewart Show has drawn in fewer than 200,000 viewers on average. That’s half the 10 a.m. ratings the channel got in 2009 for its rerun of The Golden Girls. The channel says people are just used to finding original programming at that time on other stations affiliated with the major networks.