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Mark Burnett to Martha's rescue
Stewart strikes a deal with the creator of 'Survivor' and 'The Apprentice' to develop new TV series.
September 23, 2004: 5:50 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. is teaming with leading reality television producer Mark Burnett to create new television series featuring its namesake founder, the company announced Wednesday.

As part of the agreement, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO: Research, Estimates) (MSO) has also issued Burnett a warrant to purchase up to 2.5 million shares of the company's Class A common stock at an exercise price of $12.59 a share.

Shares of Stewart's company have jumped since reports surfaced about her announcement that she wants to serve the prison sentence as soon as possible and news about a possible partnership with Burnett.

"Mark and I have forged a bond based on similar creative visions and common respect for strong and distinctive programming," the domestic diva said in a statement.

"I look forward to collaborating with Mark... to bring more of our unique blend of original high-quality, educational and inspirational programming to our loyal viewers and new programming to new audiences in prime time next year," Stewart added.

Burnett also calls Stewart a friend.

The official announcement comes the week after Stewart said she hopes to get the five-month prison sentence behind her.

The 63-year-old entrepreneur was sentenced in July to five months in prison and five months of home detention for obstructing an investigation into her sale of ImClone Systems Inc. (IMCL: Research, Estimates) stock before damaging news about that company was made public.

Martha Stewart
Justice and Rights
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Incorporated

On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered homemaking icon Martha Stewart to report to prison by Oct. 8.

Burnett is widely seen as the creator of the current reality-television genre that has become a major new force in network television. His first major hit was the CBS show "Survivor," which debuted in 2000.

Among his shows is "The Apprentice," the hit show on NBC in which another famous business figure, Donald Trump, each week fires a different contestant who is attempting to win a job with his company.  Top of page

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