Banks a go, others no

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In one swift move, Martha Stewart obliterated the hopes of the pretenders to her throne.

A flurry of fall activity by syndicators was quickly quashed when NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution announced in December that the one and only was coming back to TV.

Studios had been working on a handful of new lifestyle and design shows seeking to capitalize on the void created when "Martha Stewart Living" left syndication last June. The work was done before it was announced that she would join forces with Mark Burnett to return to TV in 2005.

Walt Disney Co.' Buena Vista Television had begun development of a woman's lifestyle show shepherded by designer Vera Wang. King World Productions, a division of Viacom's CBS Enterprises, set to work molding former "Trading Spaces" host Paige Davis into a syndicated star.

Viacom's Paramount Domestic Television filmed a pilot fronted by Steven Cojocaru, a correspondent on Paramount's "Entertainment Tonight" and "The Insider," though that project has been sidelined after Mr. Cojocaru underwent a kidney transplant earlier this year.

Even NBC Universal, now gearing up for Ms. Stewart's fall 2005 return, had taken the opportunity to start shaping a show around designer Isaac Mizrahi.

The non-Martha shows have now been tabled for 2005.

One new show that hasn't been sidelined is the Tyra Banks-centered project from Warner Bros.' Telepictures Productions.

The Fox-owned stations signed on to carry her show earlier this year, providing a strong base for the launch. With the supermodel's bent on fashion and a younger appeal, "The Tyra Banks Show" doesn't hit the same audience as Ms. Stewart, says Bill Carroll, VP-director of programming, Katz Television Group, New York.

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