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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 November 2005, 10:00 GMT
Apprentice show is Stewart's last
Martha Stewart
Ms Stewart was criticised for being too gentle in the series
US television channel NBC has confirmed that Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart has not been asked back to do a second series of The Apprentice.

The series was a spin-off of the Donald Trump fronted corporate reality show.

Critics had suggested Stewart's success was damaged by her "softer" image change - following her five-month stint in jail for stock trade offences.

In a statement the broadcaster said it had not planned to run a second series with Stewart. The finale is next month.


The winner of the contest, which has seen 16 aspiring executives taking part - will win a $250,000 (144,000) prize and a year-long "apprenticeship" at Stewart's Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia company.

In a statement NBC said: "The plan from the very beginning was always to produce only one cycle of The Apprentice: Martha Stewart."

A statement from Ms Stewart's company suggested that doing a second round of The Apprentice would have conflicted with ongoing production of her new daytime syndicated show Martha, which launched 12 September.

Production of the series, one of the most heavily promoted additions to NBC's schedule, began while Ms Stewart was still under home confinement.

But her show drew the smallest audience yet for a season debut of the Apprentice franchise and averaging fewer than 6.8m viewers for the season.

She faced criticism from TV pundits for displaying a softer personality, telling failed contestants "you just don't fit in", in contrast to Donald Trump's curt "you're fired".

Ms Stewart was released from jail earlier this year after serving a five-month prison term for lying to US federal investigators in connection with an insider-trading inquiry.

She was named one of Time Magazine's top 100 most influential people in 2005.

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