Last night, oh holy night, the first of Hallmark Channel's new "Martha and Friends" animated series premiered, bringing the wonders of a 10-year-old Martha Stewart to nighttime television. "Martha and the Christmas Tree," as the episode was called, follows a sprightly young Martha as she and her merry pals (and her animated-dogs-named-after-her-real-dogs Sharkey and Francesca) craft, decorate, tree trim, and prepare to bring some holiday cheer to a local youth center. (Allow us to defer to the press release for a moment: "Talk about being a businesswoman and visionary ahead of her time!") "No one knows Christmas like you and your friends," Martha is told, but after the group's plans to decorate are foiled, she sagely saves the day by explaining: "It's not about the biggest tree or the prettiest ornaments." Somewhere out there, the top dogs at the Martha Stewart Omnimedia brand management division are melting.
· Sneak Peek: Martha's Animated Holiday Special [Hallmark]