Martha Stewart will go to prison on Oct. 8. She'll serve her five months either in Connecticut or Florida

By Gary Susman
Updated September 21, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
Martha Stewart: Gregory Bull/AP

Martha Stewart will take up housekeeping in the big house by Oct. 8. According to court papers released Tuesday, she’s been ordered to begin her five-month federal prison term by that date. U.S. District Court Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum recommended that Stewart serve her time at one of two minimum-security federal prisons, either the one in Danbury, Conn. (not far from Stewart’s home in Westport) or the one in Coleman, Fla.

Stewart was sentenced earlier this summer to five months behind bars and five more months of house arrest after being convicted of lying to the government about her suspicious sale of ImClone stock. Stewart has vowed to appeal, but last week, she announced that, rather than wait a year or more for her appeal to be heard, she’d just as soon get her sentence over with, in the hopes that she’d be out of jail in time for spring planting.

At least Stewart may be able to revive her TV show once she’s released. No less a producer than Mark Burnett has been in talks with Stewart about renovating her show. The series would avoid reference to her prison term, the reality-show guru told the New York Daily News on Monday. ”It has to be about Martha helping people — cooking, lifestyles, that kind of thing,” Burnett said. Fine, but we’d like to see a show along the lines of Burnett’s The Apprentice, where viewers would get to see Stewart fire underlings who make soufflés collapse or fold napkins improperly.