08/15/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT
See Martha Stewart drop a pricey vase! See her accidentally set a dish on fire! See a cow knock her right on her butt! A bad Saturday Night Live skit? No, that's Stewart channeling Lucy Ricardo in Web trailers for her upcoming daily show, one of several projects that will showcase a new, less-than-perfect Martha. The message of her image makeover is clear: Her time in prison and under home confinement—she is set to have her ankle monitor removed Aug. 8, just days after she turns 64—has left her chastened and even sympathetic. "I think that people are going to see her in a new light, and they might be surprised," says Rob Dauber, co-executive producer of Martha.
Yet some of Martha's movements could get her in trouble. The U.S. Probation Office in New York City is investigating whether Stewart violated terms of her home confinement—which limit her trips to work-related or essential errands—-by zipping around her Bedford, N.Y., estate on her utility vehicle and taking a hatha yoga class. If so, that could add time to her sentence. "We have to ascertain what is essential," says the office's chief, Chris Stanton. "She is always claiming to be working."
Stewart did find time to plan a small birthday party on Aug. 3 (her chef Pierre Schaedelin drew up a menu featuring tapas, gazpacho and paella). Her best gift, of course, will be when they take her ankle monitor off. "I think what she is most looking forward to," says someone close to Stewart, "is having her schedule be her own again."