[09/21/05 - 12:00 AM]
Starting Over with a Fresh, New Cast

[via press release from NBC Universal Television Studio]


Emmy Award-Winning Series Launches the Traditional Season With Five New Housemates, and One Familiar Face

Life Coaches Embrace Issues Such as Single Mom Who Wants to Find a More Honorable Way to Make a Living, Spoiled Party Girl Who Needs to Grow Up, and Living with Breast Cancer

BURBANK, Calif. -- September 21, 2005 -- "Starting Over," the real-life daytime drama from NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution and Bunim-Murray Productions ("The Real World," "The Simple Life"), will launch its traditional all-female format on October 6, which it will maintain for the rest of the 2005-2006 season.

"Once again the "Starting Over" cast of women has goals and challenges that the daytime audience can relate to and learn from," said Jon Murray, Chairman of Bunim-Murray Productions and Executive Producer "Starting Over." "The result will be compelling shows that entertain and also inform. "

The women entering the "Staring Over" house will include:

ALLISON (38) Charlotte, NC: A favorite from the second season of "Staring Over," Allison is a breast cancer survivor who educated and inspired the daytime audience with her courageous decision to share the emotional and physical effects of her illness and its treatment. She returns for season three for support in dealing with the emotional choices she was forced to make after taking a controversial genetic test as part of her treatment. However, upon her arrival in the house she is faced with a whole new set of challenges she did not expect.

CHRISTINA (20) Greensboro, NC: Married at the age of 16, Christina soon found she needed a quick way to support her family. With no high school diploma, she headed down a dangerous road which she now knows was a mistake. Separated from her husband, Christina wants "Staring Over" to show her how to attain a more honorable life for herself and for her son.

JESSICA (26) Hoboken, NJ: Jessica hopes "Starting Over" will help her to come to terms with everything that has happened since her tragic loss on 9/11, especially a decision by her father that feels like a betrayal.

JILL (40) Miami, FL: A popular former radio talk show host, Jill's world has fallen apart. Her fall from grace was public and spectacular. Now, with no job, no man, and a mouth she can not keep shut, she has turned to "Starting Over" for help in making sense out of the chaos of her life.

LISA (40) Miami, FL: Vivacious and spoiled, Lisa has been a party girl, living the high life on several continents courtesy of other people's money. With her fortieth birthday, it became clear that her party is just about over. She wants to rely on her inner resources to change her life, but she is not sure that she has any. She hopes "Starting Over" will help her to make major changes; starting with redefining her symbiotic relationship with her over-indulgent parents.

TJ (38) Denver, CO: TJ seems to rub everyone the wrong way except her loving and supportive husband. She has no friends, no social life, and is filled with loneliness. She believes that the "Staring Over" house may be her last chance to learn how to control her impulses and connect with another human being. The question is: Can she meet her goal before she drives the other women in the house crazy?

A revolutionary program, "Starting Over" shows the natural drama of women changing their lives for the better. Because its cast stays in the house for weeks or months at a time, "Starting Over" covers issues with a depth that no other program can match. Life coaches Rhonda Britten and Iyanla Vanzant are joined by Psychologist Dr. Stan J. Katz in their efforts to guide and support the cast of women throughout their inspiring journeys of change.

These all-female episodes will follow "Relationship Boot Camp," a special series of episodes which launched the third season of the critically-acclaimed series on September 19th. Boot Camp features the "Starting Over" Life Coaches counseling four couples in crisis. At the conclusion of Boot Camp, the six diverse women enter the "Starting Over" house ready to make exceptional changes in their lives.

Thousands of women auditioned for the third season of "Starting Over" at casting calls held nationwide and via videotaped submissions. The show's website regularly receives over one million unique visits per month from fans and from women seeking a chance to start their lives over. After numerous auditions, five women (in addition to Allison) were selected as the season three initial cast. Each woman is expected to reside in the "Staring Over" house for between six and twelve weeks, depending on the scope of her "project" and her rate of progress toward her goal.

Since its premiere in September 2003, "Staring Over" has earned rave reviews from fans and critics alike. In May 2005, "Starting Over" won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Series. In its second season, "Starting Over" grew an impressive 43% in women 25-54, according to Nielsen Media Research data (9/15/03-3/7/04 vs. 9/20/04-3/6/05). The series also currently has the highest concentration of women 18-49 and women 25-54 of any nationally syndicated program.

"Staring Over" is produced by Bunim-Murray Productions, the creators of the hit series "The Simple Life," "The Real World" and "Road Rules." It is distributed by NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution. Jonathan Murray and Millee Taggart-Ratcliffe are Executive Producers. "Starting Over" is currently sold in more than 95% of the U.S. for its third season in national syndication.

About NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution
NBC Universal is a leader in providing entertainment programming to the domestic and international marketplaces. The NBC Universal Television Distribution division is responsible for the global distribution of NBC Universal product to all forms of television throughout the world. This includes distribution of current and library film and television product, including formats and non-scripted programming, in the pay, free, and basic markets, as well as the domestic syndication of first-run syndicated TV programs and theatrical and TV movie packages.

Current and upcoming first-run strip syndicated programming at NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution includes a new daily series with Martha Stewart, Access Hollywood, Blind Date, The Jane Pauley Show, The Jerry Springer Show, Maury and Starting Over. Current and upcoming first-run weekly syndicated programming includes The Chris Matthews Show, The George Michael Sports Machine, Rebecca's Garden, The Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo, Your Total Health and the off-network distribution of Crossing Jordan, Fear Factor, Providence, and the Law & Order franchise. Special programming includes Good Housekeeping Reports news inserts, a series of The Remarkable Journey specials, as well as a collection of feature film packages.

  [september 2005]  


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