‘Starting Over’ Gets to Keep Going at NBC

Dec 22, 2003  •  Post A Comment

The big syndication experiment of this fall will get another go-round.
NBC Enterprises has renewed reality strip “Starting Over,” which follows a group of women who move in together as they restart their lives, for a second season on the NBC owned-and-operated stations. Following the conclusion of the first season in May, NBC will air 13 weeks of repackaged episodes summarizing and updating the status of the reality show participants.
The series was based in Chicago for its first season and producers are mulling where to locate the series for its sophomore run. The original intent, sources said, was to move the series every season, much as what happens with MTV’s hit “The Real World,” which is produced by “Starting Over” producer Bunim-Murray Productions. But that could change.
“It seems to be working well in Chicago, so we’ll have to explore our options,” said Ed Wilson, president of NBC Enterprises. “Fortunately, we have until May to decide that.”
Mr. Wilson said he’s been encouraged by the show’s apparent appeal among young women.
“The story here is not about the households, it’s about the demos,” Mr. Wilson said. “We continue to see growth and are excited about how strong the show clicks with women to 34 and women 18 to 49. We look forward to a strong second half of the season.”
The freshman series has grown 38 percent in national household ratings, rising from a 0.8 to a 1.1. According to November sweeps results from eight of the NBC O&Os, the strip has increased its time period from November 2002 by 50 percent in women 18 to 49 and 33 percent in women 25 to 54. In addition, the series won its time period for the first time in Los Angeles on Dec. 17, according to overnight ratings.
“We are pleased with the first-season results of `Starting Over’ and look forward to building on its early success,” said Jay Ireland, president, NBC Television Stations. “It’s a program that has resonated with viewers.”
The NBC stations group now appears to have its Monday through Friday syndication time slots sewn up with the renewal of “Starting Over,” Telepictures’ “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and NBC Enterprises’ upcoming Jane Pauley talk show, which has been picked up and is set to launch in September.