Bunim-Murray's 'Starting Over' premiering in daily syndication on September 8
By Reality TV World staff, 09/08/2003
Bunim-Murray Productions' syndicated series "Starting Over" premieres today, September 8 (check local listings for station and time information.) Created by the producers of MTV's "The Real World," the daily weekday series promises to "fuse reality TV with the daytime soap opera" and has already been nicknamed a "soaprah" by the press for its combination of soap opera-style stories and issues favoured by talk shows such as Oprah Winfrey's.
"Starting Over" follows six diverse and captivating women who each have a compelling reason to start their lives over. The women come from different parts of the country and reside together in a Chicago Gold Coast neighborhood home. "Starting Over" allows viewers to follow the women as they push each other to reach for their goals. Those who succeed will "graduate" from the house and continue with their exciting new life. Those who fail will face the heartbreak of returning to their former lives. As each woman leaves the house a new woman will replace her.
During their stay in the home, the women will depend on the guidance provided by the program's two "life coaches" in order to ensure they take the proper steps to meet their goals. In an interview with the Associated Press, series co-creator and co-producer Jonathan Murray conceded that many viewers might never have heard of life coaches, but claims that the coaches are central to the program's format. "Life coaches are really big in New York and California, and expanding. They're your coach, they're your cheerleader, they're your researcher," said Murray. According to Murry, coaches were picked instead of therapists because "Starting Over" wanted "to take the women forward" rather than examine their pasts.
Rhonda Britten and Rana Walker will function as the show's life coaches. According to her biography, Britten is the founder of the Fearless Living Institute, the host of a British TV program called "Help Me Rhonda" and an author whose books include "Fearless Living: Live Without Excuses" and "Love Without Regret." Walker, who studied psychology, holds a master's degree and co-founded the Diamond Cutter company to help businesses and individuals get, among other things, "the most out of life."
The women in the program's first group range in age from 20 to 62 and come from various states including New York, Texas and Illinois. Their goals include weight loss, career improvement, and for one young widow, help in accepting her loss.