'Real World' producers Bunim/Murray and NBC to launch syndicated daytime 'Starting Over' reality series
By Reality TV World staff, 12/05/2002
NBC Enterprises has annoucned that it will partner with Bunim/Murray Productions, producers of the long-running reality series “The Real World” and “Road Rules,” on a one-hour strip for a first-run syndication series, “Starting Over.”
Slated for Fall 2003 launch, “Starting Over” will follow six diverse and captivating women who each have a compelling reason to start their lives over. The women will come from different parts of the country and reside together. "Starting Over" will allow viewers to follow these women as they push each other to reach for their goals. For those who succeed it will mean graduation from the house and a new exciting life. For those who fail it will mean the heartbreak of returning to their former lives. As each woman leaves the house a new woman will replace her.
“Starting Over” will be produced by Bunim/Murray Productions and distributed by NBC Enterprises Domestic Syndication. The series will be shot on location in a city to be announced.
“Just as ‘The Real World’ was a ground-breaking series for a generation of viewers, ‘Starting Over’ is destined to be just that for daytime viewers across the nation,” said Linda Finnell, Senior Vice President of Programming and Development, NBC Enterprises. “Bunim/Murray is truly unrivaled in the development of non-scripted television and ‘Starting Over’ will benefit from their decades of experience in this genre.”
“Bunim/Murray has an impressive track record for developing non-scripted series that are not only successful, but tell compelling stories that generate a loyal following among viewers,” said Ed Wilson, President, NBC Enterprises. “Their success as producers combined with their experience in local station programming and development for daytime and first-run, will provide our stations with a dramatic reality series filled with engaging stories for the daytime audience.”
“It's exciting to work on a show that will not only be entertaining but will actually improve the lives of the women participating,” said Mary-Ellis Bunim. “With so much at stake for these women, and with the women holding each other accountable for achieving their goals we can expect a lot of conflict and entertaining television,” added Jonathan Murray.
Both Jonathan Murray and Mary-Ellis Bunim have extensive backgrounds in local station programming and daytime television. Murray spent six years in local television news, programming and station management in various roles including news producer at WLUK-TV, Green Bay and WXIA-TV, Atlanta; senior news producer at WOKR-TV, Rochester and news manager at WKYC-TV Cleveland. Murray also served as program director and station manager at WOKR-TV, Rochester. While at WOKR-TV, the station was among the five top ranked stations in the country for rating and share. From there he went to the national television sales rep firm, HRP, Inc., where he helped local stations buy and schedule their syndicated programming.
Bunim has served as executive producer for more than 2,500 hours of daytime television having worked on “Search for Tomorrow,” “As the World Turns,” “Santa Barbara” and “Loving.” Later, as Vice President - Tape Programs for New World Entertainment, Bunim developed a variety of programming for children, network daytime, late-night and first-run.
After more than 13 years with several successful reality-based and scripted projects to their credit, Bunim/Murray Productions has emerged as an industry leader that uses time-honored skills in dramatic story structure to turn the tales of ordinary real people into extraordinary television. “The Real World” is currently in its 12th season on MTV and “Road Rules,” a companion program to “The Real World,” recently completed it’s 11th season. Bunim/Murray Productions also created and produced three seasons of “Making the Band” for ABC and MTV, which charted the creation and rise of the pop band O-Town. “Making the Band 2” with Sean “P. Diddy” Combs is currently airing on MTV. In addition, Bunim/Murray Productions also produced the relationship-themed series, “Love Cruise: The Maiden Voyage” for Fox.
NBC Enterprises Domestic Syndication’s current first-run syndicated programming includes “Access Hollywood,” “The John Walsh Show,” “The Other Half,” “Weakest Link,” “The Chris Matthews Show,” “The George Michael Sports Machine,” “The Wall Street Journal Report,” “Rebecca’s Garden,” “Wild Moments” and the off-network syndication sales of NBC’s “Providence.” NBC Enterprises Domestic Syndication also distributes the first-run specials “The Remarkable Journey” and the “Good Housekeeping Reports” inserts.
NBC Enterprises is responsible for the global distribution and exploitation of NBC owned product, which includes foreign and domestic program syndication, strategic marketing and ancillary exploitation of owned product in home video, merchandising, licensing, music and publishing as well as strategic production and co-production alliances and co-ventures. NBC Enterprises oversees the distribution of all NBC-owned programming worldwide. This programming includes all shows produced by NBC Studios, NBC News, CNBC and MSNBC output.