Starting Over (TV series)

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Starting Over
Opening credits title card
Format Reality television
Created by Mary-Ellis Bunim
Jonathan Murray
Starring Rhonda Britten
Dr. Stan Katz
Iyanla Vanzant
Rana Walker
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 160
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Bunim/Murray Productions
Universal Domestic Television (2003-2004)
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution (2004-2006)
Original channel Syndicated
Original run September 9, 2003 (2003-09-09) – May 31, 2006 (2006-05-31)

Starting Over is an American reality TV show that follows the lives of women who are experiencing difficulty in their lives and want to make changes, with the help of life coaches. It was the first reality TV show to be nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award.[citation needed] Six women at a time work to overcome obstacles and meet personal goals. When it is determined that a woman has met all her goals, she "graduates" from the house and is replaced by a new roommate. On the other hand, if it is determined that she has not met her goals, she could be put on probation, or even asked to leave.


The first season of Starting Over, in 2003-2004, was set in Chicago. The show used the voice-over narration of Sylvia Villagran. It featured life coaches Rhonda Britten and Rana Walker, but a concern arose regarding the life coaches giving psychological advice, since they were not licensed psychologists.[citation needed] This in turn prompted the relocation to California and the introduction of a consulting psychologist.

The second season saw the show moved to the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles, where the house was larger and more secluded. Rana Walker was replaced by Iyanla Vanzant as the second life coach. Dr. Stan Katz joined the cast as the psychologist. The show was produced by Bunim/Murray Productions (and syndicated by NBC Universal Television Distribution), the reality TV producer responsible for many other reality shows, perhaps most popular, MTV's long-running The Real World. Due to this, as well as a larger production budget, the style of the second season was very different from that of the first. Some fans felt that the new style was too overly dramatized.

During the second season, it was notable that in addition to the six women, for the first few months, there was also a baby in the mix. Josie, the holdover from the Chicago house, had given birth to a girl, Chloe, at season's end; and in that time in the Los Angeles house, she was included and doted on by the women, the life coaches and Dr. Katz (who was affectionately known as Dr. Stan).

Josie was also unique, in that she was the only woman in the three-year history of Starting Over to have changed life coaches. Since Rana, her original primary life coach, had been replaced by Iyanla and she already had three clients, she gained Rhonda, who had been her support life coach in the first season, as her primary life coach.

Also during the second season, a special group session dealing with anger (which lasted the show's entire hour) was shown, as the housemates all dealt with their deep-seated anger in their lives. At first it was meant to be a session to only help Jennifer deal with her anger issues, but Iyanla thought that it would be also beneficial for the entire house to participate as well. She (Iyanla) was the moderator of the session, while Rhonda and Dr. Stan watched the proceedings from the group room. It was one of the more memorable episodes of the second season.

The third season was filmed in the Reseda district of Los Angeles. For the first three weeks of the third season, which aired from 2005 until 2006, couples worked together with the life coaches. Although men have been guests of the women on the show, this was the first time that men appeared on the show specifically to work on their issues.

Starting Over did not return for a fourth season, but in the second half of the 2006-07 season NBC Universal distributed reruns of the series on some stations as a replacement show beginning January 29, 2007, due to the failure of the syndicated Megan Mullally's talk show [1]

Awards and nominations[edit]


The show won an Emmy in 2005 for the category Outstanding Special Class Series at the [32nd Daytime Emmy Awards]. The winning Producers include: Cliff Grant (line producer), Jonathan Murray (executive producer), Mary-Ellis Bunim (executive producer), Millee Taggart (executive producer), Jim Johnston (co-executive producer), Linda Midgett (co-executive producer), Joan O'Connor (co-executive producer), Francesca James (producer), Jeannine Denholm (producer), Erin Lichtenstein (producer), Benjamin Greenberg (producer), Peter Steen (producer), Tracy Whittaker (producer), Adriane Hopper (producer), Jeanine Cornillot (producer), Lisa Weiss (producer), Susan Baronoff (producer), Joe Alonso (producer), Peggy Murphy (producer), James Gavin Bedford (producer), Brandon L. Wilson (producer), Andrea Bailey (producer), Rubye Wilson (producer), Kathy Wussler (producer), Stephanie Tomasky (producer), Pam Lewis (producer), Sylvia Maldonado (producer), Jonathan Reiner (producer), Jeniene Phillips (producer), David Wallach (producer), Mark Niedelson (producer), Alex Miltsch (producer), Guido Verweyen (producer), Sarah K. Pillsbury (producer), Roger C. Memos (coordinating producer), Patricia Lofthouse (coordinating producer), Rana Walker (co-host), Rhonda Britten (co-host), Iyanla Vanzant (co-host), Dr. Stan J. Katz (co-host), The editors were also nominated by the Television Academy for an Emmy in the category Multi-Camera Editing in 2005.


The editors of the show won an Emmy in 2006 for Outstanding Single-Camera editing. Winning editors include: Marc Grossman, Arek Hope(of popcorn boy fame), Steve Mellon, Leellen Patchen, Raoul Rosenberg, Joe Shugart, Steven Urrutia, Maria Vitakis and Barry Zetlin.


The editors of the show won an Emmy in 2007 for Outstanding Single-Camera editing. Winning editors include: Mac Caudill, Robert Garry, Marc Grossman, Arek Hope (of popcorn boy fame), Aaron M. Lewis, Seth Thomas Levine, Steve Mellon, Leellen Patchen, Raoul Rosenberg, Joe Shugart, Steven Urrutia, Maria Vitakis and Barry Zetlin.


Life coaches[edit]

Consulting psychologist[edit]


Roommates - Season 1 (in order of graduation/departure from show)[edit]

  • Maureen Goodman: 1st ever "Starting Over" graduate, and roommate during season 2
  • Nyanza Davis
  • Christine (#1)
  • Andy Paige: Season 1 graduate, Stylist during Seasons 2-3
  • Cassie Romanelli
  • Lori
  • Kimberlyn
  • Jennifer Manaloto
  • Audrey Tucker- First Black Female Country Singer to gain National Exposure on NBC's Starting Over
  • Teresa Crone
  • Brenda Starr Wilson
  • Hannah Buchanan
  • Karen Knoxcox
  • Christine H.
  • PJ Anbey: Season 1 and special appearances season 2; plus size model and professional stage actress
  • Erika Jackson
  • Rain Adams
  • Amy Harkin Goodrich: daughter of Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, and wife of NBA Basketball player Steve Goodrich
  • Susan Santa Cruz
  • Hailey Murray: niece of "Starting Over" co-creator/executive producer Jonathan Murray, and daughter of "Starting Over" graduate Lynnell
  • Lynnell Stage: mother of "Starting Over" graduate Hailey
  • Josie (and baby Chloe): Seasons 1-2
  • Leah: show ended before her story was completed

Roommates - Season 2[edit]

  • Sinae VanHaastert...An Inspiration to do Your Best [1](Season 2)
  • Josie (Season 1-2)
  • Chloe (Season 1-2)
  • Deborah (Season 2)
  • Vanessa Atler (Season 2)... Former Olympic Hopeful
  • Bethany Marshall (Season 2 and appearances on Season 3)... NC Amnesiac[2]
  • Jennifer Bernhardt (Season 2)
  • Megg Berry (Season 2)
  • Kim Bookout (Season 2)
  • Towanda Braxton Carter (Season 2)... Sister of R&B singer-songwriter Toni Braxton
  • Denise Lamberti (Season 2)
  • Cassie Mizer (Seasons 2-3)... Season 2 graduate, and roommate during season 3
  • Sommer White (Seasons 2-3) (In Jan 2009 she appeared on the TV Show the Doctors for plastic surgery.)
  • Allison Stanley (Seasons 2-3)
  • Renee Panis (Season 2)

Roommates - Season 3[edit]

  • Jaclyn Johnsen Romero (Season 3 - Couples Bootcamp)
  • Michael Romero (Season 3 - Couples Bootcamp)
  • Kacie Fann (Season 3 - Couples Bootcamp)
  • Simon David (Season 3 - Couples Bootcamp)
  • Cheryl Kohagen (Season 3 - Couples Bootcamp)
  • Troy Kohagen (Season 3 - Couples Bootcamp)
  • Jenn Marini (Season 3 - Couples Bootcamp)
  • Lou Marini (Season 3 - Couples Bootcamp)
  • Jessica Holland (Season 3)
  • Christie Duran (Season 3)
  • Jill Tracy (Season 3)
  • Lisa Noonen (from Miami Beach) (Season 3) currently a Flight Attendant with Jetblue Airways

Guest coaches[edit]

Steve Rhode - Money, Credit & Debt Coach (Season 1)

Sean Albrecht - Corporate Telemarketing Coach (Season 1)

Lisa Popeil - Singing Voice Coach (Season 2)


After three seasons the show was canceled. In the show's series finale, housemate Niambi had not achieved her goal on the show. Life coach Iyanla Vanzant instructed her to return next season but this was prior to the show's cancellation.


External links[edit]