“Starting Over” will graduate to a second season — and a new city.
NBC Enterprises has given a firm go to a soph season of the unscripted sudser strip from “Real World” and “Simple Life” studio Bunim-Murray Prods.
Hourlong skein has been cleared for year two by stations repping 86% of the country, including the Peacock’s owned-stations in Gotham and Los Angeles (Daily Variety, Dec. 23). In addition, stations in Phoenix, Dallas and Grand Rapids have also renewed the series in recent weeks.
During the February sweeps, “Starting Over” averaged an OK 1.0 rating in femmes 18-49, a 25% hike over the skein’s November perf.
Skein follows an ever-changing group of women, all facing major life issues as they live together under one roof and try to sort through their various issues with the help of “life coaches.” Women often use toy blocks, make giant murals and use other oversized props to work through their woes.
With season two greenlit, exec producer Jon Murray said the “Starting Over” house will shift from Chicago to Los Angeles next fall.
“Chicago was great, but Los Angeles brings a new energy and life to the show,” Murray said. “And there’s something about the sunny skies of Los Angeles.”
Ankling Chi for L.A. will also aid in production, since Bunim-Murray’s post-production facilities are located here. “It’ll allow us to make a better show if we’re all together,” he said.
Still to be determined: the role of the skein’s two life coaches.
“We may add a group of experts to help the coaches, add an additional life coach or bring in a therapist on a recurring basis,” Murray said.
Skein is in the middle of a juicy storyline in which one of the cast members — an unmarried pregnant woman who was recently homeless — is about to give birth.
If storyline is carried to term, “Starting Over” will feature reality TV’s first unscripted birth.
Bunim-Murray will produce more than 190 segs of “Starting Over” this season. Skein will repeat its first cycle of 65 segs starting in June, with former castmembers returning to offer commentary and answer fan mail.