New Beginnings8/08/2004 08:00:00 PM Eastern
NBC Universal's Starting Over
is taking its own advice. It's adding Iyanla Vanzant as a life coach and Dr. Stan Katz as a consulting psychologist. The show is also moving to Los Angeles, taking up residence in a Spanish-style hilltop home overlooking Hollywood.
Vanzant is familiar to TV audiences as a frequent guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show
and the one-time host of her own talk show, Iyanla.
After suffering some personal tragedies, including the death of her daughter last Christmas, Vanzant is embracing a new beginning.
isn't about Hollywood. It's about the heart and soul of the women," Vanzant says. "The women who show up to live in the Starting Over
house are not only willing to transform their lives, they are willing to do it in public."
Says Jon Murray, executive producer of the show and chairman of its production company, Bunim-Murray, "We had looked at Iyanla the previous season, but it wasn't the right time for her. She has a great background. When you meet her, she has a power that draws you in, and you immediately trust her."
Katz, a nationally recognized clinical and forensic psychologist, is the first man to be a regular part of the show's cast.
"With Stan, we decided we wanted to go even deeper," says Murray. "Last season, we occasionally went outside to different clinical psychologists to help us. This year, we decided we wanted to have a permanent presence."
Vanzant and Katz join Rhonda Britten, founder of the Fearless Living Institute and author of Change Your Life in 30 Days, who is returning for her second season.
Although Starting Over
doesn't burn up the national household ratings, at a 1.0 season average, it holds its own in the key female demos. Among 18-34s, the show was up 56% over its lead-in and up 100% over its year-ago time periods. For women 18-49, it was up 30% from its lead-in and 117% from its year-ago time-period average.