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Harkin Starts Over

It's not just First Daughters who grab the headlines. Amy Harkin, daughter of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), is jump-starting her career at NBC with a Feb. 26 appearance in Starting Over, one of the Peacock's promising performers in key female demos.

"I want Starting Over
to help balance my career and my marriage," Harkin says. "My husband and I find ourselves at a transition in our lives. His career is winding down, and mine is about to begin. But I've lost focus on what I want to do."

After graduating from Princeton five years ago, Harkin and her husband hit the road. "I've lived in four countries and four states in five years," she says. "I've learned three languages." But now her husband, Steve Goodrich, is wrapping up his basketball career with a stint in Kiev, Ukraine, and Harkin has returned to the U.S. She hopes her appearance on the show empowers other women to make changes in their lives.

Starting Over
is renewed for a second year in 60% of the country and hit a 1.1 national household rating in the week ended Feb. 8. Although the show's national rating is low, NBC is encouraged by its appeal to young women.

"This show has a strong demographic-to-household ratio so we are looking to put it on stations that may skew a little bit younger, as well as on traditional affiliates," says Sean O'Boyle, NBC Enterprises' senior VP and syndication sales manager.

More good news: The show is also receiving several upgrades on March 5. It jumps from late night to 9 a.m. on ABC affiliate WCVB Boston and from The WB affiliate WBSC Greenville, S.C., at 9 a.m. to NBC affiliate WYFF at 11 a.m. It's getting a new clearance in Harrisburg, Pa., on NBC affiliate WGAL at 11 a.m. All three stations are owned by Hearst-Argyle, one of NBC Enterprises' partners. Next fall, Starting Over
will move from NBC-owned WCAU Philadelphia at 11 a.m. to Tribune-owned WPHL-TV at the same hour.

Harkin may just find herself on a winner.