The Starter Wife (miniseries)

The Starter Wife

Title card
Created by Gigi Levangie
Written by
  • Josann McGibbon
  • Sara Parriott
  • Gigi Levangie (novel)
Directed by Jon Avnet
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 5 (one two-hour; four one-hour)
Running time 6 hours
Original network USA Network
Original release May 31 – June 28, 2007 (2007-06-28)

The Starter Wife is a 2007 USA Network television miniseries, based on the novel of the same name by Gigi Levangie Grazer. Its title is derived from the concept of a starter marriage. Filmed over four months in Queensland, Australia,[1] the plot focuses on Molly Kagan (Debra Messing) who, after years of marriage to a Hollywood film mogul, is forced to redefine herself and her role in society when her husband leaves her for a younger woman.

The mini-series premiered with a two-hour presentation on May 31, 2007 at 9:00 pm ET. The premiere attracted 5.4 million viewers, with 2.8 million of them being adults aged 25–54 (the network's target demographic). Ratings steadily decreased as the series progressed. The series is available for purchase on iTunes (to American customers only) and was available for DVD purchase starting September 11, 2007.

The miniseries was nominated for ten Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Miniseries, Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie (Debra Messing), Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie (Joe Mantegna), Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie (Judy Davis), and Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special (Josann McGibbon & Sara Parriott). Davis was the sole winner, while Messing was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie.

Although initially intended as a one-shot miniseries, USA subsequently ordered The Starter Wife as a new series for the 2008 spring season.[2] Production on the series first ten-episode season was delayed due to the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike, and began airing October 10, 2008.


Nielsen Ratings by episode

Episode # Title Air Date Rating[3] 25–54[4] Viewers Cable Rank[5]
1 & 2 "Premiere" May 31, 2007 3.7 2.8 5.39 #5
3 "Hour 3" June 7, 2007 2.7 ? 3.92 #7
4 "Hour 4" June 14, 2007 2.5 ? 3.55 #9
5 "Hour 5" June 21, 2007 2.2 ? 3.15 #22
6 "Finale" June 28, 2007 1.7 ? 2.82 #29

International broadcasting

Country TV Network(s) Series Premiere Weekly Schedule
United States United States USA Network May 31, 2007
Canada Canada A-Channel September 10, 2007 Mondays at 9:00 pm
Australia Australia Network Ten December 5, 2007 Wednesdays at 8:30 pm
Thailand Thailand Hallmark Channel October 21, 2007 Sundays at 8:00 pm
Malaysia Malaysia Sundays at 9.00 pm
Singapore Singapore
Hong Kong Hong Kong
Philippines Philippines
Portugal Portugal MOV December 2007
TVI November 2009 Thursdays at approximately 00:15 am
Brazil Brazil Rede Telecine / People+Arts October 2007
United Kingdom United Kingdom Sky Movies Drama December 10, 2007 Mondays at 9:40 pm
Turkey Turkey CNBC-e September 18, 2008 Thursdays at 9:00 pm
Sweden Sweden Kanal 5 March 11, 2008 Tuesday at 9:00 pm
Germany Germany Premiere February 19, 2008 Tuesdays at 8:15 pm
Croatia Croatia Nova TV announced TBA
France France Canal+ August 7, 2008 Thursdays at 8:50 pm (2 episodes)
Spain Spain Cosmopolitan TV (cable) February 2, 2009
TVE 2 July 2009
Italy Italy Mya September 4, 2008 Thursdays at 9:00 pm
Switzerland Switzerland SF zwei November 17, 2008 Monday at 8.00 pm
Hungary Hungary TV2 May 26, 2009 Friday at 10.15 pm
Japan Japan Star Channel(CS) October 2008
The Middle East Showseries Showtime Arabia
Netherlands Netherlands RTL8 January 3, 2010 Sundays at 8.00 pm
Republic of Ireland Ireland TG4
Belgium Belgium La Une June 2010 Thursdays at 10:00 pm (2 episodes)
Serbia Serbia Fox Life


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