Rocky Start for Star Jones at TCA


TCA Photo Gallery

Beverly Hills, Calif. -- Star Jones, the host of a new Court TV show, got off to a rocky start with TV critics Sunday who wanted to know the inside skinny on her dramatic weight loss.

Jones -- host of the new Star Jones talk show debuting Aug. 20 on Court TV and former co-host of The View -- was harangued at the Television Critics Association tour here when she initially declined to offer details about the fact that she’s slimmed down to a mere shadow of her former self, saying that she would address the question in a more appropriate forum.

“You saw me gain a whole person and lose a whole person,” said Jones, whose one-hour daily talk show will be live.

But when asked about the details of her weight loss, Jones got coy. “I feel people are curious. I changed completely from the way I look when I first started I television ... In the coming months, I think I will have answered every question that you want the answers to,” she said.  

But the press corps wouldn’t let it go. The TV writers continued to pepper Jones with questions about where, and how, she would discuss her weight loss.

Finally -- after much back and forth, and one reporter claiming that she was essentially “doing PR damage” -- Jones disclosed that she would talk about her weight loss in a column for Glamour magazine.

During her panel, Jones also said that she’s disappointed that The View hasn’t added “a permanent person of color, who is a professional,” to its roster.

Jones was fired from The View last June, and the talk show recently lost another controversial host, Rosie O’Donnell.

But Jones said she is disappointed about The View’s failure, so far, to hire a minority, she declined to offer any other criticism of the show. “I was a part of an amazing pop culture experience,” she said. “Barbara Walters gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to go on and do television I wanted to do. So I am not going to do anything that damages that warm feeling I had.” 

Jones also was complimentary of O’Donnell, who she called one of the smartest people on television.

Court TV, which is shifting its focus to reality programming, will change its name Jan. 1 to TruTV.