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Marianne Paskowski

‘Star Jones’: New Litmus Test for Cable Debuts

August 17, 2007 11:58 AM

Got a gut feeling that Court TV’s Aug. 20 premiere of “Star Jones,” even though launching in the dog days of August in the 3 p.m. (EST) slot, will still attract a decent-sized audience. Star, former co-host of “The View,” revealed last month that she underwent tummy-tuck surgery, and hence her drastic weight loss.

And the voyeurs out there will be tuning in to see what she looks like now. Hopefully they’ll actually be listening to what this talented attorney turned talk show host actually has to say to her guests on topics ranging from pop culture, current affairs, and of course, crime and justice. That’s a lot of turf to cover but Court’s afternoon day part needs a boost and Star sure could sure shake things up.

Cable nets traditionally do well when they launch new series in summer, to counter program broadcasters that are by and large airing reruns. But that’s primetime. Can an afternoon cable premiere bring in the eyeballs and advertisers? So weigh in here with your two cents.


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Comments (23)

I predict Ms. Jones' star will shine very brightly in her day part. Why? Aside from the weight obsessed few, there's her fan base that has been missing her candid voice from the TV landscape for the past year.

This is a former prosecutor who's going to ask all the right and hard questions in a fair and balanced way with style, grace and humor.

What better way to usher in the "True TV" brand with
an established name and face who evokes curiosity and or interest from viewers across the board. Watch out, she's really going to do her thing her way!! Personally, I'm setting my DVR.

Marianne Paskowski:


I too will be setting my DVR. Nice to have her back on air. I hope she talks about her tummy tuck. I know two women doing it for medical reasons.



I agree with the previous comment. Star Jones-Reynolds has a huge fan base going back to Entertainment Tonight, I think, when she served as a special coorespondant during the OJ Simpson trial. She went on to have her own legal type show "Jones & Jury."

She was/still is (in my opinion) what "The View" needs. People were turned off by Rosie. I love Ms. Goldberg, but do you think she will be able to carry that show. I'm not saying that Star carried the view, but Star wasn't afraid to speak her mind -- reguardless of what people thought. Whoopie will speak her mind, but not like Star. Plus, I think Whoopie is being inserted as the token black person to replace Star.

Marianne Paskowski:


Mostly agree with you about "The View" needing Star. Rosie was not a team player. Star is talented. I don't look at Whoopie as a token black replacement. I look forward to seeing her on TV. My last memories of her include "Sister Act," great and her remarks on "Hollywood Squares," a waste of her talent.

Thanks for weighing in,



Star Jones has her fans -- and her detractors -- both of whom will tune in -- at least initially. Your bigger question: Can afternoon cable bring eyeballs? Cable has had a successful summer with prime-time hits. But with TiVo and DVRs, timing is fast becoming a moot point. When we rely on such technology, it -- not us -- sets our viewing agenda. And that's the more provocative issue that all networks - broadcast and cable alike -- will have to face.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Fern,
Nice to see you back up here. As always, you are spot eye, day part becomes a moot issue with DVRs. Or is it? I can't tell you how many shows I've prerecorded and never watched later.



Here is a letter I posted on Court TV Blog.
If you agree please pass it on. I hope I don't offend anyone...it's just my opion
To Whom it may concern,
~I am writting this not out of anger, but raher an attempt to express an opion that is shared by myself and several people I have recently spoken with.
It was with a great deal of regret that I accepted Judge Crier's elequent farewell. I atempted to reaserch the reason for her departure, however I was never able to diffinativly determine the exact reason for her leaving. I can only assume it was a due to a conflict of her high professional and moral standards. Although I felt her absense greatly deminished Court TV's quality of commintary I continued to watch certain trial segments and commentaries.
Because the quality of the programs content I often questioned I wasn't reading. I will now be reading!~
I have just learned that you have now employed Star Jones I knew that your programming had reached gone beyond sensational and "New Age" to pure hyprocracy.~
As of today TV I will cease to turn onto Court TV and I will urge all who will listen to me to do the same.~
I hope in the future that you will improve your programming so that it can once again be the media outlet that intelligently informed both the public and
Thank you for your attention.
Bonnie Lyn

Marianne Paskowski:

Thanks for sharing what you posted on the Court TV website. Maybe, just maybe, Ms. Crier wants to do something else with her life. We all do, at one point or another, so I don't find this unusual at all. As for me, I'm gonna give Star a chance.



Dear Marianne,

Thank you for your quick and cordial previous tome.

I have no issue with Ms. Jones-Renolds. My remarks were pointed toward Court TV and the
level to which they have lowered thier criteria. As I said before this is merely my opinon, but Ms. Jones-Renolds might be making a poor choice by sinking to the networks standards.

As to Ms. Crier I completely agree with you, the judge has chosen to do 'something else with her life' by seeking the higher ground.

Thank you for your timely reply,


Marianne Paskowski:

Oh BB,

I did NOT say Ms. Crier was seeking the higher ground. I said she made a life choice. Why are you so ticked off with Court TV? Ms. Jones is still going to cover trials and the justice system, albeit a lot of other things, too. I think it's a good move for her, given her background. Let's give her and Court TV a chance to shake it up a little here. Gavel to gavel can get humdrum unless it's something like OJ.

One could argue that Star, for whatever reasons left "The View," to whatever reasons she agreed to join Court TV.



Thank you for taking far more time than most people with a life would spend on discussing this topic.
I am embarassed to no note that I am the only
to contact you in the last eight hours


Can't wait to see Mrs. Star Jones back on TV. Her voice is missed. I always preferred her legal commentary personality, not The View personality. She was far more professional before joining The View.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Fan,
Will be interesting to see how much she covers legal commentary, she'll be doing a lot of different topics.


Late August seems like an awful time to launch a show like this. Most families are wrapping up vacations and getting ready for the start of school. Maybe the producers want to go for a "soft launch" and hope the ratings build into the fall. If Star can attract and hold a core audience before the onslaught of new programming in September, she might actually do okay. Her numbers in October will probably be key to her long-term survival.

Marianne Paskowski:


Caught a little of the debut today, and then the phone and email went gonzo. Think you could be spot on about the soft launch. It was actually better than OK, but we shall see what the overnight metered markets have to say tomorrow.

She's very likable, although I thought some of the topics were just stale. She did get Bush's daughter's engagement, who cares, and it was updated on the latest of celebrity stuff. But I didn't watch the whole thing, so I'm not a good critic here.


Julia S:

Hi Marianne,

I'm very upset about Court TV changing, although I have to admit it's been coming for some time. When they started featuring those stupid, cheap reality shows...Cops, Beach Patrol, and whatever, I quit watching. This non-scripted stuff isn't even creative or interesting.

I've been a major Court TV fan for the past 6-7 years, loving The Forensic Files, the Psychic Detectives, and Power, Privilege, and Justice...oh, and Body of Evidence. Seriously, Court TV was the ONLY channel I watched. But, over the last year or so the programming has gone more toward "reality" TV, which is dull, annoying, and generally appealing to dolts who apparently don't want to see crime-solving, but Do want to see cops bashing in heads.

I'm pretty sure TruTV will TRY to ride the crest of reality TV, but at some point, it will go out of style the way westerns did in the 60s.

Thanks for letting me vent. I've tried writing to CourtTV with no luck!

Regarding StarJones...talk about someone who makes lemonade out of lemons. She's smart, savvy, and interesting. I hope her show is a huge success. I work, so I can't watch at 3pm, but I'm hoping they'll run her show later on the evening... evenutally, they'll realize that there are intelligent WORKING folks who want to watch. She is TOO good for The View! I salute her!

Julia S, Scottsdale AZ


This is way, way off topic (but vaguely related to the repositioning of CourtTV to TruTV...) Anyway, I LOVE the new Biography Channel logo. It's clean, strong and really punches up the brand. Love it!

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Julia,

I happen to share your sentiment about reality TV from Survivor on and all that it bred. But, ratings wise, we are in the minority, for now.

I saw Star, a admire what she's done with her life and the success she has achieved. She's a smart, earthy woman, and, frankly, probably good for that time period.

Thanks for the post,

Marianne Paskowski:


Whoa, that's quite the segue and I'm remiss because I haven't seen the new logo for Biography. But not surprised I missed it, logos mean nothing to me, for me it's all about the content.

Thanks for chiming in and let's see where this chat now meanders. It's open season, everyone is on vacation or should be!

Keep on coming back,

Julia S:

Hi Marianne,

I'm glad you didn't take offense at my "off-track" comments. I've been fuming for the past year about the programming on Court TV, and when I saw your blog, I just had to toss in my two cents. I once tried to email Catherine Crier, but the email didn't "go". So much for technology.

I'm sure you're right about reality TV; it's a flaming star that WILL burn out...eventually.

My apologies to "mreposter". I DO admire Star Jones and wish her the best. I hope Court TV will replay some of her shows later..after 6pm.


Marianne Paskowski:

Check out the latest post, above, on Star. She did AOK. I don't know if you're saying that Star is a reality show, she's not. Talk show host. Interest comments about Catherine Crier. In past postings, about Court TV, saw a lot of gripes about the webmasters' control. But what do I know?



I was waiting for the debut of the Star Jones show with a lot of anticipation and hope that she would reward me and other fans with an insightful, stimulating, and thought-provoking show that clearly made up for her long absence from the viewers since her surprising departure from the 'View'. I can't tell you how disappointed I was in the show by the time it ended except to say that I would have never, in a million years, guessed that it would turn out to be little more than just another 'gossip' show, laced with (imho) an unnecessary interview of Isaiah Washington that came as a 'part 1' of a 2-parter. Interestingly enough, the 'part 2' was supposed to run on her second show, but because of the poorly-managed timing on the show's interviewing of the soldier who had himself shot by his own 'hitman', that part was not shown until today's show. She did however, and not surprisingly, have plenty of time to read her "Open Letter" to us. listen, I truly hope the best for her, but it almost sounds like you're trying hard not to be too critical of her early performances so far. I'm just not sure why though. Star has years of experience in the broadcast industry, and yet, again imho, she just doesn't have the personality 'chemistry' most of us are looking for in our talk-show hosts today, and for her, I think that is going to doom her show before it has a chance to really show what it/she can do. suggestion: change the format by limiting all the people who show up to be talked to/with; don't present conversations with guests that project an imitation of a Star Jones version of "The View"; drop the gossip stuff, it's OLD by the time she delivers it anyway, and we don't need to see her stoop to that level of reporting; give us some REAL 'in-your-face' interviews that are on the level of say a, yes, Nancy Grace, and not a (sorry) Larry King; Pick topics that are truly interesting, entertaining, stimulating, and worth tuning in to watch and listen to. So far talking about girlfriends dating their friend's exes, Screetch's porn video adventures, the 'usual suspect' bad girls of Hollywood and why they are, and the knucklhead who had himself shot to keep from going back to Iraq just don't cut it for me. And finally, drop the Prado-look. The glasses don't 'work', and with the new body, the use of gimmicks like them only makes us wonder if this is really the 'new' Star Jones, or yet simply another barely-talented wannabee trying to stimulate ratings by masquerading as a very skilled talk-show host trying her best to carry the show by herself, and who looks more intellectual than the majority of the rest of her established counterparts already on the air. Like I said, I hope her much success, but so far, I'm disappointed. The show seems very flat (including the Theme song) and I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't last 3 months. And, of course, I could be very wrong. Only time will tell. Thanks for allowing my input.

Marianne Paskowski:


I agree with you on many fronts, the show has the feeling of "The View," but it isn't. Like you, I think the content is too gossipy, but Court TV is trying something new here, and like anything there are kinks to iron out.

Thanks for your thoughtful post.

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