Star Jones arrived in the ballroom Sunday morning without her husband's last name and without answers to the Most Pressing Question of the day: Star, where is the rest of you?
Jones was promoting her new Court TV (which will become TruTV in January) talk show, which begins airing daily at 3 p.m. Aug. 20. She looked happy, her hair in a bob and her new petite bod in a fitted gray dress.
The one-hour live show will highlight the hot news, political and entertainment topics of the day and how they intersect. She will conduct a "conversation" with one guest, sitting in chairs next to each other, the way that talk shows do. She will conduct a "discussion" with someone else, across the table, the way that journalists do. Then she will put someone in the witness box and "interrogate" them, the way prosecutors do.
None of this seemed to interest the TV press. They wanted to know about her physical transformation, but Jones said she didn't think this was the proper forum.
"I know that people are curious," she said. "I changed completely from the way I looked when I started on TV. In the coming months, I guarantee you, no one will ever have to ask those questions again." Was she talking to Barbara Walters? CNN? She said no, adding that it would not be fair to the person whom she obviously had a deal with. Oprah, anyone?
Jones said she had spent the year since leaving "The View" examining what caused her firing. She then repeated: "Before the show goes on air, I will address [my transformation]." Instead, she said, she was here to give her thoughts on the hot topics, so reporters asked her about Rosie O'Donnell, Paris Hilton and Scooter Libby. Then the weight loss/plastic surgery came up again.
"In last four years, you all have watched me change so much," Jones said. "You watched me gain a whole person and lose a whole person. That's a whole lot for a human being to handle, not just physically but emotionally. I've taken people on my journey for so many years, and I really want the opportunity in a way that's open, fair and honest. I'm asking that you trust that you'll have all your answers."
OK, then, can you tell us where we will learn about all of this? Finally, just as the panel session was ending, Jones revealed that she had written a column that will appear in Glamour before the show premieres.
Geez, Jones, was that so hard?
Speaking of disappearing celebrities: Michael C. Hall and the cast of Showtime's well-loved "Dexter" were in the ballroom Saturday touting their second season. But we at the Television Critics Assn. Press Tour were not concerned with "Dexter" because we were worried about the Golden Globe-nominated actor who plays him.
Michael, why are you so thin? You were never fat. Now, you are tiny! We could see your cheekbones all the way in the upper tier. We wanted to take you to Sprinkles Cupcakes.
But seriously ... there's a new energy at Showtime. This fall, President of Entertainment Robert Greenblatt is trying something the broadcast networks do: He's going to use his hits to try to help him get more hits. Showtime will pair seasons No. 2 of "Dexter" and "Brotherhood" on Sunday nights beginning Sept. 30. Critical darling "Weeds," starring Mary-Louise Parker, will pair with the new comedy, "Californication," starring David Duchovny, on Monday nights in August. Seems like the right idea, Mr. Greenblatt, but can you please get your actors a little something to eat?