TCA Digest: Skinny on Star Jones

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Star Jones futilely attempted to steer clear of controversy Sunday during the Television Critics Assn.'s press tour at the Beverly Hilton, where she was promoting her self-titled new Court TV talk show. Peppered by questions about her weight loss, Jones said that she would only explain how she slimmed down at a later time and venue that she would not reveal; she later relented, saying the long-awaited disclosure would come in an upcoming column in Glamour magazine. Jones also tried to speak only glowingly about her experience on "View" but couldn't resist criticizing the absence of a minority host on the program. "When you are putting forth a show, you need to make it look like the fabric of society," she said. "Star" premieres Aug. 20 on Court TV.

Green thoughts

At Sundance Channel's session Saturday during the Television Critics Assn.'s press tour at the Beverly Hilton, the network said that it has ordered second seasons of the series "Big Ideas for a Small Planet" for an April premiere as well as the interstitial series "Eco-Biz" and "Ecoists." In addition, the network has acquired U.S. rights to the second season of the BBC series "It's Not Easy Being Green." Also, the third season of the talk show "Iconoclasts" kicks off at 10 p.m. Oct. 25 with the pairing of Sean Penn and author-adventurer Jon Krakauer. Other pairings will include Madeleine Albright and Ashley Judd; Mike Myers and Deepak Chopra; and Alicia Keys and Ruby Dee.

Cronin thoughts

GSN president and CEO Rich Cronin, who last week said that he was leaving the network at month's end, was asked Saturday whether he had any regrets during his six years at GSN. "We would have loved to have a 'South Park,' but those are kind of rare," he said, before expressing his confidence in the GSN team and its future.

BBC news

Garth Ancier made his first TCA appearance since being named president of BBC Worldwide America in February, joking Friday that he has had to get used to British terminology since taking the job. He also spotlighted BBC America's decision to launch a U.S. newscast. "The BBC has this huge asset; it's the largest news organization in the world, but it wasn't being particularly well used in BBC America," he said, adding that the hourlong newscast will launch "very soon."
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