5:18pm PT by Kate Stanhope
Star Jones Brings Daytime Drama to VH1 for 'Divas' Series: I Had a Lot to Work With
Star Jones isn't afraid to spill the beans.
The former View co-host first penned a book inspired by her dramatic tenure on the ABC daytime talk show in a 2011 work of fiction called Satan's Sisters. Once again, she's revisiting her time working alongside Barbara Walters, Joy Behar and the rest of the team to bring the drama back to the small screen, this time as a scripted series for VH1.
"I've seen everybody, heard everything, the least of which is an affair behind the scenes, so I had a lot of stuff to work with," Jones, who is an exec producer on the series, told reporters Friday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.
Headlined by Vanessa Williams, Daytime Divas focuses on the women co-hosting the fictional daytime series The Lunch Hour. Williams said she was surprised to get a call about Jones about the project. "I read the book and it is scan-da-lous," Williams said. "I said, 'You're going to actually put this on television?!'"
Although Jones promised the series would be salacious just like the book, she revealed she did have one rule when it came to what to reveal and what not to reveal about her real-life experiences on The View.
"My only rule was I would not violate any of the closed-door sessions that I had with my co-hosts," she said. "You really can't tell the secrets of someone you put your Spanx on with. … You can't cross that line."
Other lines Jones and the writers are willing to cross include the language barriers some might expect on a basic cable network like VH1. Upcoming episodes include several f-bombs and "a couple of d's, b's and a's," Jones said.
"I can tell you as my first executive producer job, the most fun I ever had was when standards and practices sends in their notes and tells me that we have two shits and four damns," she continued. "Needless to say the language is salty enough. … It's subtle salt without having to really pour salt in the wounds."
Speaking of salt in the wounds, just how Jones' former co-hosts feel about her using behind-the-scenes clashes as inspiration for a TV show?
"I can sincerely tell you that the only thing that I have heard from my former co-hosts, especially Joy Behar is: 'Who is playing me?'" Jones said.
However, the best may be yet to come in potential future seasons of Daytime Divas, which launches later this year.
"It didn’t have all the tea in it from the book but we've got plenty of places to go," Williams said. "The first 10 episodes are just a smidgen."