Star Jones, a founding member of The View, is slipping into judge robes to make decisions on the long-running Divorce Court. Jones’ new version of the show debuts on August 22nd. It tapes in Atlanta, with an audience beamed in via Zoom. Jones is the fourth judge on this 65-year-old syndicated show, following in the footsteps of Judge Mablean Ephraim, Judge Lynn Toler, and Judge Faith Jenkins.
As a former New York City homicide prosecutor, Star Jones seems very qualified to be a tv judge. She also hosted another court show on CNN. Jones and Jury ran for two years before her The View hosting duties. Of course, being a co-host on The View from 1997 to 2006 also gives her some qualifications. She learned about making a daily tv show, and how to deal with strong personalities. Jones recently did an interview with The New York Post about the new gig.
Star Jones claims she wasn’t looking to get back on tv. However, a phone call persuaded her. “I was in my car on the way to the airport to fly to Italy to speak at the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society … when I got the phone call that this was a possibility,” she told The New York Post. The conversation got her gears turning. “If they think I can follow in the footsteps of incredible women like Judge Mablean Ephraim, Judge Lynn Toler, and Judge Faith Jenkins, I’ll give it a shot.” Jones was touched to be included in such an esteemed tv legacy. “I was incredibly honored,” she said.
How a Format Change Helped Star Jones make Divorce Court her Own
A big change-up in the Divorce Court format is the studio audience being virtual. Star Jones believes they give her energy just like a traditional live audience would, though. “They really become my at-home jury. I think I feed off the audience — I’m so used to live television, and I really treat this like it was live, even though we’re taping,” she explained. “The audience gives me tremendous energy and, throughout the season, you actually see me refer to them [to the litigants] as “A jury of your peers.”
Star Jones actually believes the virtual audience has helped her put a personal stamp on Divorce Court. “You get to see their immediate reactions and how they’re feeling about the case — whose side they’re believing, etc. — and I really do use them as an extension of the bench. That’s something new that I bring to the table, and I wanted to make it my own.”
Another recent cultural phenomenon shook up Divorce Court as well. Social Media has changed the landscape of the show, according to Star Jones. “I also saw a lot of people who now use social media as a sword against their partner — which is not something you see on a lot of court shows. I had to learn a whole new language.”