She might be the Fat Actress now, but Kirstie Alley doesn't want the label to stick.
The former Cheers star, who will headline the forthcoming Showtime comedy series Fat Actress, has just been tapped as the new spokeswoman for Jenny Craig.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The series of weight-loss TV spots will start airing nationwide on Jan. 10.
Alley had previously done commercial work for Pier One, and, if you believe the tabloids, the company dropped the actress earlier this year after her weight ballooned to more than 200 pounds. Alley currently tips the scales at 203 lbs, according to People magazine.
Jenny Craig says that Alley and 10 of her closest friends have the opportunity to participate in the pound-shedding program. If all goes according to plan, Alley could be slimmed down by the March premiere of Fat Actress.
"I had a great time getting fat and now I'm going to have an even greater time losing weight," Alley said in a press release statement.
Alley, 53, agreed to do the Showtime series last January, after her weight issues began playing out in the tabloids.
"My weight in the rags is being treated like a tragedy," she recently said in a People cover story. "Tragedies in my mind would be like AIDS, starvation, illiteracy, child abuse." Every time an unflattering photo was in a magazine, Alley says, "I just thought, 'Bring it on.' There couldn't be any better publicity [for Fat Actress] than this."
The seven-part series is described as a Curb Your Enthusiasm-esque reality show loosely based on Alley's life. Early buzz has been strong, and promos for the show are currently airing on Showtime. One spot even features a reference to Jenny Craig in a scene where Alley's agent calls with an offer from the company.
The once skeletal Alley, who overcame addiction to cocaine, won both an Emmy and Golden Globe in 1991 for her work as Rebecca Howe on Cheers, a role that lasted until the series shut down in 1993. She followed that with a three-season stint on the NBC sitcom Veronica's Closet before seguing into TV-moviedom. Her most recent credits include the 2004 telepics Family Sins and While I Was Gone.
As for the Jenny Craig regimen and her planned weight loss, if it doesn't work out, Alley tells People it won't be the end of her world.
"I would rather be 50 pounds overweight any day of the week before I would jeopardize my health and become some Beverly Hills skinny-a-- bitch."