Liza Minnelli's dream of becoming the next Ozzy Osbourne has been dashed, and apparently her impresario hubby co-star, David Gest, is to blame.
VH1 has put the kibosh on the planned series "Liza & David," which was to chronicle the oh-so-fabulous star-strewn at-home dinner parties hosted by the singer and her flamboyant new producer husband.
"We are not moving forward with the show," a VH1 spokeswoman told The Washington Post's John Maynard. "Liza is amazing and talented and she was very cooperative, but we were not given the access to make the show a reality."
The spokeswoman confirmed a New York Post report that the series was pulled after producers became fed up with Gest's "impossible" behavior, notably keeping producers away from his wife. And that was just the beginning.
The VH1 rep declined to comment on the report that among Gest's oddities, he ordered a network staff member to stick her head in the oven to see if it was clean.
The show's debut had been delayed repeatedly; only one episode was shot when the Viacom-owned cable network canceled the series via a letter from its lawyers to Gest's lawyers, claiming he had breached his deal, according to the New York Post's account.
On a positive note, the cancellation means that Minnelli and Gest's 3-year-old adopted daughter, Serena, who will become part of the family in January, will be spared the spotlight. At least this one.
MTV announced earlier this week that "The Osbournes" returns for a second season Nov. 26.
Last week, CBS picked up the "back nine" on all but two of its freshman series. Yesterday, CBS officially killed one of those two shows, sitcom "Bram and Alice," after four episodes.
"Bram and Alice" made you wonder if anyone had actually read the pilot, or whether the idea of a narcissistic middle-aged writer hitting on his long-lost daughter -- and not in a funny Shakespearean mistaken-identity kind of way -- is so ho-hum in Hollywood that no one realized how totally creepy it would play in the rest of the country.
Nearly 11 million unsuspecting viewers were subjected to the debut, on Sunday, Oct. 6; this past Sunday it was playing to only about 7 million. But hey, that's still a whole lot more people than watched either episode of "girls club."
The new fourth judge on "American Idol" didn't cut it. Angie Martinez has backed out and will not be replaced, the Fox network says.
Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson will return for the second edition of the reality show, in which pop-singer wannabes compete to win a recording contract.
Martinez, who hosts an afternoon drive show on New York's WQHT-FM and who appeared on the single "Ladies Night" featuring Lil' Kim, Left Eye and Da Brat, said she decided to beat a retreat after judging the first few auditions. She wasn't comfortable telling people to give up on their dreams, particularly those who claimed to be fans of hers, she said.
Exactly what did she think this show was about?
Martinez's latest release, "Animal House," came out in August.
CBS says it will air that "CSI: Miami" episode about a sniper on the loose on Nov. 18, as planned. The network had considered postponing the episode while the real-life sniper shooting story was unfolding in the Washington region but decided to stick with its original air date after John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo were arrested Oct. 24. The "CSI: Miami" episode, which was conceived in August, features a forensics team studying crime scenes at which an attacker killed people from the top of a building.
CNN has pulled the plug on "Novak, Hunt & Shields." The 20-year-old program will telecast for the last time on Nov. 9.
Teya Ryan, executive vice president and general manager of CNN/US, made the call to end the Saturday 5:30-6 p.m. interview show. For more than 15 years, as "Evans & Novak," it had been hosted by columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak. These days, the Wall Street Journal's Al Hunt and nationally syndicated columnist Mark Shields alternate hosting duties with Novak.
CNN plans to produce a more general news program in the time period, one informed source says.
In October, CNN averaged nearly 630,000 viewers in that Saturday half-hour, to Fox News Channel's 830,000 and MSNBC's 230,000. For the year to date, the show's ratings are flat compared with the previous year.
Viewers will still be able to see plenty of the three anchors across the CNN landscape; they'll continue to appear on "Capital Gang" later on Saturdays and on "Inside Politics," and Novak will also continue as one of the shouting heads on "Crossfire."
After three years at the White House, Kelly Wallace is being sent to CNN's Jerusalem bureau next month to "be part of our overseas coverage for any possible war with Iraq before returning to the D.C. bureau," according to a memo from bureau chief Kathryn Kross.
Wallace covered the final lap of the Clinton administration and the first 22 months of this Bush administration. Her last day on the White House beat is Nov. 8.