After months of hype, VH1 — a Viacom network — canceled the new reality series, "Liza & David," which was to feature weekly dinner parties with newlyweds Liza Minnelli and David Gest. Over 60 hours of footage had been shot for the series, and Minnelli and Gest now seek the compensation they had been promised in the original deal.
The show's cancellation was a surprise move from the cable network, which had hoped for an "Osbournes"-type hit from the famed singer-actress and her new husband. In fact, the first dinner party had already been filmed with guests Liz Smith, Sandra Bernhard, Isaac Mizrahi, Lynn Wyatt, Cynthia McFadden and Dominick Dunne.
The New York daily says that the legal papers filed by Minnelli and Gest cite "breach of contract . . . unlawful intentional and defamatory acts" and that the two are seeking "punitive damages." The multi-page document also claims that the twosome "turned down other profitable business opportunities due to the time-intensive demands." The couple is also suing for defamation, malice and "intent to injure and damage."
Liza Minnelli, an Oscar winner for her performance in Cabaret, was last on Broadway in a tribute to her late father entitled Minnelli on Minnelli; she returned to New York City's Beacon Theatre this year with her acclaimed concert Liza's Back! In addition to her Tonys for Flora, the Red Menace and The Act, Minnelli was awarded a special Tony in 1974 for "adding lustre to the Broadway season." Her film credits include "The Sterile Cuckoo," "Arthur," "New York, New York" and "Stepping Out." The singer is also a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress. Her newest album, "Liza's Back!," is now in stores.