WEST HOLLYWOOD — They won't be serving Ozzy's special gravy, but Liza Minnelli and David Gest are inviting cameras into their home a la "The Osbournes" for a series of weekly dinner parties.
VH1 will document the preparation and the actual evenings in their Manhattan penthouse for a new show called "Liza and David" that will premiere in October, the newlyweds announced in a press conference at the House of Blues on Thursday (July 25).
"We love 'The Osbournes.' We think it's a great show," Gest said. "They do their thing in a great way. Ours is totally different, more a musical show about a show biz couple."
The famed concert promoter, who staged last fall's "Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration" (see "Michael Jackson Smooth At Tribute, But Wait Was Criminal"), would not confirm any of their dinner party guests but said to expect a wide variety of celebrities.
"We're hoping to have people like Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Usher, Alan Jackson," Gest said. "Everybody from current people to legends like George Jones, Al Green, Barry White. Liza will be singing duets with people. It's kind of like a jam in the house. And watching us set these up ... the day before."
When asked if Liza herself will be doing the cooking, the singer and actress answered, "Of course ... if there's time." The couple later said they would have guest chefs from the New York area.
Rumors of a Minnelli and Gest reality program have been circulating since early summer, but the details of "Liza and David" were only recently ironed out. Gest, wearing his trademark sunglasses (indoors, of course), said the couple questioned the idea of opening their lives to the public but ultimately decided it would be fun.
"And part of the reason we are doing this is to show everyone what our lives are really like," added Minnelli, whose tribulations have provided fodder for tabloids since her childhood.
Minnelli had been out of the spotlight for several years until she hit the comeback trail last fall, beginning with a performance at the Jackson tribute. By the time she and Gest married in a lavish ceremony in March, they were one of the most talked about celebrity couples, especially on the gossip mill.
"I think I've slept with everything but a zebra," Gest joked.
While "Liza and David" will likely show sides of Minnelli and Gest the public has never seen, their day-to-day adventures and personal struggles will not be the focus of the show. "It's really a music show," Gest said.
So this won't be typical reality TV?
"What's reality?" answered Liza, whose parents are Oscar winners Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli, and who won an Academy Award herself for her portrayal of Sally Bowles in the 1972 musical "Cabaret."
Minnelli and Gest, who will serve as executive producers of the show, do have more to gain from the show than a good time. With Minnelli singing each week (the duets won't be rehearsed, she pointed out), "Liza and David" will be nice promotion for her new album. Liza's Back! is due in October on J Records.