By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International  |  Oct. 31, 2002 at 4:01 PM
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The still-in-the-planning-stage cable TV show "Liza & David" has died on the vine. The show, planned for broadcast on VH1, would have starred Liza Minnelli and new hubby David Gest. There have been several delays in getting the broadcast off the ground. The latest planned start date was January next. Now that's a moot point. The New York Post says that the cable network informed Gest of its decision because he had breached the terms of the contract for the broadcast. One executive was quoted as saying that he considers Minnelli an incredible talent but full access to the star was thwarted by Gest. There are allegations that Minnelli was kept away from planned photo shoots by Gest, that he banned Liza from watching early production shoots, and that he required crew members to wear surgical boots while inside the couple's apartment.


The prestigious Mark Twain prize, awarded yearly to one of the country's greatest humorists, is now on the mantel of comedian Bob Newhart. It's about time. Newhart, now 73, was presented the award in Washington at a gala at the Kennedy Center this week. Among those who attended the ceremonies -- which turned into a mini-roast of the star -- were Tim Conway, The Smothers Brothers, Richard Belzer and Steven Wright. Many of those who spoke of Newhart's career and their affection for the comedian noted his often solemn and quiet manner and how Newhart's persona was that of an "Everyman." The comedian first gained national attention in the late 1950s when he released the first of what would become eight comedy albums, "The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart." It became the first comedy album to sell a million copies. And it's still very funny today. A series of club and television dates followed and finally, in 1972, his own TV show, costarring Suzanne Pleshette. It ran for six seasons. A second series followed a decade later. It ran for eight years. PBS taped the honors at the Kennedy Center and says it will air the show on Nov. 13.


Mention Andy Warhol and very few things related to the world of country music come to mind. But don't tell that to the promoters of a traveling exhibit of the late artist and producer's work, opening next week in Nashville. The news provider says that many in the world of country music say they want to be on hand at opening ceremonies for the Warhol exhibit. Among those who say they will help kick off the project are two husband and wife teams: Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and Vince Gill and Amy Grant. Also saying she will attend, if her schedule permits, is Shania Twain. She will be in Music City next week to take part in the Country Music Association awards show. Some 60 of Warhol's most famous paintings will be on display at the Parthenon in Nashville through early January. Taking a lead from Warhol's statement about the fleeting nature of fame, the exhibit is being called "15 Minutes at the Parthenon."


Some very interesting items have been donated by some very recognizable stars to help raise money for a Pennsylvania kids charity. According to the New York Post, a signed script has been contributed by Mary Tyler Moore for the classic "Chuckles Bites the Dust" episode from her award-winning sitcom. Carol Burnett has contributed a self-portrait as the "Washerwoman" from her series. The cast of "Mamma Mia!" has contributed a signed show poster, as has the cast of "The Producers." Additionally, an autographed complete library of all of her CDs has been donated by Madonna. All of these wonderful items will be auctioned off on Nov. 2 during a special event to help the Dreamwrights Youth and Family Theater of York, Penn., according to columnist Liz Smith.


Not one to constantly seek the limelight, magician-actor Harry Anderson -- who rose to national prominence with his portrayal of the avant garde judge in "Night Court" -- has all but faded from the public eye. But, according to People magazine, Anderson likes it that way. He has gone back to his first love, magic, opening a magic emporium in the heart of New Orleans. In a great choice of words, the publication says that he is now selling "mumbo jumbo in the land of gumbo." Anderson is now 50 and says that his years in TV have produced enough income that he doesn't have to worry if the shop does not do well. He says that he realized there aren't too many roles for men his age with his style of acting. So the alternative was not that easy to decide -- return to the world of magic and brighten the lives of others, while living in one of the country's most exciting cities. By the way, Anderson and his wife live in an apartment above his magic shop.


For decades many major stars and personalities have lent their voices to the international campaign to stop the use of landmines by warring nations. Now Country Music Television says that a major concert series to raise money for the cause will tour the South in the coming weeks. Emmylou Harris and Mary Chapin Carpenter will lead the entourage, visiting five southern cities in a series officially called the "Landmine-Free World" project. Also on the bill will be Patty Griffin and Bruce Cockburn. Most of the proceeds from the concerts will go to the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. The first concert will be on Nov. 6, in Raleigh.


We continue our series of questions about your favorite personalities today by asking: "Who are your favorite comediennes?" Put COMEDIENNE in the subject line and send to via the Internet.


Last week we asked whether or not you do anything exciting on Halloween. We got tons of replies, many of them noting religious feelings about observing or not observing the day. Speaking strictly in terms of celebrating or not, here, by percentages, is what we found from a random dip into the e-mail box:

Get dressed up and trick-or-treat ... 60 percent

Occasionally do something for Halloween ... 25 percent

Silly or violates religious beliefs ... 15 percent.

TOMORROW: Home for the holidays. GBA

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