Kirstie Alley gained weight, lost it and then gained it back. Now the Emmy-winning actress is on a mission to drop the pounds with a new diet program — and she's documenting her journey with a new reality show on A&E that goes by the cheeky title of Kirstie Alley's Big Life.
Though Alley admits she hates most unscripted reality programming, she thinks her new series will be "good reality TV."
Big Life (premiering Sunday at 10/9c on A&E) chronicles the actress' hopefully comedic take on her weight-loss battle — assisted by Organic Liaison, a weight-loss program she developed and is selling. (The diet plan recently came under fire for claims that it is a front for the Church of Scientology, a charge that Alley denies.)
Alley's two teenage children, True, 17, and Lillie, 15, co-star. "I'm wanting them to do everything with me now because im concerned about when they're going to leave," the single mom says. "So when they said they wanted work, I thought, "Oh, here's a good chance to be with them everyday."
"When we pitched it to A&E, we clearly said it's not back-bitey, we don't hate each other, we're not going to pretend to take drugs," Alley says. "It's sort of like Ozzie and Harriet meets The Addams Family. We're really eccentric, but we're sort of pure in some weird way."
In one episode, friends and family confront Alley with a "Twitter-vention" because of her obsessive tweeting. In another, Alley celebrates her birthday with her longtime friend and Look Who's Talking co-star John Travolta.
Will Alley throw on a bikini and appear on national television to celebrate reaching her goal weight, like she did in her Jenny Craig days? Too clichéd, says Alley. "After I did the bikini thing, other people did it," she says. "It became sort of fashionable."
But she's certainly not against the idea of such attention-grabbing events. "I do have to think of a new gimmick. I haven't quite got it yet, but I love gimmicks and I like being part of the gimmick," she jokes. "I really can't do nude, and we don't really want to go there."