- The Washington Times - Friday, May 31, 2002

NEW YORK — Ozzy Osbourne and his family, who swiftly became cultural icons in MTV's most popular series ever, will open their home life to the cameras once again.
MTV announced a second season for "The Osbournes" on Wednesday in a lucrative deal that threatens to turn the network into "OzTV."
The reality sitcom that depicted the addled rock star; his wife, Sharon; daughter Kelly; and son, Jack, alternately swearing at and showing their love for one another drew nearly 8 million viewers at its peak last month unprecedented numbers for the cable network.
"It's proven to be a seminal show for MTV," network President Van Toffler said. "Part of the charm is that it was so unexpected, and I believe the reason it works is the juxtaposition of the freakiest, weirdest human on the planet in the most traditional of situations."
The first season consisted of 10 episodes, repeated relentlessly. Wednesday's deal is for 20 episodes that will begin filming next month and air in the fall.
MTV wouldn't comment on the financial terms. It is believed that the Osbourne family will receive $5 million for the upcoming season, with the potential to make much more if the ratings stay high, if the show is sold internationally and if there's wide interest in such ancillary products as T-shirts.
"I hope the Osbournes get incredibly wealthy on this show and it works well for both of us," Mr. Toffler said.
Representatives for the Osbournes did not return a call for comment before press deadline. Sharon Osbourne was quoted in MTV's news release as calling the experience "absolutely amazing."
The deal has been long rumored, with Sharon and Kelly saying weeks ago that the family had agreed to continue the show, but MTV insisted that the complex contract wasn't finalized until this week.
MTV cameras may go on the road with the Ozzfest concert tour this summer and do some filming at the family's home in England. Despite security concerns the family's California neighborhood was inundated by boisterous sightseers Mr. Toffler said the series will be set primarily in that home.
One big difference in the second season will be the family's newfound celebrity. Mr. Toffler said it won't be ignored but that MTV doesn't want to spend too much time on it.
"You don't want to take away that organic magic that happens when the dog pees on the rug and Ozzy freaks out and calls Sharon," he said.
The family has moved swiftly to capitalize on the show's success. It has signed a deal with Simon & Schuster to publish two books. Sharon Osbourne also has agreed to host a special on Queen Elizabeth's jubilee on MTV's sister network, VH1.
MTV also has had discussions with other celebrities, including rapper P. Diddy, about similar series, but no agreements have been reached.
Although MTV said Wednesday that it will air a series of Osbourne specials this summer, including coverage of Ozzfest and "a very special dinner" with the family, Mr. Toffler promised to guard against overexposure. The repeated reruns of the first set of episodes will slow down this summer, he said.
The danger is that a series that rapidly became a sensation can just as rapidly fall out of favor.
"I basically told [Sharon] to hibernate," Mr. Toffler said.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide