Osbournes head back to TV as variety show hosts

Mon Jul 7, 2008 5:24pm EDT
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By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - British rocker Ozzy Osbourne and his raucous family -- former stars of MTV -- are headed back to U.S. television as hosts of a prime-time variety hour in the works for the Fox network.

No precise air date has been set. But a spokesman for the News Corp-owned broadcaster said on Monday the show, featuring musical performances and comedy sketches, is planned for sometime in the upcoming 2008-2009 season.

Fox alternative programming president, Mike Darnell, told Daily Variety he hopes to launch the series with a Christmas special.

Envisioned as a throwback to variety classics hosted in the 1970s by Sonny and Cher and by Donny and Marie Osmond, the show will reunite Ozzy Osbourne and his wife, Sharon, with daughter Kelly, 23, and son Jack, 22, last seen together on the MTV reality show "The Osbournes."

The new series will be executive produced by James Sunderland, whose credits also include the NBC talent competition series "America's Got Talent," featuring Sharon Osbourne as one of the judges.

The studio behind the Osbournes' latest venture, FreemantleMedia North America, also is one of the production companies that makes both "America's Got Talent" and the Fox network's smash hit singing contest "American Idol."

A proposal for the yet-to-be titled show was pitched to all the major networks but landed at Fox in part because Sharon Osbourne and Darnell had similar visions for the series, Variety said. Fox has ordered six episodes so far.

"We've been talking about how to renew the variety show concept and make it feel new for years now," Darnell was quoted as saying.   Continued...

<p>Sharon (L), Kelly (C) and Ozzy Osbourne arrive at the Brit Awards at Earls Court in London February 20, 2008. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor</p>