Since becoming international celebrities when the first season of their self-titled MTV shop became the hottest series in the history of cable TV, the Osbourne family of Beverly Hills, California has been involved in unending trouble. Father Ozzy, the former lead singer of Black Sabbath, was sued by two former bandmates whom he and his wife edited off his records to avoid paying them up to $20 million in court-ordered royalties. Mother Sharon (daughter of Jet Records founder and well-known nasty thug Don Arden) survived colon and lymph cancer and feuded and fought publicly over a raffle prize. Son Jack went through drug rehabilitation. Daughter Kelly was dropped by her dad's record label, prompting him to leave as well, after her debut record flopped. The family members were publicly blasted for their profanity-laden shtick and portrayed as clowns in the media. Oh, and the bottom fell out of their third-season ratings. Time to regroup in peace and quiet, right?


E! Online reports that, despite all the problems, the Osbournes have signed a contract with MTV for a fourth season of their reality-TV series, The Osbournes. 20 new episodes of the show will be produced and aired in 2004. Said MTV's president, "If you thought we wouldn't resign the Osbournes, you're crazy."

Despite the show's plummiting ratings, The Osbournes is still MTV's second-highest rated series, behind only The Real World. From the Osbournes' viewpoint, the MTV money will halp them pay their legal bills (plus whatever damages they owe in the lawsuits).

To help save their show, the Osbournes are working all-out to attract publicity, whether good, bad or goofy. For example, in an MTV news special about Jack's rehab, onetime hard-core stoner Ozzy calls for the banning of coffee, because coffee leads to drug abuse! Said Ozzy, "They should ban the lot. One thing leads to another. Coffee leads to Red Bull, Red Bull leads to crank."

That Ozzy, such a deep thinker. We can't express how grateful we are to MTV for allowing us to follow his musing, Sharon's ranting and lying, Kelly's screeching and Jack's pill-popping for another year.