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Fox orders new variety show starring the Osbourne family

By Christopher Rocchio, 07/07/2008 

One of the first families of reality television is apparently planning on making a comeback.

Fox has ordered an hour-long variety show hosted by former The Osbournes co-stars Ozzy, Sharon, Kelly and Jack Osbourne, Daily Variety reported Sunday.

The currently untitled series will include musical performances and comedy sketches blended with game show, studio audience participation and out-of-studio taped elements -- giving it a similar feel to classic variety shows like CBS' The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour and ABC's Donny and Marie, Fox alternative programming executive Mike Darnell told Variety.

"We've been talking about how to renew the variety show concept and make it feel new for years now," he told Variety.

The six-episode series will be produced by FremantleMedia North America with James Sunderland serving as executive producer.  Sunderland currently serves as an executive producer for Fremantle's America's Got Talent on NBC, for which Sharon serves as a judge.

"[It will] tap into what the Osbournes do best, which is be themselves," Fremantle Media North America executive Eugene Young told Variety.

Multiple networks bid on the show after Fremantle circulated a DVD that featured comedy bits of the Osbourne clan, according to Variety, which reported it was subsequently snagged by Fox partially because Sharon and Darnell had mutual conceptual ideas for it.

The series will film in Los Angeles and could debut with a Christmas special, Darnell told Variety, adding any discussions about scheduling -- including if it would serve as a companion for American Idol -- would be premature.

The Osbournes' first season premiered on MTV in March 2002 and it won the 2002 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (Reality).  The show subsequently aired three more seasons.

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