Chris Nashawaty already made it clear that he won’t be watching the Osbourne family’s new variety show, Osbournes: Reloaded, when it premieres tonight. Fair enough, dude. But if Chris lived in Panama City, Fla., he wouldn’t be able to watch it even if he wanted to: The local Fox affiliate there won’t be airing Osbournes: Reloaded at all, on the grounds that it’s “unsuitable and contrary to the public interest.” Viewers who tune in tonight will see a Simpsons rerun instead.
Now, I first learned of this little controversy from a Rolling Stone writeup that misleadingly called it a “First Amendment Battle.” It is most certainly nothing of the kind. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution forbids the government, and only the government, from censoring citizens’ speech; it does not require privately owned TV stations like Panama City’s WPGX to broadcast crappy shows against their will. So WPGX is well within its constitutional rights if it chooses not to show the Osbournes’ new series.
But does that mean they’re making the right call? Personally, I have full faith that Chris is right and Osbournes: Reloaded will be irredeemably awful. But I’m glad I’ll have the chance to find out for myself tonight — even if I might choose not to use that chance. How about you? Would you care if your local Fox affiliate refused to broadcast Osbournes: Reloaded? Would you even notice it was missing?
More on the Osbournes:
Osbournes: Reloaded premieres tonight…and I’ll be watching Real Housewives
The Osbournes was one of EW’s New TV Classics
Season Two of The Osbournes got an A review
Remember when Ozzy bit a live bat?