Osbournes sign new MTV deal ''in blood''
TUBE TALK Lock up your hams. After weeks of talks, MTV and the Osbournes have finally signed a deal for another season. MTV confirmed Wednesday that the rock clan had signed on for 20 more episodes of foul-mouthed family fun. The deal took a long time to secure, the New York Times reports, because of such sticking points as the family’s demand for a new house and lifetime psychotherapy for the Osbornes’ neurotic pets, ownership and syndication rights, and the interest of other networks that offered to outbid MTV for the show. Ultimately, though, Sharon Osbourne said she and the family would sign, aptly enough, in blood.
Neither side would disclose the terms of the deal; Variety reported that the family would earn $20 million, though MTV president Van Toffler called that figure ”grossly inflated.” The Hollywood Reporter cited the price at $10 million, the New York Times at $5 to $7 million. In any case, it’s a large increase over the $200,000 the family earned for the first 10-episode season this year, but MTV would certainly get its money’s worth, as it retains the right to rerun each episode 60 times. The Osbournes, however, will own the show, including last season, and the right to syndicate it to other networks after the episodes run their course on MTV.
Before the new batch of shows premieres in the fall, MTV will have some Osbourne specials this summer, including a show on and Sharon’s meeting with President George W. Bush at the White House Correspondents Dinner earlier this month and maybe even a live show, though given the family’s penchant for profanity, there will have to be very fast fingers on the bleep button. ”If we do something with this live, everyone’s job will be in jeopardy,” Toffler told the Hollywood Reporter.
Toffler also told Variety that MTV has some other potential celebrity-reality shows in development, including one with and another with Brandy, but they wouldn’t involve keeping the stars under constant surveillance like ”The Osbournes” does. ”We know you can’t replicate ‘The Osbournes,’ and we won’t even try,” he said. ”We’ll leave that to others.”…
USA has pulled ahead of NBC in the Rudy race. NBC has yet to complete a script for its TV movie about former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, but the cable network has announced the casting of prickly, intelligent actor James Woods as the prickly, intelligent Giuliani. The movie, which USA hopes to air this fall, will follow Giuliani’s transformation from a controversial political figure with a publicly imploding marriage into a national hero in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. Village Voice reporter Wayne Barrett, whose book, ”,” is the basis for the USA movie, offered some advice to Woods. ”I understand he is a tremendous Rudy fan, so all I can suggest to him is: Don’t read the book,” Barrett told the New York Daily News. ”We don’t want him to be disillusioned.”…
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Just over two months since her abrupt departure from CNN Headline News, Andrea Thompson has resurfaced on Court TV. The actress-turned-anchor quit in March after just seven months as a CNN newsreader, citing the need ”to make a change in my daily professional life.” (It was assumed that the 42-year-old single mom wanted to spend more time with her 9-year-old son.) Now, at Court TV, beginning June 8, she’ll be logging brief introductions to the cable channel’s Saturday night programming slate, which includes reruns of her old series, ”NYPD Blue,” and Court TV documentary series ”Forensic Files” and ”The System.”…