There was a time when Ozzy Osbourne, the Black Sabbath frontman, was known as one of the baddest, most extreme rockers out there. The “Crazy Train” rocker was known as the “Prince of Darkness,” and he was feared by parents everywhere. In 1982, he infamously bit the head off a live bat.
So when the first episode of his reality show, The Osbournes, premiered on MTV 20 years later, on March 5, 2002, he was hesitant to give fans a peek at his home life with son Jack, daughter Kelly and wife Sharon, Jack tells Yahoo Entertainment.
“So my dad did not really like doing The Osbournes, because he was coming off the heels of, you know, musicians didn’t do that,” Jack says. “Musicians always had this air of mystery about them, you know, and there was this very public persona, and it was calculated, and this, kind of, pulled that back. And I don’t think he liked that. I think he was like, ‘Whoa, the rock star thing … we’ve gotta hold that up. Like, I’m just, kind of, dad now.’ And I think he struggled with that.”
At home, Ozzy did regular things, like walk the dog and grow frustrated when he couldn’t figure out how to change the channel on his TV. He wasn’t always living up to his ominous nickname, but MTV viewers loved him anyway.
The show quickly became a hit and continued for four seasons.
Jack insists there won’t ever be a fifth season, despite talk of a reboot.
“There’s been [discussion]. At one point it was gonna happen, but it’s too difficult to do now,” he says. “We’re all living in different houses. We’re all… I mean, no one wants to watch a bunch of old 30-year-olds, you know, shuffle around the house with their parents. It’s like, it wouldn’t be the same. Just because everyone’s rebooting something doesn’t mean you should.”
Besides, he adds, shows today are different than they were in the early days of reality TV, especially with the added pressure of social media.
“We were never asked to say anything. We were never told to turn up at this location, we need you guys to do this,” Jack says. “As the seasons progressed, they would be like, ‘Hey, we’ve never filmed a family vacation. Can we go on a vacation?’ That was as far as, like, the staging went. I think there’s so many components now which contribute to why a lot of these family shows have to script themselves.”
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