This Day in Music, Sept 2nd: Osbourne TV - There Goes The Neighborhood

By , Contributor

On this day in 1989, Ozzy Osbourne was charged with threatening to kill his wife Sharon, (and I bet not for the first time!). Ozzy was released by police on the condition that he immediately go into detox, (which he did). The case was later dropped when the couple decide to reconcile.

Just as well they did.

John Michael Osbourne was no stranger to making headlines.

Yes, we all know this was the guy who during one of his shows bit the head off a bat. The well documneted incident took place at an Ozzy concert in Des Moines, Iowa, after a member of the audience threw an unconscious bat onto the stage. Thinking it was one of his rubber fakes, Ozzy picked it up and bit off its head. The singer was taken to hospital and given a rabies injection.

And it was Ozzy who was once arrested in San Antonio, Texas… for urinating on the Alamo. Osbourne was wearing a dress at the time of his arrest, (due to his wife Sharon hiding all his clothes so he couldn't go outside to buy booze). Osbourne, who apparently thought he was relieving himself on a pile of rubble, was banned from ever playing in San Antonio, Texas again, (a ban which was lifted in 1992).

Back in 1989, Ozzy was just another rock singer. We all knew he was mad, had done far too many drugs and would go on benders for… 3 years at a time.

Apparenty Sharon had the idea for a fly on wall TV show for several years, which would follow her husband and his exploits, but couldn’t get any producers interested in the idea. Then the Osbournes were featured in an episode of MTV Cribs, after which Sharon pitched the idea to the show's producer who was so taken by the family he said he would give it a go.

The Osbournes first hit our screens in 2002 and they were the funniest TV family since The Waltons.

For the first season of The Osbournes, MTV was unsure about the show's potential, so the entire family received only $20,000 per episode for 13 episodes. When the show turned into a hit, Sharon went into negotiator mode.

For the second season, the family received $20 million, plus MTV bought them a new home, and (the most "Osbourne" part of the contract) MTV also agreed to pay for their dog's psychotherapy. (No, that's not a joke!). The fly-on-the-wall series became MTV's biggest ratings puller, drawing a regular audience of 3 million viewers in the US.

Part reality show, part sitcom, the show transformed the "prince of darkness" into a lovable sort of burnt-out rockstar. Oblivious to the camera, the foul-mouthed family were happy to be filmed as they went about the daily routine. They would bicker, squabble, curse and occasionally, hang out backstage at Ozzy shows.

Who could resist the weekly exploits of this madman trying to figure out his daily tasks - like how to work the remote control for the TV, feed the dogs, disipline his kids? And of course we had…SHARON!

Ozzy confirmed in an interview on BBC Radio 2 in May 2009 that he was "stoned during the entire filming of The Osbournes," and can no longer watch the episodes for this reason.

I was never a Black Sabbath fan, but I grew to love Ozzy. We all love Ozzy and his family really, don’t we?

And here is the proof: In 2004, Ozzy was voted the nation's favourite ambassador to welcome aliens to planet Earth. The then 55 year-old singer topped a Yahoo poll as the face people wanted to represent them to alien life.


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A former musician, Neil was in the 80's group The Cheaters who were once signed to EMI's Parlophone label, and released three albums. He was also a radio presenter and is still a regular music pundit on various BBC stations. Neil is the founder of the award winning web site This Day in Music which is…

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