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"The Osbournes" Score Big Ratings

The Osbournes are back and America remains fascinated with its first family of dysfunction.
Tuesday's second season opener of MTV's hit reality series, which featured legendary rocker Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon at a White House dinner, drew an average of 6.6 million viewers, making it the most-watched cable TV program of the night, the network said on Wednesday.
The episode, which also featured daughter Kelly singing the Madonna classic "Papa Don't Preach" at the June MTV Movie Awards, was hotly anticipated in part because the first season of the series had brought the family cult celebrity status.
In between seasons, Sharon Osbourne was diagnosed with cancer. She later said in a television interview she regretted doing the series.
The reality show has spawned something of an Osbourne industry, including rumors of a talk show deal for Sharon, a DVD edition of the first season and even a line of miniature cars modeled on those featured in the show.
MTV, which was quick to do a two-year, 20-episode deal with the family after the series took off, said Tuesday night's show was the highest-rated and most-watched program of the fourth quarter on basic, advertising-supported cable.
Though year-over-year comparisons are difficult, since the hype around the show grew as its first season ran, the network said the second-season premiere was up 84 percent among audiences ages 12 to 34 compared to the series premiere.
At its peak in May, the show was drawing close to 8 million viewers, on average, making it the highest-rated program on cable and a smash hit for the music and entertainment network.
MTV is a unit of MTV Networks, which is a division of Viacom Inc. LOS ANGELES (Reuters)

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