The Osbournes, the heavy-metal family that wowed MTV viewers nearly two decades ago, are set to stage a partial reunion on Travel Channel.
Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon Osbourne will join their son, Jack, for eight hour-long episodes of “The Osbournes Want To Believe,” a series that has Jack Osbourne trying to convince his parents of the veracity of shocking clips of purported paranormal activity. In the series premiere, Jack Osbourne shares video footage of poltergeists, haunted dolls, UFOs and unidentifiable beasts. The show debuts Sunday, August 2 at 10 p.m. eastern.
“We see if I can poke at my parents” over such things as ghosts and UFOs, says Jack Osbourne, in an interview. With families hunkering down due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, he says, his family’s schedules freed up time so his parents could take part in the project – largely conducted in their home. “It’s actually going to be a lot of fun,” he adds. His sister, Kelly Osbourne, is not taking part, but the series will mark the first time all three members of the clan have appeared on TV together in a series since the family’s landmark MTV program.
During each episode, Jack Osbourne shows his parents clips of phenomena that might include Bigfoot, UFOs, poltergeists, creepy dolls and unexplained apparitions, Ozzy and Sharon will review and critique each and their unvarnished commentary and reactions will fuel the program.
The series is part of a years-long effort at the Discovery-owned cable outlet to focus more on storytelling, says Matt Butler, general manager of the network, in an interview. The new Osbournes concept is tested, he says: Jack Osbourne has been host of the network’s “Portals To Hell” with paranormal investigator Katrina Weidman, and has been seen exploring haunted sites and historical phenomena. A “block party” featuring Jack in the early days of the current pandemic proved successful.
For the younger Osbourne, the series is the latest chapter of a life filled with a fascination for the offbeat and strange. Growing up, he recalls, “I was a big ‘X-Files’ fan – the biggest nerd ever. I read all the books, watched all the episodes. And so, for me, as a kid, it was like a nerdy hobby – the paranormal, and UFOs, and ghosts.” He was able to pursue his interest in a series for NBCUniversal’s Syfy in 2012 ,and that carried him to the attention of executives at Travel Channel.
Fans should not expect more appearances by the family on future TV efforts, says Jack Osbourne. “Everyone’s timne is very limited with what we can do work-wise, so don’t know if there could be more than these episodes.” Still, he adds, “you never know.”
“The Osbournes Want To Believe” is produced by Meetinghouse Productions for Travel Channel. Executive producers for Meetinghouse are Elaine White and Jason Cilo. Executive producers for Travel Channel is Ron Simon, Julie Meisner Eagle is vice president of production and development, Matthew Butler is general manager and Henry Schleiff is group president of Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, American Heroes Channel and Destination America.
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