Osbournes vs. NBC: This means war

Sharon Osbourne is at war with NBC. Which is ironic in a way because they are fighting over the fact that the network would not let Sharon’s son Jack go into battle.

And it doesn’t look like this festering issue will be settled diplomatically, which could be problematic since Sharon is a judge on NBC’s summer staple America’s Got Talent.

On Tuesday according to the New York Post, NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt responded to a message from Osbourne’s representatives with an e-mail that read, “I have no reason to talk to her.”

A little background. In June Jack, 26, went on his mom’s other show The Talk and declared that he had been fired from NBC’s military-themed reality show Stars Earn Stripes after he revealed that he had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Debuting next Monday (Aug, 13), Stars Earn Stripes pits eight celebrities, including Dean Cain, Laila Ali, Todd Palin, Terry Crews (Will McAvoy’s bodyguard on The Newsroom) and Picabo Street, in realistic military training missions.

A good deal of saber rattling went on between the Osbournes and the network before the show’s producer David Hurwitz fired the first live round in front of a group of television critics gathered in Los Angeles last month, stating that Osbourne had never been hired in the first place. “He was somebody we were in talks with,” said Hurwitz.

That set off a barrage of claims and counterclaims about Jack’s hiring status, his physical ability to engage in this very rigorous process and the timing and tone of his dismissal.

On Monday, Sharon, 59, announced that she is quitting America’s Got Talent over l’affaire de Jacques. “I just can’t be fake,” she said. “It’s discrimination and it was badly handled.”

While no one doubts her sincerity, that may not be as dramatic a resolution as it sounds. She remains under contract for this season. But NBC has not attempted to sign her for next season and the way TV talent shows are playing musical chairs lately, she doesn’t have job security, especially since AGT’s ratings are down even with the expensive addition of Howard Stern.

Now NBC has thrown down the gauntlet. Your move, Osbournes. It may be time to bring up your big gun. Release the Ozzy!


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