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Thursday, 16 May, 2002, 19:38 GMT 20:38 UK
Osbournes UK debut pulled
The Osbournes will not get its UK debut on Sunday after MTV pulled the show because of "contractual issues".

The hotly-anticipated chronicle of former Black Sabbath star Ozzy Osbourne's family life in Los Angeles has been at the centre of a bidding war for eventual terrestrial broadcast.

Its broadcast on MTV was due to start on Sunday, but it has now been dropped from schedules with no new transmission date set.

The Osbournes will still receive its UK television premiere on MTV shortly

The show has enabled the veteran singer to gain a new dose of fame, being praised by President George W Bush at a dinner and put on the bill for the Queen's Jubilee concerts.

The first series recently finished its US run on the music channel and there has already been speculation about a deal for a second series, which could see the Osbournes pick up millions.

MTV would not go into the details which have forced the show to be shelved.

A spokesman said: "Due to contractual issues yet to be resolved, The Osbournes will not be launching on MTV this weekend.

Mass audience

"MTV can confirm that The Osbournes will still receive its UK television premiere on MTV shortly, and will be announcing a new, confirmed date soon.

"MTV would like to apologise for any inconvenience to our viewers, and to reassure you that The Osbournes is well worth the wait."

Channel 4, ITV and Channel 5 are all understood to be keen to show the programme to a mass audience after its exposure to cable and satellite viewers.

However, MTV insists no deal had been done and UK terrestrial broadcasters would not be able to pick up the rights until it had screened the show.

See also:

13 May 02 | Music
Ozzy to play for the Queen
09 May 02 | TV and Radio
Book deal nets Osbournes $2m
05 May 02 | Americas
Ozzy upstages Bush the comedian
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