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01-10-2005, 07:13 PM

Osbournes' celeb spawn
Monday, January 10th, 2005

Though Ozzy Osbourne has booted the TV cameras from his home - ending a three-year run for his MTV reality series - there are dozens of celebrities looking to follow him down the reality path.

The final season for the first family of celebrity reality starts next Monday at 10:30. Plenty of imitators will follow.

In fact, "The Osbournes" led to the creation of a whole subcategory of reality programming, spawning such shows as Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey's "Newlyweds," "The Ashlee Simpson Show" and "The Simple Life."

"We went into this not knowing what we were going to get. It wasn't like we had all the answers. We had lots of questions," said "Osbournes" producer Greg Johnston, who also handled both Simpson sisters' series. "[The show] just organically grew out of the cinéma vérité style and now everybody's trying to chase that."

Indeed, "Chasing Farrah" begins Jan.19 on TV Land. The six-episode series follows former "Charlie's Angels" star Fawcett around while she does - something.

"As soon as reality TV started making stars out of ordinary people, you knew for certain the celebrities were not going to sit still and take this. They wanted a piece of the action," said Robert Thompson, director of the Center for Popular Television at Syracuse University.

"It's got to be disconcerting if you spent a number of years training to potentially be a celebrity and come to find out the ability to eat bugs can make you a celebrity," said Bill Carroll, director of programming for Katz Television Group. And if you've fallen off the celebrity radar, a reality series can be a perfect vehicle for a comeback or to reach a bigger audience.

"For the actors, this is a way to get themselves back into the public eye," said Thompson.

It also can lead to other projects. Because of the success of "The Osbournes," Sharon Osbourne was given a talk show. Donald Trump's empire got even larger after he did "The Apprentice." And Paris Hilton has generated several endorsement deals, in part, because of the success of "The Simple Life."

It's no wonder many celebrities are jumping into the reality pool.

"The entertainment business is really a business of replication," said Carroll. "If you can repeat something that has been successful then you'll be successful. And then the assembly line starts."

Get ready for that line to speed up.

Here's what's ahead:

"Strange Love" premiered Sunday on VH1 and follows the unlikely romance between Brigitte Nielsen and rapper Flavor Flav.

Wayne Newton's "The Entertainer," Jan. 23 on E!, has the star mentoring 10 wanna-bes competing for a chance to perform with him at the Las Vegas Hilton.

Missy Elliott is busy fashioning aspiring rappers in her own image on UPN's "The Road to Stardom With Missy Elliott," Wednesdays at 8 p.m.

Lisa Gastineau, the ex-wife of troubled former Jets star Mark Gastineau, and her daughter, Brittny, go on the road looking for love in E!'s "The Gastineau Girls," premiering Feb. 1.

MTV's "Meet the Barkers" chronicles Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker's home life with his wife, former Miss USA Shanna Moakler.

Tommy Lee heads to the University of Nebraska, where he toils for part of a semester while the cameras roll for NBC.

TLC (UPN) and INXS (CBS) both take the reality route to replace dead bandmates in upcoming series.

VH1's "Kept With Jerry Hall," which follows the model/actress as she hunts for love, is on the horizon.

Bravo's upcoming "Being Bobby Brown" chronicles the life of the oftarrested husband of Whitney Houston.

01-10-2005, 07:59 PM
When will the shit stop?! :(