Monday, November 28, 2011

This Week in Television History: November 2011 Part V

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Realms of Music
Wednesday 9/7
9pm ET, 6pm PT

Share-a-Vision Radio
Friday 9/9
7pm ET, 4pm PT
10pm ET, 7pm PT

KWDJ 1360-AM
Ridgecrest, Calif.
Saturday 9/10
Following Dodgers baseball
Tuesday 9/13
11:05pm ET, 8:05pm PT

As always, the further we go back in Hollywood history, the more that fact and legend become intertwined. It's hard to say where the truth really lies.

November 29, 1948

Children's show Kukla, Fran and Ollie premieres on prime time network TV.  
The show featured beloved puppets Kukla, Ollie (a dragon), and others, with live actress Fran Allison as host. The show began as a local Chicago program before debuting on NBC. It was one of the two most important series made in Chicago, along with Garroway at Large, during the city's brief period as an important production center for network programs in the late 1940s. After its network cancellation in 1957, PBS revived the series from 1969 to 1971.

December  3, 1948

Heavy-metal legend Ozzy Osbourne born.  
On this day in 1948, John Michael “Ozzy” Osbourne, the heavy-metal musician and star of the pioneering reality TV program The Osbournes, which originally aired from 2002 to 2005, is born in Birmingham, England.

Osbourne first gained fame in the 1970s as a founding member and the lead vocalist of the heavy-metal band Black Sabbath. After being fired from the group in the late 1970s, he embarked on a successful solo career. In the mid-1990s, he and his wife Sharon launched Ozzfest, a popular annual tour of heavy-metal and rock acts. As a performer, Osbourne became infamous for biting the heads off a dove and a bat onstage and was also accused of promoting suicide and Satanism through some of his lyrics.

Osbourne’s fame widened beyond the music world with the debut of The Osbournes, a reality TV show featuring the rocker and his family that debuted on MTV on March 5, 2002. The idea for the show reportedly sprang from an episode of MTV’s Cribs, which featured the feisty, frequently foul-mouthed Osbourne clan at home. The Osbournes focused on Ozzy’s relationship with his spunky wife Sharon and the couple’s two teenagers, Kelly and Jack; a third sibling, Aimee, opted not to participate in the show. Filmed largely at the Osbournes’ Beverly Hills, California mansion, the show covered a range of topics, from Ozzy’s battles with a vacuum cleaner to his efforts to stay sober; to Sharon’s fight against colon cancer; to Jack and Kelly’s partying and often-bratty behavior; to the family’s pack of misbehaving pets.

The Osbournes, which aired its last original episode on March 21, 2005, proved to be one of the highest-rated series in MTV’s history and spawned a string of reality TV shows about celebrities on various networks, including MTV’s Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, with pop stars Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, which aired from 2003 to 2005, and Hogan Knows Best, which featured pro wrestler Hulk Hogan and his wife and children and debuted in 2005 on Vh1. Gene Simmons of the rock group Kiss starred with his family in Gene Simmons Family Jewels, which premiered in 2006 on A&E, while Denise Richards, the actress and former wife of Charlie Sheen, appeared in a show about her professional and domestic life, Denise Richards: It’s Complicated, which debuted in 2008 on E!.

In addition to turning Ozzy Osbourne into a household name and sparking a boom in celebrity-focused reality TV, The Osbournes transformed his wife and longtime manager Sharon into a star in her own right. From 2003 to 2004, she hosted her own TV talk show and later went on to make numerous guest appearances on various TV programs and to serve as a judge on the TV competition America’s Got Talent.

To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

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