"The Osbournes" Set MTV Cable Record

Ozzy, Sharon, Jack and Kelly draw nearly 8 million viewers Tuesday night; best-ever showing for an MTV series

By Mark Armstrong Apr 25, 2002 4:15 PMTags
More viewers are hopping on The Osbournes crazy train.

Heavy metal pioneer Ozzy Osbourne, wife Sharon and kids Jack and Kelly continue to break records for MTV, as Tuesday's episode of the reality smash pulled in 7.8 million viewers--the most-watched series ever on the cable network.

To put that in perspective, The Osbournes nabbed about the same number of viewers as ABC's The Practice Sunday night, and the show even topped a handful of MTV's previous Video Music Awards telecasts (though last year's show averaged 10.8 million viewers).

Still, the ratings for Tuesday's episode--featuring a frustrated Sharon threatening to urinate into a Jack Daniels bottle, while one of Jack's friends moves into the house--marked a considerable jump for the series, no doubt thanks to endless media coverage and cover stories in Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone. The show also notched an impressive 7.3 rating among adults 18-34.

Last week's installment averaged 6.3 million viewers and edged out the World Wrestling Federation to become the highest-rated show on cable, according to Nielsen Media Research.

No word yet, however, on whether The Osbournes will be back for a second season. There are still two unaired episodes left before the series wraps up May 7. But after that, MTV said it will continue to air reruns of the series Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m.