Celebs Jump on The Osbournes Bandwagon

The unprecedented success of The Osbournes has TV executives salivating — and other unexpected celebs thinking about how their lives would look on camera.

Just as Survivor spawned a slew of copycat programming, watching an aging rocker and his family co-habitate in their own bleeping way has, among others, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Brandy, John "Johnny Rotten" Lydon and others "in talks" for behind-the-scenes shows.

But who could entertain as well as the bat-chomping Ozzy?

"I find The Osbournes so gratifying that it would have to be someone with that kind of quirky appeal, with loveable characters deeply flawed," said Nancy Miller, a writer for Entertainment Weekly, who lived in the Osbournes' guesthouse for three days to research an article.

MTV said they are in "discussions" with Combs, who is reportedly pushing a reality show focusing on his professional life. And pop songstress Brandy is considering having her pregnancy chronicled for the channel, Miller said. 

But the recipe for an Osbournes-like success would be tough to match, according to some.

Adam Buckman, television columnist for the New York Post, said the show would have to mirror the rocker's "devil-may-care attitude, a very rock 'n' roll attitude — 'I don't care if I misbehave and people see it.'" 

Other musicians are eager to share their antics. Gene Simmons and his family have been followed by the cameras of Extra for segments currently airing. The Kiss frontman is also working on a sitcom co-starring Pat Boone, Miller said.

There is even talk of punk legend John Lydon, a.k.a. Sex Pistols singer Johnny Rotten, who has two grown adopted black children, filming a new take on the 1970s sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, according to one insider. 

"These celebs feel like their lives are an open book anyway," Miller said, pointing out that, as  executive producer of her family's show, Sharon Osbourne has final say about what is broadcast.

The intimate details of Combs' life — the shooting trial, the J-Lo romance and problems with child-support payments — are already tabloid fodder. Producing his own show would give him some control over what dirty laundry gets on the air.

These shows would be a sort of turning the tables on the public's voracious appetite for celebrity culture, said Miller. 

"It's a flip-flop. We used to have ordinary people doing extraordinary things," she said. "Now Ozzy opening a garbage bag makes for compelling TV."

If Miller could have her pick, she said she'd love a look inside the lives of newlyweds Liza Minnelli and David Gest.

"We know so much about her and her struggles," Miller said. "She's like the cabaret Ozzy."

Julia Wang, senior editor of J-14 magazine for teens, said her readers would love to see a reality show featuring Britney Spears' clan.

"Britney has the classic stage mom, a precocious sister, Jamie Lynn, waiting to upstage her big sister with the Eve Harrington stamp all over her," said Wang. "and a shadowy figure of a father hiding in the backwoods of Kentwood, La."

Although she's young, Britney is not that innocent, and the controversies surrounding her would make for great programming, said Wang.

"Her ever-varying bra cup size; her penchant for lip-synching; and then there is the question of her virginity," she explained. "Britney is synonymous with must-see TV."

Of course, not all stars are eager to share their lives with Joe Public. However, some are willing participants in game-show style realitainment like Fear Factor

The Post reported a version of celebrity dodge ball is being mulled over after charity matches pitting the casts of shows such as Survivor and Friends against each other incited entertaining battles.

But these shows won't exactly attract A-list stars, said Buckman. "It's not like they get Tom Cruise [to participate]. It always seems like someone who needs exposure." 

Whether it's Donny Osmond, Kelly Preston or Tom Hanks isn't the point, Miller said.

"As long as you put on even a remotely familiar face, no matter how cheesy or base, people will watch," she said."This is the unfortunate trend in TV that I don't see coming to an end anytime soon. You're no longer watching TV for the pleasure of a quality program.

"Fun is derived from a guilty pleasure," Miller said. "You're watching something almost enjoying the hating of it instead of the enjoyment."