Osbournes Facing Second Suit Over MTV Show
The upcoming second season of MTV's hit reality series "The Osbournes" might well be set in the courtroom. A second lawsuit in as many weeks has been filed against America's newest favorite dysfunctioThe upcoming second season of MTV's hit reality series "The Osbournes" might well be set in the courtroom. A second lawsuit in as many weeks has been filed against America's newest favorite dysfunctional TV family in regards to their hit show. MTV and the cable network's owner, Viacom, also are named in the breach-of-contract suit filed yesterday (Aug. 6) in Los Angeles Superior Court by entertainment network Threshold.tv (formerly Threshold.com).
The complaint claims that the Osbournes' deal with MTV violates an intellectual property rights agreement between Threshold and Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne's company Monowise in December 2000. It asks that Threshold, headed by Larry Kasanoff, be declared the owner of MTV's series "and all derivatives therefrom" and asks for unspecified damages.
Los Angeles-based producer Gary Binkow filed a lawsuit against the Osbournes late last month, claiming that they stole his idea for their MTV series.
According to the new suit, the 2000 agreement between Threshold and the Osbournes, signed for a term of three years and 90 days, gives Threshold, among other things, exclusive rights to Ozzy Osbourne's "name, likeness, image, identity, persona, trademarks and right of publicity" for "live-action and animated programs ... or other offline works, as well as the right to make sequels, remakes, spinoffs and derivative works of any such works."
The complaint also quotes parts of the agreement stating that "all creative and business decisions for such projects shall be subject to the mutual agreement" of both sides with the revenue from them being "equally divided" between them.
Threshold claims that the idea for a show "focusing on the attractive aspects of Osbourne family life and placing cameras in the Osbourne house" was pitched to the Osbournes as early as January 2000. Threshold alleges that after signing the December 2000 deal, "Threshold described to Monowise and Sharon Osbourne the live-action family-based TV show that later became the MTV hit."
The lawsuit claims that MTV and parent Viacom were aware of the Osbournes' agreement with Threshold but signed the deal with the rocker and his wife anyway. MTV declined comment on the suit.