'The Osbournes' runs into hot water with producer; Miramax acquires worldwide video, DVD distribution rights

MUMBAI: Even as MTV India has commenced telecasting the hit reality series The Osbournes on the life of rock star Ozzy Osbourne, the serial is causing headlines for all the wrong reasons abroad.

Associated Press reports that producer Gary Binkow has sued the star and his wife over allegations that the couple stole the idea for their MTV reality series from him. In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court last week, the producer said that he held discussions with the couple and Miramax TV between 1999 and 2000 for 'a real-life docu-sitcom' about their family.

The court papers include what Binkow said was a copy of his original treatment of the proposed series from January 2000, registered with the Writers Guild of America, The Hollywood Reporter reported on Friday. A spokeswoman for the family, Lisa Vega said previously published reports have made it clear that Binkow was not the show's creator. MTV has not been named in the lawsuit. 

The Osbournes which recently commenced airing in India follows the family over several months - at home and on the road, documenting the ups, downs, highs, lows, and the bizarre for viewers.

According to the report, a second season of the popular show is set to begin shooting in a few weeks with Sharon Osbourne beginning chemotherapy for cancer that she recently learned had spread beyond her colon.

In another development, Harvey Weinstein's Miramax Films announced the acquisition of the worldwide DVD and video rights to the first and second season of the series. Weinstein has been quoted as saying, "The Osbournes have the perfect mix of family, music and drama we've always appreciated here at MMX. The show's incredible following, never-before-seen footage and other DVD extras will make The Osbournes a key addition to Miramax's family of DVD and video hits." The DVD of the first season is expected to be released later in the year. 

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