Fox to air ‘Osbourne’ family specials

Network launching variety show sporadically

Fox has opted to air its variety show starring the Osbourne family as a series of specials instead.

“Osbournes: Reloaded” will air on Tuesday, March 31 at 9 p.m., behind an episode of “American Idol.” After that, the net said the show will “return to the Fox schedule as a series of one-hour specials to air later in the season.”

Decision not to run “Osbournes” as a series puts another damper on the trend earlier this season toward attempting to resurrect the variety genre. (Of course, if “Osbournes” bows strong, Fox may still decide to run the program’s six episodes more regularly.)

Although there are several variety projects in the works – including a John Mayer special at CBS and another being pitched by R&B star Nelly – last November’s disasterous attempt by Rosie O’Donnell may have cooled the nets on the form.

“Osbournes: Reloaded” will pre-empt “Fringe” for a week; “Fringe” will return on April 7.

Ozzy, Sharon, Jack and Kelly Osbourne are behind “Osbournes: Reloaded,” which comes from FremantleMedia North America.

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