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Osbournes Variety Show Sparks First Amendment Battle in Florida

March 31, 2009 1:34 PM ET

When Rock Daily first saw the trailer for The Osbournes: Reloaded, which debuts tonight on Fox, we dismissed it as a "debacle" that paints the legendary Black Sabbath singer as a clown — a show unbefitting the Prince of Darkness. We may have predicted the show would get canceled after a handful of airings, but what we didn't see coming was that the new Ozzy Osbourne family variety show would be at the center of a fight about constitutional rights down in Florida. The Fox affiliate in Panama City, WPGX Fox 28, has opted not to air the show, claiming the program is "unsuitable and contrary to the public interest," the city's News Herald reports.

"This is more of an MTV thing," WPGX general manager David Cavileer told the News Herald. "They are reporting it to be a variety show. There is worse stuff than this out there. This show in my market does not serve my public in Panama City. I did not feel it was appropriate." Cavileer added that the Osbournes show would follow American Idol, a series that attracts a lot of young viewers (and we'd add also features a difficult-to-understand star — cough, Paula). Instead, WPGX will broadcast a repeat episode of The Simpsons. However, viewers down in the panhandle are now complaining that the station heads have no right to decide what they can or can not watch and are even threatening to boycott the affiliate.

Keep in mind, this is Panama City, Florida, we're talking about here, the self-proclaimed "Spring Break Capital of the World" and not the Bible Belt. Many a Girls Gone Wild has probably been filmed there, parents fear sending their daughters there, yet the Osbournes are somehow too taboo. A pretty great First Amendment discussion has broken out in the comments section over at the News Herald article, so be sure to check that out.

For the rest of the non-Bay County America, the Osbournes and their gags about kissing grandmas and having Ozzy work drive-thru will air tonight after AI. To butcher a Voltaire quote, Rock Daily does not agree with the show, but we'll fight to the death for your right to watch it.

Related Stories:

The Osbournes Return To TV With "Punk'd" Pranks, Grandma-Kissing Gag

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