Failure is an orphan, but success has many fathers, says the adage. Further proof: the second lawsuit against the Osbourne family in as many weeks by someone who claims to have come up with the idea for the rockin’ family’s hit MTV reality series. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the latest litigant is webcaster Threshold.tv (formerly Threshold.com), is suing the Osbournes (as well as MTV and its parent company, Viacom), saying a deal that Threshold signed with the family back in December 2000 gives it ownership rights to the series ”The Osbournes.”
According to the Reporter, Threshold’s complaint says it had signed a deal with the Osbournes granting it ownership of any possible ”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.” Threshold says it pitched the idea of a series ”focusing on the attractive aspects of Osbourne family life and placing cameras in the Osbourne house” back in January 2000, and that MTV and Viacom knew that they were violating the family’s deal with Threshold when they signed with the Osbournes to create their series. The complaint, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, seeks unspecified damages and asks that Threshold be named owner of ”The Osbournes” and any spinoff properties.
Great minds apparently think alike, since two weeks ago, producer Gary Binkow sued the Osbournes (but not MTV) in the same jurisdiction, saying he also pitched the idea for a reality show about the family to Ozzy and Sharon and to TV studios back in early 2000. Binkow, who says he registered his proposal with the Writers Guild of America two years ago, seeks unspecified damages for fraud and breach of contract. Osbournes spokeswoman Lisa Vega has denied that Binkow is the creator of ”The Osbournes,” while MTV has declined to comment on Threshold’s suit.