Gary Susman
July 09, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

How can we miss the Osbournes when they won’t go away? Despite Sharon Osbourne’s past complaints that living in a fishbowl was destroying her family, despite Jack Osbourne’s recent stay in rehab for addiction to the painkiller OxyContin, despite the family’s sinking ratings on MTV, ”The Osbournes” will be back for a fourth season, to air early next year. ”If you thought we wouldn’t resign the Osbournes… you’re crazy,” MTV president Van Toffler said in a statement.

”There’s been a hollow empty feeling in my heart since the MTV crew left the Osbourne residence,” said Sharon Osbourne in a statement, apparently kidding. ”How lucky am I to have MTV with us for another year filming home movies of my family… and pay us for it?” she added, apparently not kidding. The family received somewhere between $5 million and $20 million for the second and third batches of 10 episodes; no word on what they’ll get for the fourth. Even though the show’s ratings have dwindled, it’s still MTV’s signature series, as well as its second most-popular (after the current ”The Real World: Paris”).

In other Osbournes news, Ozzy is said to be recording a duet of his 1972 Black Sabbath tune ”Changes” with daughter Kelly for his upcoming album. And daughter Aimee, the TV-shy one who has long declined to appear on ”The Osbournes” with younger sibs Kelly and Jack, is making her TV acting debut on MTV’s musical version of ”Wuthering Heights,” which premieres Sept. 4. On Tuesday, she gave her first major interview at the annual TV Critics Association confab in Los Angeles. She said that, while she’s studied acting in London, ”I don’t have huge intentions to be some big actress.” Of the movie, she said, ”I was casually asked. It was a great experience and I’m glad I did it.” Over the past 18 months, while the rest of her family has been filming their series, she’s been working on her debut album. She stayed away from TV because ”I wasn’t 100 percent comfortable with it. I was 17, I wasn’t very confident, I was shy, it was just a huge risk for me to take as well as my family. That to me was really intimidating and scary.”

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