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By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated May 03, 2002 01:00 PM
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How much are “The Osbournes” worth? Variety reports that MTV is preparing to pay $20 million over two seasons to keep Ozzy Osbourne and his family around as the stars of the music cable channel’s monstrously successful reality sitcom. Once the contracts are signed, says the trade paper, the deal will mark the largest talent paycheck ever for a cable series. It will also be a sizable leap for the Osbournes, who pulled down a mere $200,000 for the first 10-episode season of their offbeat show. Then again, this is cable TV’s most-watched show, ever. Last week, nearly 8 million people tuned in at 10:30 Tuesday night. Reached by Variety late Thursday night, Sharon Osbourne, 50, who this week was also named one of PEOPLE’s “50 Most Beautiful People,” said that she and the family are excited over the prospect of keeping the show going for some more seasons. “We’re very happy about it,” she said. “A lot of thought went into this, and we’re happy that we’re going to do another one, and that it’s going to be with MTV. They’ve become a part of our family as we’ve become a part of theirs.” Mama Osbourne also said that elder daughter Aimee Osbourne, 18, who declined to participate in the first season of the show, may surface in a few episodes of a second season. Meanwhile, daughter Kelly, 17, is due to warble Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach” on a Sony Music soundtrack album of the show. This weekend, the entire family — which also includes papa Ozzy, 53, and son Jack, 16 — will be the Fox News Channel’s guests of honor at the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner.