By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated April 22, 2002 10:53 AM

Yes, it’s a hit in chat rooms and at office watercoolers. But now its popularity is official: “The Osbournes,” the reality sitcom about the domestic life of heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne, is officially the biggest hit series in MTV’s 21-year history, reports the Associated Press. And here’s something else to bring a smile to Ozzy’s face: According to Nielsen Media Research, the Tuesday night series has surpassed pro wrestling as cable’s most-watched show. Talk about a smackdown. More than 6.2 million people watched last week’s episode, up from 6 million the previous week, which means the show has raked in more viewers than watched MTV’s “Beavis & Butt-head” and “The Real World.” Attempting to exploit the hit, MTV is airing episodes 15 times a week. Three more original episodes are due to air before the season wraps, and MTV may attempt to utilize existing footage to create up to three additional new ones. As all this is happening, negotiations are underway with the family about filming another season’s worth of shows. The Osbournes are reportedly concerned about a flood of tourists at their Beverly Hills home and may request that some of the filming take place at their second home in England. Meanwhile, the Osbournes’ black Pomeranian dog, Pipi, has been missing from the house for about two months now. “Live with Regis & Kelly” has been tracking the case and has offered a $1,000 reward for her return.

Find out how classic TV dads would handle Ozzy’s domestic issues, such as rowdy neighbors.

Check out Ozzy’s, um, evolution from metal demigod to TV dad.