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Bournes to Be Wild March 4

20 Nov, 2002 By: Joan Villa

The highly anticipated two-disc set The Osbournes – The First Season from Miramax Home Entertainment will satisfy fans March 4 with games, uncensored bonus material and behind-the-scenes interviews.

The two DVD versions – censored and uncensored – will be priced at $29.99 and backed by an “attention-getting” marketing campaign, promised Robert Chapek, president of Buena Vista Home Entertainment, which distributes Miramax. Distributor prebook is Jan. 21.

Special promotional spots teasing the DVD set already ran twice this month, once on a “retro” Osbournes episode Nov. 4 and the other on the family's 20/20 interview on Nov. 6, according to Lori MacPherson, BVHE VP of brand marketing, live action. The spots featured the Osbournes talking about the release from the same living room used in the reality-based MTV show.

“It's very unusual for us to start advertising four months before the release, but these were perfect opportunities and they're indicative of what we'll be able to do with the campaign,” she explained.

Current advertising establishes the DVD release and touts the unseen episodes, but future spots will evolve to provide more detail about bonus features, she added. TV ads will be at the center of the campaign, backed by online promotions on MTV.com and the Osbournes' Web site and radio contests offering Ozzfest ticket giveaways.

The DVD will explore the Osbournes phenomenon from every angle: the season's complete 10 episodes, commentary track and unaired footage from all 10 episodes, “Too Oz for TV” blooper reel, conversations with the Osbournes, an “Ozzy Translator” to decode the heavy metal singer who once earned the nickname “Prince of Darkness,” Ozzy's Ten Commandments, Ozzy's Fatherly Advice, Sharon's Motherly Advice and “top moments” from Kelly, Jack and Lola. A DVD-ROM features a Food Nuisance game, guide to the Osbournes and Web links and set-top material offers bingo, “name that dookie” game and scene-editing capability.

“When we've been looking at the TV series product that does well on DVD, it's not just the shows with the highest viewership but shows that have the most loyal and avid following,” MacPherson added. “The Osbournes has both -- high viewership of 6 million and a viewership that is avid and cares about everything the Osbournes do so it creates interest when the series comes out in March.”

Fans and MTV's core audience of 14- to 30-year-olds will embrace the jam-packed DVD, predicts Geoffrey Kleinman, editor of DVDtalk.com, which monitors DVD release trends and posts feedback from consumers.

“I think they got the most essential elements which is stuff you can't see on TV, extras which are in line with the personality of the Osbourne family, special features that seem to be very tailored toward each character and audio commentary from the Osbournes on The Osbournes,” he explained.

Plus, Kleinman believes the “very reasonable” $29.99 price will spur discounted Web sales especially for the uncensored version.

“It's nice to see the first season of 10 episodes being priced in the realm of other theatrical DVDs,” Kleinman added. “From a price perspective, consumers are really going to be winning out. People are responding well to the fact that it's going to be affordable, because with so many great movies out there, price is going to be important. It's not just the bells and whistles of extra features.”

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