NY Post: SHARON OSBOURNE SHOW's Birth Trauma

The following item was published in today's edition of the New York Post:

Sharon Osbourne, mother of three — not counting infantile husband Ozzy — is experiencing labor pains with the birth of her talk show, set to launch Sept. 15 on Ch. 11.

"We're six weeks from debuting and we really don't have a formula that works," one staffer said on condition of anonymity.

"Sharon is lovely. She's smart. Everybody loves Sharon and no one wants to do a show that will embarrass her. But the executives have changed their minds 10,000 times and it's like we're starting from scratch."

The staff, some of whom have already been working on the show for two months, are under such stress that two producers have left the office by ambulance. One suffered a seizure, the other an asthma attack.

"The whole staff feels beaten down and exhausted. Everybody wants to leave," said our source. "There's a sense of mutiny."

Jim Paratore, president of Telepictures Productions, and executive vice president of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, held a meeting with the staff Monday that was something of a pep talk.

Paratore, who went through the same process with "Rosie", "Extra" and many other shows in his 16 years with the company, told PAGE SIX: "This show won't be like any other show on TV"

"The 'Sharon Osborne Show' will combine celebrity segments a la 'Live with Regis and Kelly', human interest stories a la 'Oprah', plus musical guests and pre-taped mini-reality segments.

"It's really three shows in one, and that's why it's been such a difficult start-up. It's always been a very ambitious show. It takes a while to get everybody on the same page."

Insiders say Sharon's bookers are having a hard time landing celebrities because agents are wary of putting their clients between segments on "Teens Out of Control" or "My Mother Stole My Boyfriend".

Paratore said, "The booking department has a list of celebrities already scheduled," though he named only David Spade and Bow Wow.

Paratore admitted, "Morale is mixed. The people doing good are feeling good, the people who are not, are not. Whenever you start up a show, and you hire this many people . . . easily, a quarter to a third of the people don't make it thorough the start-up."

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