Fireworks over 'Stars Earn Stripes' as NBC defends against Osbourne accusations
By April MacIntyre Aug 7, 2012, 15:24 GMT
Jack Osbourne - Los Angeles, CA, USA © Winston Burris / PR Photos
NBC's patriotic “Stars Earn Stripes” is brought to the smallscreen by producers Mark Burnett and Dick Wolf, and was described at the recent Television Critics' Association as an "unapologetic thank you and love letter to men and women in uniform who allow American citizens to sleep safe at night."
Undoubtedly, this is a high energy action series that features celebrity recruits - Dolvett Quince, Eve Torres, Todd Palin, Laila Ali, Nick Lachey, Dean Cain, Terry Crews and Picabo Street - engaged in strenuous physical feats.
The creatives behind it are executive producers David Hurwitz and Dick Wolf; the most decorated host on network television, General Wesley Clark and former Dancing with the Stars host Samantha Harris. Military muscle former Navy SEAL, Grady Powell, former U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret; and Tom Stroup, an Orange County’s Sheriff’s Department and a SWAT commander round out the players.
Wolf was adamant that the premise was to celebrate the military. " I just want to give some idea of the genesis of this show from both my point of view, Mark’s and David’s and obviously General Clark’s, that this is a show to say thank you to the people who are in uniform now, who have been in uniform, and the people who protect us 24/7, 365 and do things that you can’t pay people to do. And what I hope, if there was one sentence that comes out of the show at the end of it, it’s going up to people in the military and just simply saying thank you for your service, because they don’t mind hearing it and it actually makes you feel better."
NBC is reacting to one of their series' judges (America's Got Talent) Sharon Osbourne's claim that the network discriminated against her afflicted son in casting a new reality show. Jack Osbourne, 26, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Osbourne told the New York Post she was quitting the show because NBC fired her son, Jack Osbourne, by email two days before he was to co-star on the reality show Stars Earn Stripes.
In a statement, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said the network "does not discriminate on any basis".
All potential contestants for Stars Earn Stripes, which puts celebrities through arduous military-style exercises, had to undergo medical vetting, Greenblatt said. He cited medical privacy in declining to discuss Jack Osbourne specifically.
Jack Osbourne was offered two alternative roles on the show but declined both, said Greenblatt.
"We have the deepest affection for Sharon Osbourne and consider her to be part of the NBC family," Greenblatt said. "And our hearts go out to her, Ozzy, Jack and his family at this time."
At the TCA's, one critics asked the Stars Earn Stripes producers to clear up what happened or allegedly happened with Jack Osbourne.
David Hurwitz took the question. "When you do any kind of these reality competition shows and you reach out to celebrities, there tends to be a certain makeup that you want for these celebrities. If they’re dancing, you want to make sure they’re fit enough to dance. If they’re coming on a show like this, you look at our panel, including Nick Lachey. They’re all very, very fit. Jack is a big enthusiast. He is somebody that had interest in doing the show. And unfortunately, because of the strains and the rigors of not only the show and but also our intense shooting schedule, it was best not to go with him at this time."
The critic followed up asking point blank if Jack was then never hired for the series.
Hurwitz responded, "No. He was somebody with these eight and a few others that we were in talks with, but he did not get penciled into the final lineup. Prior to us making our decision, it was found out that the rigors of the show were too intense for him."
Sharon Osbourne tweeted two weeks ago that she wanted to leave "America's Got Talent" during press tour.
FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&CJack Osbourne Biography -
Jack Osbourne Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesMark Burnett Biography -
Mark Burnett Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesSharon Osbourne Biography -
Sharon Osbourne Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sites
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