No variety show has succeeded on broadcast TV since The Carol Burnett Show went off the air in 1978, said McClatchy Newspapers’ Robert Philpot in Macon.com, so Fox is taking a gamble with The Osbournes: Reloaded, which features “the bat-biting former Black Sabbath vocalist” Ozzy Osbourne and his "unconventional" family playing pranks on audience members and breaking into song. But “Rosie O'Donnell tried it. Wayne Brady tried it. Even Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey tried it.” Why not Ozzy?
If The Osbournes: Reloaded can succeed anywhere, it’s on Fox, said Lacey Rose in Forbes. “From lie detectors ending marriages, swimsuit models behind news desks and self-conscious women undergoing plastic surgery for the camera, the edgy News Corp.-owned network remains ready—even eager—to do whatever it takes to keep America rubbernecking for ratings."
But this “is not your father's variety hour,” said Sean Daly in the New York Post. The first six episodes include “a blindfolded audience member duped into kissing a grandmother, a visit from Pam Anderson (complete with wardrobe malfunction) and Candid Camera-style video of The Prince of Darkness slinging burgers at a fast food drive through.” It might be a little too edgy for network TV.
There’s not much here that broadcast TV audiences haven’t seen before, said Roger Catlin the Hartford Courant. Judging from the clips that I saw, The Osbournes: Reloaded seems to be “a mix of pranks, audience participation, cussing and filmed bits that were done on Letterman years ago—as when the family takes over a fast food drive-thru lane.” This isn’t exactly cutting-edge stuff.