Sennheiser asserts dominance over reality TV

As the new fall season gets underway, Sennheiser RF products are dominating prime-time reality programming with appearances on “Dancing with the Stars,” “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” and “America’s Funniest Videos” as well as daytime talk show, “Ellen.”

Earlier this year, Sennheiser RF products were heavily featured on “Rock the Cradle,” “The Singing Bee” and the season finale of the fifth season of “The Biggest Loser.” More recently, “America's Got Talent,” which wound up its latest season Oct. 1, has been using four channels of the new EM 3732 digital receiver, provided by Burbank, CA-based Soundtronics.

ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” returned for its seventh season in late September, pulling in more than 21 million viewers for its live premier night. SKM 5200 wireless handhelds with MD 5235 omni capsules as well as MD 42 omni mics make frequent appearances onscreen. Less visible are the contestants’ subminiature MKE Platinum lavalier microphones, the SK 5212/SK 5012 bodypack transmitters and numerous orchestra mics. Behind the scenes, new EM 3732 dual-channel digital receivers and A 5000 CP antennas are in use. During the three-day live premier of “Dancing with the Stars,” eight channels of Sennheiser ew300 IEM personal monitor transmitters were brought in for the Jonas Brothers, who made a guest appearance.

The show’s mixer, Evan Adelman, who also mixes “America’s Funniest Videos,” reported that the bodypacks are switched on, set up and sewn directly into the dancers’ costumes. Until several seasons ago, the men’s transmitters were simply hung from their belts. But then, Adelman said, “Joey Fatone was doing some kind of a spin and his transmitter flew off. But the microphone remained attached to him and the connector never came loose. The transmitter was flying around, but I never lost his microphone.”

Randy Faustino, mixer for ”American Idol,” where competitors make use of Sennheiser’s popular SKM 5200/MD 5235 combination, recently wrapped audio production on another music competition show, “MTV’s Top Pop Group,” which also uses Sennheiser equipment. Faustino, who recommended Sennheiser wireless gear for FOX’s “Don’t Forget the Lyrics,” which just started a new season, is not surprised that the mics and IEM systems are dominating prime-time television.

The Emmy Award-winning “Ellen DeGeneres Show,” one of the most-watched daytime talk shows, recently adopted EM 3732 digital receivers, wireless handhelds and bodypacks at the start of its sixth season.

For the second season of NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice,” more than 70 channels of Sennheiser 3000 and 5000 Series camera-mount receivers and bodypack transmitters, supplied by Audio Specialties Group of Burbank, CA, are being used to capture the action, which will premier in January 2009.

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