The Osbournes – Sharon, Kelly, Jack, Ozzy and assorted favorite dogs – are returning to television soon with a variety show on FOX that features audience interaction, candid camera-type skits, music, and even a pair of “mini Osbournes,” two British child actors who impersonate Sharon and Ozzy complete with off-color language.
Six episodes of “Osbournes: Reloaded,” which will air later in the year, have already been shot at CBS Television City in Hollywood, where production mixer Evan Adelman did his best to capture the mayhem with a combination of Sennheiser wireless handheld and lavalier microphones.
“The Osbournes were all wearing Sennheiser SK 5212 wireless transmitters and Platinum lav mics,” reports Adelman. “But most of the time they were on SKM 5200 handhelds, with the omni heads that I like to use, the ME 5005.”
In addition, he says, “They were all wearing G2 receivers and their own molds for their IFBs. That’s the first time I’ve had that happen. Normally the talent uses standard IFB receivers, which work in a different frequency range with not as wide of an audio bandwidth, since they’re designed strictly for communications.
“But of course the Osbournes are all performers, so they’re used to hearing full fidelity with their in-ear molds. We initially gave them this communications equipment and they said, ‘This sounds terrible, can we use what we usually use?’ It made sense to me!”
Adelman reports that, “Because of the environment and how loud the audience was, and because the stage was enormous, the hand mics were used almost all the time – as much I could get them to, anyway! There was a jib on each side that could swing over the audience, so I was only able to mic about a third of the audience.
“But when the Osbournes would go into the audience with these omni hand mics I could hear pretty much everything that was going on. You could hear people react – not on mic, but slightly off. That was appropriate because they weren’t on mic. They were five or six feet away. It created a natural sound that matched the picture much more accurately than a directional mic would have.”
“Osbournes: Reloaded” is produced by Fremantle Media North America with executive producer James Sunderland, a veteran of British variety shows, the main influence on the show. When the show was first announced, trade journal TV Week described it as “a combination of the popular Spanish-language series ‘Sabado Gigante,’ ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ and the German game-show format ‘Wetten, dass?’ (Wanna Bet?).”
Ozzy Osbourne put it more succinctly at a press conference previewing the show in January: “We are a very dysfunctional family, doing a very dysfunctional show.”