EXCLUSIVE: The masks are on, both for celebrity contestants and the crew as “The Masked Singer” has returned to production.
Deadline understands that Fox’s mystery talent format has resumed production on its fourth season ahead of its fall premiere, which is set for September.
The show went back in production today at Red Studios in Hollywood with rigorous health and safety protocols in place. As you can imagine, all of the same protocols are in place that are on other non-scripted shows that have started back again: taking regular temperatures, social distancing and PPE equipment.
Fox is working closely with local and state officials, including the Health Department, as well as the unions on protocols to make sure that the production environment is as safe as possible.
There is, however, a twist this season. For the first time, Deadline understands that fans will have the chance to influence the outcome of the show. Viewers at home will have a chance to vote on their favorite performances as part of a virtual audience. The votes, as to which costumed singer they would like to see again, will help determine who goes through.
Fox handed “The Masked Singer” an 8 p.m. slot for its fall schedule in May, running before the return of “MasterChef Junior.” The show, which features celebrities singing in crazy costumes as judges guess their identity, was renewed ahead of the finale of Season 3.
The reality series is hosted by Nick Cannon and judges include Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke.
The third season featured the likes of Sarah Palin as a bear, Rob Gronkowski as a white tiger and Lil Wayne as a robot. Exec producer Craig Plestis told Deadline in May that he wanted to ratchet up the weirdness of the show.
“I want to increase the bonkers level and keep the production values up,” he said. “There are things that you’re going to see in [Season 4] that you haven’t seen anywhere else, not only here but anywhere in the globe,” he said.
This comes after Fox resumed production on its other Korean format – mystery singing gameshow “I Can See Your Voice” earlier this month.
That show, which is hosted by and exec produced by “The Masked Singer” panelist Ken Jeong, was Fox’s first major non-scripted series to resume after filming was hit by the COVID-19 production shutdown in March. It was thought that “I Can See Your Voice” was a bellwether for Fox’s other non-scripted productions.