Although Fox came up with a fall schedule that includes held-over summer shows, animated series and the network debut of L.A.'s Finest, the network still needs The Masked Singer if it hopes to remain competitive with ABC, CBS and NBC. Fox said the unscripted show's fourth season will still air this fall thanks to some major changes during the coronavirus pandemic. The producers are working remotely on the show this summer and still debating what the changes might be.
During a for-your-consideration panel ahead of the Emmys, executive producer Craig Plestis said producers are moving "full steam ahead" on The Masked Singer's next season, reports The Hollywood Reporter. The producers are working in "their isolated bubbles in their houses," Plesits said. "We're getting the work done. It takes a lot longer, I'm not going to lie."
The team is communicating with multiple Zoom calls every day to discuss the usual production concerns, as well as whatever contingency plans they need. "It's making sure everyone is protected going into production, with testing and everything else and limited amount of people on set, and keeping people even when they get to production in isolated positions," Plestis said. He assured that safety is "key" for everyone involved, including the crew and the celebrities who wear the ornate costumes while singing. Although it is "a lot" of extra work and cost, it is "worth it to produce this," he said.
Instead of hoping production could resume in Hollywood this summer, Fox decided to pack its fall schedule with animated shows and two completed dramas originally slated to air this summer. The network also picked up L.A.'s Finest, the Bad Boys spin-off that debuted on Spectrum Originals. The Masked Singer is the only show Fox still has to produce for the fall.
Even when production on The Masked Singer Season 4 starts, they might have to film without a live audience. "We're still going over plans for a possible audience," Plestis explained. "We're not shooting for a while so we'll see what happens in the next few months."
The Masked Singer is based on a South Korean show, in which celebrities perform while wearing outrageous costumes. Winners are decided by judges Robin Thicke, Nicole Scherzinger, Jenny McCarthy and Ken Jeong and the in-studio audience. Nick Cannon hosts the series. The first season debuted in January 2019 and was such a surprise hit that Fox ordered a second season for fall 2019. Season 3 aired from February to May and ended with Kandi Burruss crowned the winner. T-Pain and Wayne Brady won the first and second seasons, respectively.