Fox’s hit reality series The Masked Singer returns for a third season with a post-Super Bowl premiere on February 2, when Jamie Foxx, host and executive producer of Fox’s Shazam, joins returning panelists Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke. He will be the first of many well known faces visiting the show in Season 3.
“We have added a lot more guest judges,” Fox’s Alternative Entertainment president Rob Wade told Deadline during TCA. The list includes Leah Remini and Jason Biggs, star of the new Fox comedy series Outmatched, who already have filmed their episodes.
It is one of several tweaks planned for the upcoming season, which will feature four more hourlong episodes than Season 2, stretching over four more weeks.
Wade elaborated on a format change, unique to The Masked Singer worldwide franchise, where the 18 celebrities start divided up into three groups.
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“To create a story arc, we do three groups of six, so it is more palatable for the viewers,” he said.
Each group will take turns whittling down contestants one by one until three remain. The nine then “come together for a big two-hour Super Nine special, and then the show continues in a normal pattern,” Wade said.
Fox and the producers learned a lot from the casting of NBA player Victor Oladipo in Season 2, Wade said.
“He is not the biggest household name but the fact that he had a voice and he had a story, viewers reacted to that,” he said.
The experience informed how Season 3 was cast.
The pool of contestants includes “people you know that have surprising voices and just people that you know very well.”
Wade also discussed a new element in the clues package, which will be introduced this coming season.
“In the third show in each group, we get the celebrities’ relations — (relatives or friends) — to put on masks and talk about them; that’s how you get clues,” Wade said. “It adds to the fun and absurdity of The Masked Singer. It is s small detail but it works.”
As previously revealed, Season 3 will introduce new custom-made costumes for the disguised celebrity singers to wear including The Robot, The Frog, The Banana, The Mouse, Miss Monster and The Llama among others.
Hosted by Nick Cannon, The Masked Singer has been a ratings juggernaut for Fox. Its second season averaged a 3.0 Live+ 7 rating, ranking as this season’s No. 1 entertainment program (tied with This Is Us) and marking the first reality series to claim that rank, according to Fox and Nielsen. The singing competition averages 13.6 million viewers across all platforms and ranks as TV’s No. 1 unscripted series among adults 18-34 and in key male/female demos.
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