Fox Alternative Entertainment will handle the show as Endemol Shine exits the North American production. The budget for Season 2 of the show, Collier said, will come in below that of the debut season as a result. He didn’t break out the numbers or fully unpack the claim, but said it fit with the company’s overall mission to keep a lid on costs while taking advantage of its reach.
“The advantage of being a broadcast network is that we are home to programming for mass audiences,” Collier said during his presentation to investors. He saluted Masked Singer as the latest in a long line of risky Fox programming bets. “Technically, Masked Singer could have ended up on any platform but you have to note that it didn’t,” Collier said.
While sports plays an increasingly central role in the strategy at Fox, “We are not looking to turn Fox into ESPN,” Collier affirmed.
In March, after the Disney deal closed and officially cleaved 20th Television from the broadcast network, the entertainment boss addressed the production capability issue in a town hall with employees. He indicated that Fox would bulk up and could build a studio or take a different approach, specifically singling out unscripted as an arena where Fox has worked to bring producing elements in-house. (Collier, who was installed as head of Fox Entertainment last November, had previously indicated that the company also would be looking at acquisitions and other expansion opportunities.)
Craig Plestis, whose studio Smart Dog Media, has an overall deal with Endemol Shine North America, will continue on as an executive producer for season 2 of The Masked Singer for Fox, a source confirmed to Deadline. Izzie Pick Ibarra is showrunner.
Endemol Shine continues to produce The Masked Singer in a number of territories globally, and continues to produce MasterChef and its “Junior” offshoot for Fox.
Fox Corp. executives, starting with Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch, and across sports, news, entertainment and local stations, presented the newly constituted company to investors in a four-hour deep dive.