EXCLUSIVE: The Masked Dancer is set to finally waltz into the studio – albeit with a few more health and safety protocols than initially expected.
Deadline understands that the spin-off of Fox reality hit The Masked Singer is set to start shooting this weekend. It will shoot at Red Studios in Los Angeles, the same location where Fox recently shot the mystery singing talent competition.
The network will employ the same rigorous health and safety protocols that it put in place for The Masked Singer as well as I Can See Your Voice. The production will include regular testing, zoning, social distancing, sanitization and non-sharing of communal areas. 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.
Fox Entertainment’s President of Alternative Entertainment and Specials Rob Wade told Deadline that it “went above and beyond the outlines of the CDC and local authorities in order to keep people safe” on The Masked Singer and this will again be the case for The Masked Dancer.
Wade did admit that The Masked Dancer faced a slightly different challenge to The Masked Singer, which is airing its fourth season. Making a new show, one that the audience is not yet used to compared to one where they “knew what it was supposed to look like” was a challenge and The Masked Dancer also had more rehearsals because the celebrities will be learning choreography.
“Our focus is just to create an environment where people can work safely and manage those conditions,” he told Deadline.
The Masked Dancer is produced in association with Ellen DeGeneres. The show is based on a popular segment on The Ellen Show where the talkshow host and guests must guess the identity of a celebrity dancer, more than just a nod to the Fox hit. The guessing game, with DeGeneres and her DJ Twitch, has featured celebrities such as Howie Mandel, Sean Hayes, Derek Hough and Colton Underwood as well as The Masked Singer panelist Ken Jeong. In the format, celebrity contestants will perform unique dances, while covered from head-to-toe in elaborate costumes and face masks, leaving audiences to guess their identities.