Fox Entertainment is launching a new in-house unscripted studio, and bringing production of reality hit “The Masked Singer” in house.
“On the unscripted side, we’ve also begun to establish in-house production capabilities. Moving forward, this decision gives us a stronger ownership position and greater creative control over our programming while keeping production costs down, and generating additional revenue,” Charlie Collier, CEO of Fox Entertainment, said Thursday during the company’s investor day. “As a result of this initiative, ‘The Masked Singer’ will be produced in-house and our budget will be significantly below that of Season 1.”
Endemol Shine North America, which produced and developed the first season for Fox, will leave the series while it moves over to Fox. Craig Plestis, who produced the series under his Smart Dog Media banner and served as showrunner, will stay on as showrunner for the second season. Endemol Shine will continue to produce “The Masked Singer” in other territories around the world.
“The Masked Singer” was a surprise hit for Fox in its first season. The reality competition series debuted with a 3.0 rating among the advertiser-preferred adults 18-49 demographic and 9.4 million total viewers in January. It ended even bigger, with a 3.6 rating in the demo and 11.4 million total viewers for its finale in late February.
Based on a South Korean format, “The Masked Singer,” features famous contestants facing off against one another with one major twist: each singer is shrouded from head to toe in an elaborate costume, complete with a full face mask to conceal his or her identity. It was initially developed and produced by Korean broadcaster MBC.