Game Shows 'The Masked Singer,' 'Mental Samurai' Coming to Fox 2018-19

The two shows join the Justin Timberlake-created 'Spin the Wheel' on Fox's 2018-19 slate.
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Fox has ordered a pair of competition shows to help fill out its 2018-19 schedule.

The Masked Singer, based on a popular South Korean format, will premiere in January. Mental Samurai, hosted by Rob Lowe and billed as "an obstacle course for the mind," will debut later in the season. Fox heads Dana Walden and Gary Newman made the announcement Thursday during Fox's time at the Television Critics Association press tour.

The two shows join another game show, the Justin Timberlake-created Spin the Wheel, on Fox's slate for the coming season.

The Masked Singer comes from Endemol Shine and executive producer Craig Plestis' Smart Dog Media. In the show, a group of celebrities will take part in a singing competition — while "shrouded from head to toe in an elaborate costume," including a full face mask. Host Nick Cannon and panelists Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke will try to suss out the singers' identities, which are revealed when a competitor is eliminated.

"This is truly one of the most unique, genre-defining formats I've ever seen," said Rob Wade, Fox's head of alternative entertainment and specials. "It's a massive international hit, and its boldness and originality make it the perfect fit for Fox."

Fox says that the contestants on The Masked Singer collectively have 65 Grammy nominations, 16 multiplatninum albums, 16 Emmy nominations and four Super Bowl rings.

Mental Samurai comes from Warner Horizon Unscripted and Alternative TV, headed by former Fox alternative chief Mike Darnell, and A. Smith & Co. Productions. The show's contestants will have to complete tasks involving knowledge, memory, numbers and sequencing — while being zipped around the show's set in a capsule that can rotate 360 degrees. 

"When I was 15, I won big on The $10,000 Pyramid," said Lowe. "I've loved mental competition shows ever since. For me, Mental Samurai is addicting. Every time you play, you think, 'This time I'm gonna win!' But this very simple game is almost impossible to crack."