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Fox is betting big on The Masked Singer next season.
The newly independent broadcast network has handed out an early third-season renewal for the costumed celebrity singing competition series. As expected, Fox will air the previously announced sophomore run in the fall — Wednesdays at 8 p.m. — with the third cycle launching Sunday, Feb. 2, in television’s most prized time slot: immediately after Super Bowl LIV. Season three will then move to its regular Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
The Masked Singer was a breakout hit for Fox after launching in January. The 10-episode run finished with series highs among the all-important adults 18-49 demographic (3.8) and 10 million total viewers. The series, which recently saw season one producer Endemol exit as Fox is using the mega-hit to launch its own in-house studio, finished as the 2018-19 season’s highest-rated new series.
Fox’s decision to air two cycles of The Masked Singer per season follows similar moves at rival broadcast networks with other unscripted powerhouses, including NBC’s The Voice and ABC’s Dancing With the Stars.
The Masked Singer will be used to launch new Jason Katims-produced family drama Not Just Me in the fall. This season, Fox will launch 10 new series — though only two in the fall — with its most-watched scripted drama, Ryan Murphy-produced 911, being used to launch Greg Berlanti drama Prodigal Son, starring Michael Sheen.
All told, Fox’s fall schedule features a lot of live programming with Thursday Night Football, wrestling on Fridays and, eventually, postseason baseball including the World Series.
In other Fox unscripted news, the network has ordered competition series Ultimate Tag, from Znak & Co and produced in-house by Fox Alternative Entertainment. The series will be hosted by football superstars and brothers J.J., T.J. and Derek Watt. The high-octane physical competition show based on the classic playground game of chase will premiere in 2020.
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