How The Masked Singer's Spinoff Series Will Handle Production With COVID-19 Restrictions

the masked dancer the ellen show blue fox screenshot

The Masked Singer returned to Fox this fall with relatively few noticeable changes despite the absence of a studio audience due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and its upcoming spinoff is entering production with some COVID complications as well. The Masked Dancer more or less follows the format of The Masked Singer, with celebs hiding their identities and hitting the stage to perform, and how the spinoff will handle COVID is largely similar to the parent show as well, although with some differences.

The Masked Dancer will adhere to the same health and safety protocols in practice for The Masked Singer and Ken Jeong's bonkers new I Can See Your Voice show when it begins filming this weekend, according to Deadline. With input from local officials, state officials, and unions to create a safe work environment, the protocols include testing, zoning, social distancing, sanitization, and separation in communal areas.

That said, Fox Entertainment President of Alternative Entertainment and Specials Rob Wade revealed that The Masked Dancer poses different challenges than The Masked Singer when it comes to COVID protocols due to its status as a brand new show as well as the need for more rehearsals. Unlike The Masked Singer, where secret celebs just need to try and hit the notes without falling over or removing their own mask, The Masked Dancer competitors have choreography to learn.

Unlike Dancing with the Stars over on ABC, however, The Masked Dancer isn't pairing celebrities with a pro partner, so the actual performances may be less complicated when it comes to quarantine. The Masked Dancer actually launched as a segment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, with celebrity dancers including Will & Grace's Sean Hayes, former Bachelor Colton Underwood, Masked Singer judge Ken Jeong, and more.

Fox partnered with Ellen DeGeneres to produce The Masked Dancer, which will put celebrity contestants in elaborate costumes and masks to perform unique dances. The Masked Singer spinoff was announced back in early January 2020, and I for one just hope that the elaborate costumes and masks aren't too tough on the contestants. Some of the Masked Singer celebrities have a hard time staying upright while singing; dancing in some of those particular getups might be downright dangerous!

Although Fox's The Masked Dancer will undoubtedly be on a larger scale than the Ellen DeGeneres Show segment, check out just what a dancing celebrity in a head-to-toe costume could entail!

Fox hasn't announced a premiere date for The Masked Dancer at the time of writing. Assuming production does kick off as soon as this week, however, the first season could well be ready to launch before the end of the year. For now, you can get your masked TV competition fix with new episodes of The Masked Singer, airing Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET. There have been some shocking eliminations already, so be sure to tune in.

If you're in the market for some additional upcoming TV options, check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).