The Masked Singer is gearing up to start production on Season 5, and there's already one major hiccup in the process. Host Nick Cannon has been diagnosed with COVID-19, and as such, will be unable to join the show for a while until he's in the clear. It's not all bad news though, as Fox will press on with a guest host: Niecy Nash.
Niecy Nash is expected to step in as guest host when The Masked Singer begins production for Season 5 on Thursday, February 4. Variety reports that Nash will perform the duties as host for as long as Nick Cannon is out, though it is expected he will return to the show when he is healthy enough and it is safe for him to do so.
Season 5 of The Masked Singer is set to premiere on Fox in March, which may be why the production is unwilling or unable to pause and wait for the host's recovery. Plus, with the possibility of production shutdowns again looming large in Hollywood, Fox may want to try and get the full season in the books while it can rather than delaying production for however long it would take.
The Masked Singer may have seemed like a bizarre series destined to be a one-and-done when it premiered, but the competition has become a heavy-hitter for the Fox network. The series ended Season 4 in December as the #1 entertainment series on television, an honor it shared with NBC's This Is Us. The show has only improved its relevance and notoriety with each successive season, with names ranging from Lil Wayne to even former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin getting involved in the show.
Season 5 will be The Masked Singer's second season under COVID-19 protocols, and while Nick Cannon's illness is not a great start to the season, the show has rolled with the punches and been able to make minimal changes to its production in the process. One odd and notable decision the series did make was to create a virtual audience to give the illusion of a packed set, which I'll admit I wasn't a fan of. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, is different about how the show handles decisions the second time around.
The Masked Singer Season 5 is headed to Fox in March, with or without Nick Cannon. CinemaBlend will continue to monitor the situation, as well as share our thoughts and guesses on the new season and its contestants when the time comes.