There's been a major increase in competition in reality-style television shows because they tend to do well. We've seen huge hits like American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, and The Masked Singer become wildly successful.
These rely on an audience in the studio who add an atmosphere to the show that airs on television. Masked Singer is one that just doesn't feel the same without an audience. But with the COVID-19 crisis, an audience isn't really possible. So, does The Masked Dancer have a live audience now that the show has started? Here's what we know.
Does 'The Masked Dancer' have a live audience?
The Masked Dancer is a spin-off from the very successful Fox show The Masked Singer. Like the original, the new show relies on hidden mystery celebrities who don elaborate masks and perform to try and win. Instead of singing, they're dancing in this spin-off — learning new routines and attempting to win against the other mystery contestants.
For the original show, The Masked Singer, producers had to make the fourth season feel close to the other three seasons. So, how was The Masked Dancer going to work? Does this show have a live audience?
Technically, no, there isn't a live audience in the show. Because of safety protocols, the studio has to have as much of a paired-down crew and cast, which means no room for an audience in the studio. But, just like The Masked Singer, production edits the show to make it appear as if there is an audience who's there and having fun.
Executive producer Craig Plestis told Yahoo! in September, the fourth season of The Masked Singer would appear to have a live audience, but it's done with creative editing.
"You'll see a lot of differences this season too with the virtual reality stuff, with the animation, with adding America's votes — since we couldn't have a full audience of 300 people, though we're utilizing some audience footage from past seasons to get that audience feel," he said.
It appears that those similar tactics are what The Masked Dancer will be using to help the show feel more full, lively, and more entertaining to watch. It was pulled off flawlessly for The Masked Singer, so chances are it's going to be just the same for Fox's newest spin-off.
'The Masked Dancer' is following all the health and safety protocols.
According to Deadline, though the show has been in planning and production for a while, starting up in the middle of a pandemic was never in the plans. However, those in charge decided not to hold it back any further, likely because they knew a little what to expect with The Masked Singer. And there are a lot of rules and protocols to follow.
The publication reports that the network is employing the same "rigorous health and safety protocols that it put in place for The Masked Singer as well as I Can See Your Voice." These include social distancing, non-sharing in communal areas, regular texting, zoning, and working closely with local and state officials.
Fox Entertainment's President of Alternative Entertainment and Specials, Rob Wade, told Deadline the show and crew "went above and beyond the outlines of the CDC and local authorities in order to keep people safe" for both The Masked Singer and now for The Masked Dancer as well.
The Masked Dancer’s premiere continues Wednesday, Jan. 6 at 8 p.m. ET.