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Fox renews wacky competition series 'The Masked Singer'

Fox renews wacky competition series 'The Masked Singer'
NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown is revealed as the hippo on Fox's "The Masked Singer," hosted by Nick Cannon, right. (Michael Becker / Fox / Associated Press)

Fox is getting more masks and more singers: The broadcaster announced Wednesday that it has renewed “The Masked Singer,” its campy celebrity competition series, for a second season.

It’s no surprise either, because the surreal show earned the highest ratings of any unscripted series debut in about seven years and is Fox’s most-watched unscripted debut in 11 years. The show’s premiere episode has attracted more than 17 million multi-platform viewers to date.

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“The response to ‘The Masked Singer’ has been fantastic and we are thrilled to bring it back for another season,” Rob Wade, president of alternative entertainment and specials, said in a statement.

“I am so happy to see a singing Peacock burst into pop culture! ‘The Masked Singer’ is unique, bold, original and embraces the DNA of all the best Fox unscripted shows. We look forward to Season 2 being even more fun, weird and wonderful than the first.”

"The Masked Singer" features Ken Jeong, Nicole Scherzinger, Nick Cannon, Jenny McCarthy and Robin Thicke.
"The Masked Singer" features Ken Jeong, Nicole Scherzinger, Nick Cannon, Jenny McCarthy and Robin Thicke. (Fox)

According to The Times’ review of the show earlier this month, the series is based on a South Korean original and “is a reality competition much like ‘American Idol,’ minus whatever shred of self-respect that ABC show has … or ever had. But its contestants are ‘celebrities’ whose identities are hidden behind costumes until they’re voted off the stage, though after Wednesday’s premiere it’s safe to assume the idea of celebrity is fairly elastic on this hourlong weekly series.”

Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke serve on the panel of judges/detectives, and Nick Cannon hosts.

The celebrity competitors — clad in a veritable zoo of costumes designed by Emmy winner Marina Toybina — have amassed 65 Grammy nominations, 16 multi-platinum albums, 16 Emmy nominations, nine Broadway shows, four stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and four Super Bowl titles among them. So far, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Antonio Brown, football legend Terry Bradshaw and comedians Tommy Chong and Margaret Cho have been unmasked upon elimination.

The series returns Wednesday night with “Mix and Masks,” at 9 p.m., shuffling celebrities dressed as a rabbit, unicorn, alien and lion onstage to deliver new clues. The two-hour finale is slated for Feb. 27.

No word yet on when the new season will debut.

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