When it premiered on Fox back in early 2019, mystery reality singing competition “The Masked Singer” quickly established a TV fan-base and become such a hit that a second season was green-lighted and came out later that year. From that schedule format came the “two seasons a year” thing that allowed “The Masked Singer” to introduce a new batch of flamboyantly incognito singing celebrities every few months or so. Unfortunately season 3 came just as the COVID pandemic began, although somehow the production managed to come through, twice. This 2021, Fox is hard at work prepping for season 6 even though the pandemic has been wreaking havoc behind the scenes.

As Entertainment Weekly tells it, Fox is not in the mood to delay the premiere of “The Masked Singer” season 6. This is in spite of no less than 12 people on set testing positive for COVID-19. The studio will stick to their set deadline of August 11 to finish the taped shooting in time for a premiere late next month. A statement from Fox Entertainment assures their prioritization of cast and crew safety, and that they are cooperating with the talent unions and officials both local and state to maintain a healthy production environment.

Having COVID cases in the course of doing the show has become expected. Before work began on season 5, which aired from March to May this year, “Masked Singer” presenter Nick Cannon caught the virus and had to be temporarily replaced as host by Niecy Nash. Cannon would return in the middle of the episode run, ostensibly as a wildcard contestant that got immediately unmasked so he would return as present the following week. Season 6 started production just at the end of this past June, and unlike the all-virtual seasons 4 and 5 this one has a limited audience, who must provide vaccination proofs.

Limited audiences for “The Masked Singer” were last visited in season 3, which began in February 2020 before the COVID outbreak was reclassified into a global pandemic. It shows a level of daring for the production even as some US series like “Bridgerton” on Netflix and “American Horror Story” season 10 on FX have been forced to close up awhile following new COVID cases on their respective sets. Not “The Masked Singer” though. It is still premiering its sixth season via two-night special on September 22 and 23 at Fox.

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