Here's what you need to know about Fox's Masked Singer spin-off series hosted by Craig Robinson.
The Masked Dancer
Credit: Getty Images (5)

As one (masked) door shuts, another opens.

After Fox closed the curtains on The Masked Singer season 4 with a Dec. 16 finale — don't worry, the show will be back for another season in 2021 — it's debuting the latest entry in the Masked television universe, The Masked Dancer.

Here's everything you need to know about the spin-off event set to debut tonight.

When does The Masked Dancer season 1 start and where can I watch?

The Masked Dancer will premiere on Fox after an NFL doubleheader on Sunday, Dec. 27 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. It will then make its time‑period premiere at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Wednesday, Jan. 6, meaning it will air at that time for the remaining episodes. Episodes of the show are also going to be available on Tubi shortly after their linear premiere.

Who is hosting the show and who are the judges?

The show is executive-produced by TMS EPs Craig Plestis and James Breen. Comedian and The Office actor Craig Robinson will host, and the panelists are Ken Jeong, Paula Abdul, Brian Austin Green, and Ashley Tisdale.

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Which celebrities are under the masks?

As for the talent behind the masks, we won't be certain until they're sent home, but at a press event for The Masked Dancer with the show's producers and cast, Tisdale teased that fans can expect a lot of surprises. "I can see how, if celebrities who haven't sung could be really kind of nervous to go out and sing, where dancing, I feel like everyone loves to dance," she said. "And so, I think it opens it up to even more people. It could be anybody."

Plestis added, "We are looking for people who are fans of the Masked brand, who want to go under a mask, and a lot of the people that we have on the show are actually skilled dancers and [dancing is] more of their secret hobby that they have. And we were able to have some incredible talent on the show." When asked if a former contestant from The Masked Singer could appear on the spin-off, Plestis didn't rule it out, saying "anything can happen."

What is the format of the show?

The format will be familiar to Masked Singer fans — 10 costumed contestants will battle it out in two groups of five to start the season. They will get whittled down one-by-one to the Super Six, and eventually to a group of three finalists after that. The initial groups will be Group Fire — consisting of Exotic Bird, Tulip, Hammerhead, Disco Ball, and Cricket — and Group Ice, which will consist of Sloth, Ice Cube, Zebra, Cotton Candy, and Miss Moth.

What are the costumes like?

See the exclusive portraits of all the costumes here. Like with The Masked Singer, keeping the masked dancers' identities a secret was paramount when it came to designing the costumes. But at the press event, Breen said they did have unique challenges for the new costumes. "They are lighter than most of the Singer ones. And our costume people worked really hard with the celebrities, knowing the range of movement they have, whether they could flip or whether they were going to bounce around, to make sure they could perform to the best of their ability in them," he said, adding, "I'm not going to say it's easy."

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX (3)

What will the clues be like?

According to panelist Abdul, clues will be everywhere, from the stage settings, to the costumes, to the clue packages. New to The Masked Dancer will be a segment after the performances called "Word Up," where the panelists will be able to hear the contestants' unaltered voices. The dancer will only say one word, which also happens to be a clue as to who they are.

Do we have any clues yet?

Yes, the first clues are out! Fox has teased that the celebrity competitors have amassed more than 38 million albums sold worldwide, 20 Emmy Award wins, 20 Grammy Award nominations, 10 World Dancing titles, five New York Times best-selling titles, four Olympic gold medals, and three Broadway show appearances.

How many episodes will the show have?

Right now, at just nine episodes, The Masked Dancer is being billed as an "event," but the producers hope to do it again in the future. "I think we will hope it does [go on for more seasons], but now, it's an event," Breen said. "It's just nine episodes, which, in Masked Singer land, is a much shorter run. Obviously, we want to keep going forever, and I think there's the potential there. It's a really fun show. So, we want to keep going as long as it can."

What else do I need to know?

There will also be a wide variety of dancing styles, with everything from breakdancing to more classical dances being represented. Check out the latest teaser for a more in-depth look:

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