TCA: Fox greenlights game shows “Masked Singer,” “Mental Samurai”

American broadcaster Fox has reinforced its forthcoming programming lineup by greenlighting three game shows during its Television Critics Association (TCA) summer press tour. Anchoring Thursday’s (Aug. 2) announcement is the new game ...
August 2, 2018

American broadcaster Fox has reinforced its forthcoming programming lineup by greenlighting three game shows during its Television Critics Association (TCA) summer press tour.

Anchoring Thursday’s (Aug. 2) announcement is the new game show Spin The Wheel, from executive producers Justin Timberlake and Andrew Glassman.

Hosted by actor and director Dax Shepard, the non-fiction series offers opportunities to contestants to win more than US$20 million per episode via the spin of a massive, unpredictable wheel.

The show combines a mix of pop culture trivia, strategy and simple luck, pitting contestants against a giant, spinning 40-foot wheel that holds vast sums of cash prizes in its rotation. Throughout the game, players answer trivia questions with each correct answer adding more cash in the wheel’s wedges in a strategic location of their choice, while each incorrect answer adds more dangerous wedges that could mean no money. With prize money on the line, contestants must decide to walk away or risk it all to spin the wheel one last time.

Spin The Wheel is produced by Tennman Entertainment, Glassman Media and LBI. In addition to Timberlake and Glassman, Rick Yorn and Johnny Wright executive produce the series.

The show will be distributed internationally by IMG.

Elsewhere, Fox has greenlit the reality competition series Mental Samurai from Warner Horizon Unscripted & Alternative Television - headed by Mike Darnell - and A. Smith & Co. Productions.

Hosted and produced by Parks and Recreations and The Grinder actor Rob Lowe, the series – dubbed an obstacle course for the mind – will see contestants answering a variety of skill-testing questions accurately with speed and precision.

Not only will the course test their acumen in categories of knowledge, memory, numbers and sequencing, but players will also have to contend with being transported around the set at high speeds in a specially designed capsule capable of rotating 360 degrees.

Executive producers on the mental obstacle course are Arthur Smith, Toby Gorman, Jeff Apploff and Noah Bonnett. Rob Lowe serves as a producer.

Mike Darnell and Arthur Smith are two of the most innovative and creative minds in unscripted television whose collaborations have been responsible for so many attention-grabbing Fox hits,” said Rob Wade, president of alternative entertainment and specials at Fox Broadcasting Company, in a statement. “Along with our incredibly entertaining host, Rob Lowe, they are the ideal partners for this one-of-a kind high-velocity competition series that takes the game show genre to the next level.”

Finally, and as previously reported, Fox has ordered shiny floor format The Masked Singer from Los Angeles-based producer Smart Dog Media.

Produced by Endemol Shine North America and hosted by Nick Cannon, the show features celebrities facing off against one another, shrouded head to toe in elaborate costume, with complete full mask to conceal his or her identity. The series will feature a guest panel that consists of Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke.

Based on the South Korean format Mystery Music Show: King of Mask Singer by MBCThe Masked Singer leaves contestants guessing who is singing behind the mask. One singer will be eliminated each week, ultimately revealing his or her true identity.

The Masked Singer was developed for the U.S. and is executive produced by Craig Plestis. Izzie Pick Ibarra also serves as an executive producer, and Alex Rudzinski will direct.

All three series are scheduled to premiere during the 2018-2019 season on Fox.

With files from Daniele Alcinii and Selina Chignall

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.