Tuesday marked the first day of the winter portion of the biannual Television Critics Association press tour, when entertainment journalists convene for a weeks-long tasting of new and popular shows. Each network gets its own day to dazzle reporters and Fox drew the first straw, working some fancy footwork to spread its Masked Singer hit into other talents while a 9-1-1 executive producer and co-creator also said he’d be open to franchising that property. Elsewhere in the TV universe, more capes and capers are in store at The CW.
Got a favorite The CW show? Good news! It’s probably been renewed. The channel announced Tuesday that Batwoman and Nancy Drew each earned second seasons while All American, Legacies, Roswell, New Mexico, In the Dark, and Charmed will be back for third seasons and Dynasty and Black Lightning will each be back for a fourth. Riverdale will return for Season 5, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl will be around for Season 6, and The Flash ran away with a seventh season. (It was previously announced that Arrow, the juggernaut that resurrected the channel’s love of the comic-book hero genre, would end this year).
In a complete no-brainer move, Fox has ordered a spin-off to its secret singing sensation series, The Masked Singer, entitled The Masked Dancer. Produced in conjunction with Ellen DeGeneres and based on the guessing game popularized on her daytime series, the press release promises that “celebrity contestants will perform unique dances, while covered from head-to-toe in elaborate costumes and face masks, leaving audiences to guess their identities.”
“This is gonna be just as fun and suspenseful as The Masked Singer, but with a lot more Krumping,” DeGeneres said in the statement. “And I cannot wait!”
Because one cannot live on A Charlie Brown Christmas alone, Fox has ordered a new holiday special from Seth Green, John Harvatine IV, Matthew Senreich and Eric Towner’s Stoopid Buddy Stoodios. Written by Robot Chicken’s Tom Root, this stop-motion animated TV movie brings together classic holiday icons, including Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, as well as stars of other holidays like Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Thanksgiving — even Daylight Saving — for what is described as a “visceral, action-packed hour of holiday insanity.” It will air this coming winter as part of Fox’s Not So Silent Nights block of holiday-themed programming.
9-1-1: Lone Star, Fox’s spin-off to its popular high-stakes procedural 9-1-1, will premiere January 19 and is anchored by an extremely well-bronzed and charismatic Rob Lowe. Does this mean that there’s plans to franchise this series, a la what uber-producer Dick Wolf does with his Chicago and Law & Order procedurals on rival network NBC?
“The idea is to have the brand grow in a way that feels organic and natural,” executive producer, showrunner, and co-creator Tim Minear said at TCA. “We didn’t want to jump into a new iteration of 9-1-1 until we felt like we had something that was part of the universe but unique and had something else to say.”
But, he added that “Am I going to ‘Dick Wolf’ the show? Hell yeah.”