‘Masked Singer’ Named 2019 Format of the Year by U.K. Firm K7 Media

In a recently released industry study, U.K.-based research firm K7 Media has named “The Masked Singer” as its ‘Format of the Year’ for 2019.

Entitled ‘Tracking the Giants: The Top 100 Travelling Formats,’ the annual study explores the global marketplace for unscripted formats, offering an overview of sales, trends and other forces driving the market.

For 2019, the research team tracked nearly 400 deals, which included 345 new licenses, in an effort to determine what was on the way up, formats on the way out and titles that remained evergreen.

With close to 25 sales announced in 2019 alone, MBC/Fremantle’s musical game show “The Masked Singer” was leader of the pack for the past 12 months.

First introduced in South Korea in 2015, the franchise has since spread to 22 different countries, with more to come this year. Earlier this month, the U.S. version’s third season premiere, which got the lead-out from the Super Bowl, scored 23.73 million viewers for Fox.

“‘The Masked Singer’ is the perfect example of a format whose success could not have been predicted,” says K7 Media CEO Keri Lewis Brown.

Because this young format did not figure on the 2018 study, and in a year’s time has found global success, Brown argues, “it is fantastic to look deeper than the spectacle and truly understand what keeps audiences across the globe tuning in.”

K7 Media also notes that “Masked Singer” embodies the current desire for ‘positive competition,’ arguing that the playful and ostentatious concept has had an outsized impact on the global television landscape, comparable to that of “The Voice” in 2010.

The report also named Fremantle as ‘Distributor of the Year.’ Leaving “The Masked Singer” aside, Fremantle had four other titles in the top 15 best-sellers rankings, with formats such as “Family Feud,” “Got Talent,” “5 Guys a Week” and “Eating with My Ex” encompassing more than 20 sales as well.

More TV

  • Patina Miller

    'Power Book III: Raising Kanan' Casts Patina Miller

    Patina Miller has been cast in a leading role in the upcoming “Power” prequel “Raising Kanan.” Officially titled “Power Book III: Raising Kanan,” the series is a prequel set in the ‘90s during the early years of “Power” character Kanan Stark. Miller will star as Raquel “Raq” Thomas, Kanan’s mother. The character is described as [...]

  • Sundance Now Picks Up U.S. Rights

    Sundance Now Picks Up U.S. Rights to 'The Secrets She Keeps'

    AMC Networks’ streaming service Sundance Now has picked up U.S. rights to the literary adaptation “The Secrets She Keeps.” Based on a novel by Michael Robotham, the noirish drama builds on a chance encounter between two pregnant women in a supermarket just outside of Sydney. While Meghan (Jessica de Gouw, “The Crown”) is an upwardly [...]

  • SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Jennifer Lopez"

    Colin Jost Mulls 'SNL' Exit Post-Election (EXCLUSIVE)

    Colin Jost has become famous by delivering fake news on the venerable “Weekend Update” segment on “Saturday Night Live.”  But he may be poised to deliver real headlines about his future with the program. Jost’s new memoir, “A Very Punchable Face,” is due out April 14 from Penguin Random House’s Crown imprint. In uncorrected galley [...]

  • America Ferrera Gentrified Variety

    With ‘Gentefied,’ America Ferrera Brings a Series Unlike Any Other to Netflix

    America Ferrera had directed before, but not like this. She and her crew were shooting scenes from a massive burner party — think a miniature Burning Man, complete with drugs and costumes and bad dancing — for Netflix’s upcoming series “Gentefied.” Though she wouldn’t appear on camera, Ferrera was dressed for the occasion in a [...]

  • annaleigh ashford rocky horror fox

    Annaleigh Ashford to Star in Chuck Lorre CBS Comedy Pilot 'B Positive'

    Annaleigh Ashford will star in the CBS multi-camera comedy pilot “B Positive.” In the show, faced with finding a kidney donor, newly divorced dad Drew is at the end of his rope when he runs into Gina (Ashford), a rough-around-the edges woman from his past who volunteers her own. Together they form an unlikely bond [...]

  • Paley Center Reveals First Slate of

    Paley Center Reveals First Slate of L.A. Events Without a Museum (EXCLUSIVE)

    Even as the Paley Center vacates its Beverly Hills museum, the org is still planning a full slate of L.A.-based events in the first half of 2020. As Variety previously reported, the Paley Center will no longer have a physical location on the west coast, but instead will hold events at a variety of locations [...]

  • Paul Rudd Will Ferrell

    Paul Rudd, Will Ferrell to Star in 'Shrink Next Door' Series Adaptation for MRC Television

    Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell are reuniting to star in a series adaptation of the Wondery and Bloomberg Media podcast “The Shrink Next Door,” Variety has learned. The series is in development at Media Rights Capital (MRC) Television with no network or streaming service currently attached. Inspired by true events, “The Shrink Next Door” is [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content