Monster win gives 'Masked Singer' strong finish for fox

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Bee, Peacock and Monster’s vocal stylings and fashion sense gave Fox’s “The Masked Singer” a strong finish to its debut season.

The reality show, based on a South Korean format, stuffs celebrities into outlandish, uncomfortable looking costumes and then requires them to sing their hearts out.

Embraced by viewers since its debut, “The Mask” was the second most-watched show last week, topped only by CBS’ long-running drama “NCIS,” according to Nielsen figures released Tuesday.

The audience’s reward: to watch the fuzzy Monster win and be revealed as T-Pain, with runners-up Gladys Knight (Bee) and Donny Osmond (Peacock) also unmasked.

“The Mask” which had a brisk, 10-episode run and posted its highest ratings with the finale, was renewed for a second season, Fox said.

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Other new shows continuing to attract attention were CBS’ “The Neighborhood” and “God Friended Me,” both of which landed in the top 20 and helped the network claim the week’s ratings crown.

CBS averaged 5.9 million viewers, followed by NBC with 5.4 million. ABC had 4.8 million, Fox had 3.4 million, Univision had 1.3 million, ION Television had 1.28 million, Telemundo had 1.1 million and the CW had 740,000.

Fox News Channel was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 2.4 million viewers. MSNBC had 2 million, USA had 1.3 million, HGTV had 1.26 million and CNN had 1.15 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” led the evening newscasts with an average of 9.4 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 9.4 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.3 million.

For the week of Feb. 25-March 3, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “NCIS,” CBS, 11.8 million; “The Masked Singer” (9 p.m. ET), Fox; 11.5 million; “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 10.8 million; “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 10.6 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 10.2 million; “FBI,” CBS, 9.5 million; “American Idol,” ABC, 8.7 million; “The Masked Singer” (8 p.m. ET), Fox, 8.6 million; “Chicago Med,” NBC, 8.5 million; “Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 8.3 million.

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ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.

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