TVRGs Best and Worst of 2020: Best New Reality TV Franchise

One of the better trends to emerge from the 2010's was a renewed marketing and franchising of Lego toys.  They've spawned countless successful films, and in 2017 the Brits put their television blocks into crafting Lego Masters.  One by one, other countries such as Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany laid out their bricks to replicate the same success.  The United States grabbed the platform in early 2020 and perfected the same success with an ultra-compatible lead-in, The Masked Singer.  Hosted flawlessly by Will Arnett, he not only helped solidify an evening which children could enjoy entertainment without brash adult humor, but helped FOX craft a solid hold on Wednesday evenings once again.

Having violated viewers with disgusting showing of Almost Family (read about that here with WORST FRESHMAN SCRIPTED SERIES), FOX brought morality back to table after its cancellation and got back to the basics.  Lego Masters also debuted at an opportune time as the world came unglued with the COVID-19 pandemic, and viewers needed comfort food to bring them back to simpler times.  What a better tool to use than a toy everyone grew up with?  Lego Masters takes more of a team-based approach to reality competition similar to The Amazing Race or gameshows like Family Feud.  And once again they proved reality TV does not have to be unpleasant drama or some overbearing soul screeching or crying into the camera.  It's a game!

Given COVID-19 decimated the television landscape with shutdowns trimming script orders, broadcast networks are likely leaning toward unscripted fares which are less costly.  Rather than delivering another run of the mill reality franchise which displays people at its worst, FOX chose to have one centered on building vs. destroying.  The designs and challenges also allow for escapism similar to competing franchises' expensive overseas shoots.  Lego Masters is COVID-friendly in a controlled setting and keeping the building blocks on the competition vs. a grab at exotic locations.  And the ratings delivered solid to above average, ranging between 0.9-1.2 after a landmark 1.6 debut.  These sturdy numbers already earned the series an expansion board into the 2020-21 season, and viewers cannot wait for some old fashion competition and fantasy.

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