Tuesday, October 4, 2016

ABC Orders “Gong Show” Revival With Host Will Arnett

Yesterday afternoon, the network announced its decision to revive The Gong Show. ABC has ordered ten episodes of the once (in)famously iconoclastic and controversial talent game show and the new version will be hosted and executive produced by actor and comedian Will Arnett. Arnett will serve as executive producers alongside Evan Prager, Jesse Ignjatovic and Peter Principato, and Jared Morell, Jordan Barrow and Marc Forman will co-executive produce. The Gong Show will be produced by Electric Avenue Productions, Principato Young Entertainment and Den of Thieves in association with Sony Pictures Television. “The comedy culture we are living in has finally caught up to The Gong Show, so the timing is perfect,” said Holly Jacobs, EVP, reality and syndication programming for Sony Pictures Television. No word yet on casting call or taping dates.

ABC’s decision to revive the series that paved the way for competitive reality shows like America’s Got Talent and The Voice perhaps also stems from the immense success the network has had with its revamped versions of To Tell The Truth, Match Game, Celebrity Family Feud and The $100,000 Pyramid. Since The Gong Show’s original run in 1976 on NBC and in syndication, there have been several attempts to revive the series in 1988, 1998 (The Extreme Gong Show) and 2008, and each has failed to air for more than two years. The Gong Show has been previously hosted by several emcees including Chuck Barris, George Gray and more recently Dave Attell. Much like Match Game, it’s going to be an uphill battle to try to recreate the uniquely insane and pure uninhibited nature of The Gong Show. I’m sure the production team will find a way to make new Gong Show work and leave a lasting impression on today’s audience.

For those of you who have never seen the show before, check out a classic episode of The Gong Show below to get a gist of how the game works.

Sources: Dailymotion, Deadline Hollywood, YouTube

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