ABC Orders ‘The Gong Show’ Revival Produced By Will Arnett

Photo: Miller Mobley

After successfully rebooting several retro game shows, ABC is bringing back another classic shiny-floor competition series. The network has given a 10-episode order to The Gong Show, a new version of the irreverent talent show competition, which is being executive produced by Will Arnett.

Every episode will feature non-traditionally talented performers plucked from the internet and put in front of a revolving panel of Hollywood judges. Sony Pictures TV, which owns the rights to the original series, is the studio.


“ABC has tapped into the nostalgia and excitement of primetime game shows,” said Rob Mills, SVP, Alternative Series, Specials & Late-Night Programming. “We are thrilled to add The Gong Show to ABC’s schedule spearheaded by the incomparable Will Arnett.”

The Gong Show, created and produced by Chuck Barris, aired on NBC in daytime from 1976 through 1978, and in first-run syndication from 1976 to 1980 and 1988 to 1989. Barris hosted the show on NBC and from 1977 to 1980 in syndication.

The Gong Show was known for its free-wheeling style, absurdist humor, and the titular gong used by the judges to cut short bad auditions. A similar element, a buzzer, is being used on America’s Got Talent, a variety show in the tradition of The Gong Show.

“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. “We’ve found just the right partners to bring back this iconic original.”

Sony TV also produces ABC’s new version of $100,000 Pyramid, which was a breakout for the network this past summer. ABC has done well with its summer lineup of reboots of classic game shows, recently renewing all four of them for next year, $100,000 Pyramid, as well as Celebrity Family Feud, Match Game and To Tell The Truth.

Taped in front of a live audience, The Gong Show will be produced by Electric Avenue Productions, Den of Thieves in association with Sony Pictures Television and Principato Young Entertainment. Arnett executive produces with Evan Prager, Jesse Ignjatovic and Peter Principato. Jared Morell, Jordan Barrow and Marc Forman will co-executive produce.

Arnett, repped by WME and Principato-Young, executive produces and voices the title character of the Netflix animated series BoJack Horseman and also co-created, executive produces and stars in the Netflix series Flaked. Principato-Young produced the Comedy Central hit Key & Peele, which recently won the Emmy for variety sketch series.

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