Will Arnett and ABC are reviving the ‘70s quasi-talent show ‘The Gong Show’

Will Arnett will executive produce a revival of "The Gong Show" scheduled to hit ABC.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Offering further evidence that the thirst for reviving vintage TV continues, ABC announced that it is bringing back “The Gong Show” with executive producer Will Arnett.

Scheduled for a 10-episode run, the game show/talent competition will “celebrate un-traditionally talented, unique performers plucked from the Internet and put on a primetime stage,” according to a statement from ABC.

During the peak of its late-’70s run, “The Gong Show” was hosted with a sort of anarchic glee by Chuck Barris (whose bizarre autobiography “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” became a 2002 film directed by George Clooney). An outlet for the quasi-talented and otherwise fringe performers on NBC’s daytime schedule and later nighttime syndication, the show was a competition to see who could last the longest onstage before one of the celebrity panelists struck a large gong, which ended the performance.

“The comedy culture we are living in has finally caught up to ‘The Gong Show,’ ” said Holly Jacobs, executive vice president, reality and syndication programming for Sony Pictures Television. “We’ve found just the right partners to bring back this iconic original.”

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This isn’t the first time there has been an attempted revival of “The Gong Show.” A syndicated version hosted by Don Bleu ran from 1988-89, and the Game Show Network adapted the show into “Extreme Gong” in the late ’90s. Comedy Central also attempted a revival with “The Gong Show With Dave Attell,” which was co-produced by Adam Sandler’s company Happy Madison. The show lasted eight episodes in 2008.

As yet, there has been no word whether Arnett will also be taking over hosting duties for the new “Gong Show,” and a premiere date has not yet been set.

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