ABC announced its summer programming plans, including two series with roots in the 1970s, “The Gong Show” and “Battle of the Network Stars.”
ABC’s summer programming also includes two other new alternative series, “Steve Harvey’s Funderdome” and “Boy Band” and three new scripted series, the comedy “Downward Dog,” the limited thriller series “Somewhere Between” and the drama “Still Star-Crossed.”
“The Gong Show” will begin its 10-episode run June 22 with actor/comedian Will Arnett among its executive producers.
Each episode of the new version will “celebrate un-traditionally talented, unique performers plucked from the Internet and put on a prime-time stage, with a revolving panel of judges judging featuring Hollywood’s hottest stars,” according to ABC.
The show got its name from the rule allowing any of the judges to end an act by banging a gong.
The original ran in daytime on NBC from 1976-78 and in first-run syndication from 1976-80. A revival ran in syndication from 1988-89.
The host was not announced. The late Chuck Barris hosted the original.
A 10-episode version of “Battle of the Network Stars” will premiere June 29 with teams of current and past television stars from multiple eras and different genres competing in a variety of events, including tug of war and an obstacle course.
Like the original, which ran from 1976-88, “Battle of the Network Stars” will be held at Pepperdine University. The host was not announced. The late Howard Cosell hosted the original version.
“Steve Harvey’s Funderdome is a 13-episode competition series produced by Mark Burnett (Survivor,” “The Apprentice,” “The Voice,” “Shark Tank”) premiering June 11 where two budding entrepreneurs try to win over a studio audience to fund their ideas, products or companies.
“Boy Band,” is a 10-episode singing competition to form a band with the winners determined by a viewer vote. It will premiere June 22.
“Downward Dog” follows the day-to-day life of Nan (Allison Tolman) as told by her increasingly lonely and philosophical dog, Martin (voiced by Samm Hodges).
“Downward Dog” is based on a web series and is the first network comedy ever to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. It will premiere May 17 and air regularly in the Tuesday 8-8:30 p.m. time slot beginning May 23.
The cast also includes Lucas Neff as Nan’s ex-boyfriend Jason; Kirby Howell-Baptiste and Nan’s best friend and co-worker Jenn; and Barry Rothbart as Nan’s boss Kevin.
“Still Star-Crossed” is a seven-episode period drama produced by “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” producer Shonda Rhimes continuing the story of the Montagues and Capulets following the conclusion of “Romeo and Juliet.” It will premiere May 29.
The 10-episode limited series Somewhere Between stars Paula Patton as a San Francisco-based news producer Laura Price who knows her 8-year-old daughter (Aria Birch) is going to be murdered. It will premiere July 24.
The cast also includes J.R. Bourne as Price’s husband who is also the city’s district attorney and Devon Sawa as a former police officer turned private investigator.
ABC’s summer programming will also include new seasons of the alternative series ‘The Bachelorette,’ “Bachelor in Paradise,” “Celebrity Family Feud,” “The $100,000 Pyramid” and “To Tell the Truth.”
—City News Service
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