or


[04/28/17 - 09:55 AM]
British Comedic Legend Tommy Maitland Has Been Announced to Host ABC's Irreverent Talent Competition Show "The Gong Show"
A revolving panel of judges featuring Hollywood's hottest stars praise, critique and gong contestants in one of TV's all-time great variety shows.

[via press release from ABC]

BRITISH COMEDIC LEGEND TOMMY MAITLAND HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED TO HOST ABC'S IRREVERENT TALENT COMPETITION SHOW "THE GONG SHOW"

British comedic legend Tommy Maitland has been announced to host ABC's irreverent talent show competition "The Gong Show," which premieres on THURSDAY, JUNE 22 at 10:00 p.m. EDT. The show is executive produced by actor/comedian Will Arnett. Every episode will celebrate unusually talented and unique performers on a primetime stage. A revolving panel of judges featuring Hollywood's hottest stars praise, critique and gong contestants in one of TV's all-time great variety shows.

"When Will Arnett came to me and asked me to host 'The Gong Show,' I said, 'I'm honoured at the request, but I'm retired,'" said Tommy Maitland. "Then he told me how much I was being paid, in U.S. dollars, and I said, 'I'm still honoured, but no longer retired.'"

"I have been a fan of Tommy Maitland for years, and I think he is one of the most iconic British comics out there, along the lines of Benny Hill and Ricky Gervais," said Robert Mills, senior vice president, Alternative Series, Specials & Late-Night Programming, ABC Entertainment. "I think this show is a great vehicle to introduce Tommy to an American audience, and those who are familiar with the original 'The Gong Show' and its host Chuck Barris will be pleased with Tommy, who will bring the show into the 21st century with a bang!"

"When Will Arnett brought Tommy Maitland to Sony, we immediately understood why he felt Tommy would be the perfect host for our beloved 'Gong Show,'" said Holly Jacobs, executive vice president, Reality and Syndication Programming for Sony Pictures Television. "He's oozing with charm, wit and charisma, and I am certain that viewers will fall madly in love with him!"

"I've been a huge fan of Tommy since I first saw his stand-up in the U.K. while traveling as a teenager. He was so funny and original. I had the good fortune to cross paths with Tommy a few years ago and ever since we've talked about working together," said Will Arnett. "I tried for years to come up with a vehicle that was suitable to expose his immense talent on a bigger stage, and 'The Gong Show' is the perfect fit."

Born on July 7, 1944, Thomas Winston Maitland (his middle name is a tribute to Winston Churchill) grew up in Neasden, GLC, Borough of Brent, where his father was an actuary and in the Merchant Marine and his mother was in the RAF. After a failed stint as a pipe fitter's apprentice, Tommy joined the British Army at the tender age of 15. He later joined the Entertainment National Service Association (ENSA), where he got to know some of the U.K.'s biggest comedians. He played the ukulele, told jokes and drummed (though he drummed badly), and he ended up hosting the show - a talent he would later be known for. He was voted ENSA Entertainer of the Year, for which he was given a guarantee to appear on British radio. He later worked as an announcer for the British radio show, "The Whosey Whats," and got small roles in the "Carry On" films - either as the over-anxious compart at a men's club or the strict union pipe fitter. He also appeared in the TV series, "The Lord Mayor," as the cheeky mayor of a mythical town in East Anglia who struck it rich because they sat atop an oil field.

In 1973, Tommy wrote a book about his time in the British Army fighting the Mau Maus called "The Mau Maus are Revolting," and he also worked at a Butlin's Holiday Camp at the same time, for two seasons, in Anglesea, Wales and Brighton.

Hugely popular in Italy, he made four of his 11 films there. Two of the four were Spaghetti Westerns, where he played the fastidious banker, and the other two were James Bond knockoffs - "You Only Live Once, To Be Honest" and "From Russia, Luv." At the same time, Tommy continued to work the working men's clubs across England, where he received top dollar as an emcee.

In 1976, Tommy starred in "He Wore a Dustman's Hat," about an upper-class London gent who discovers that his dad (Tommy Maitland) is a garbage worker for the council in Hackney. This show played on Canadian TV at 4:00 a.m. on Saturday mornings. Will Arnett saw this show in syndication on Canadian TV in 1980 and thought that Tommy was a comedic genius. Later that year, Tommy bought an estate in Kent called Serendipity, which he found by accident. Serendipity was a mega-celebrity hangout where people could escape, party, do or be anything they wanted to be, free from judgment and the prying eyes of the paparazzi.

In the '80s, Tommy hosted the British game show "Tell You What," a charades-based adventure game. He later hosted an Australian game show called "Dingo's Got the Baby," in which one contestant would be the dingo and another the baby, and a chase would ensue. In 1990 he returned to England for a series of one-hour specials, called "You've Still Got No Proof."

Tommy retired at the age of 55 but was still doing ENSA gigs. He loves comedy, so he often went to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to watch young comics. Will Arnett, who was doing stand-up at one of the festivals, approached and befriended him. Desperately wanting to work with Tommy, Arnett tried for years to come up with a gig that was suitable for his immense talent and "The Gong Show" was the perfect match.

To follow Tommy on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, go to @MrTommyMaitland.

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





  [april 2017]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
      


· GONG SHOW, THE (ABC)





[10/16/18 - 09:18 AM]
Ryan Fletcher and Hainsley Lloyd Bennett Set as Series Regulars in "Pennyworth" for Epix and Warner Horizon Scripted Television, Based on the Characters from DC
Fletcher and Bennett will portray "Dave Boy" and "Bazza," respectively; both are lifelong friends of Alfred's from their army days serving in the same corps.

[10/16/18 - 09:09 AM]
Ovation Locks in U.S. Broadcast and Digital Rights to Seven Arts & Culture Titles from Sky Vision
The series will air on Ovation's linear arts network Ovation TV, its digital platform Ovation NOW, and/or on the company's cultural-travel streaming service JOURNY.

[10/16/18 - 09:03 AM]
Netflix Original Series "Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City" Adds to the Vibrant and Diverse World of Modern-Day Barbary Lane
Paul Gross returns to reprise his role with additional series regulars Murray Bartlett, Charlie Barnett, Josiah Victoria Garcia and May Hong.

[10/16/18 - 08:41 AM]
Animal Planet Launches New Global Brand Identity with Global Series Premiere of "Crikey! It's The Irwins" on October 28
The Animal Planet global brand identity will provide a multi-platform experience for every member of the family and begins as a phased rollout on October 28 in the U.S.

[10/16/18 - 08:16 AM]
Monday's Broadcast Ratings: "The Voice" Once Again Tops Charts for NBC
The Peacock leads the evening in total viewers and adults 18-49.

[10/16/18 - 08:03 AM]
Video: Featurette Debut - Inside the Bewitching World of Sabrina Spellman
The 10-episode Netflix original series premieres October 26.

[10/16/18 - 07:17 AM]
ESPN's "Monday Night Football": 49ers-Packers Up 38 Percent Year-Over-Year
ESPN spins the numbers for Monday, October 15.

[10/16/18 - 06:30 AM]
E! News Gets Candid and Unfiltered with All-New Topical Series "Nightly Pop" Premiering Every Monday Beginning October 29th at 10:30PM ET/PT, Immediately Following "Busy Tonight"
The half hour-long weekly series is hosted by E! personalities Morgan Stewart and Nina Parker, along with social influencer Hunter March.

[10/15/18 - 04:04 PM]
Netflix Orders New Series "Trinkets" Based on Young Adult Novel by Kirsten Smith
When three teenage girls from different corners of the high school cafeteria find themselves in the same mandated Shoplifter's Anonymous meeting, an unlikely friendship forms.

[10/15/18 - 02:51 PM]
New Year, New Jazz! TLC's Hit Series "I Am Jazz" Returns on Tuesday, January 1 at 10/9c
The show will move to its normal timeslot beginning Tuesday, January 22 at 9:00/8:00c.

[10/15/18 - 01:14 PM]
MTV Adds Actor and Model Brandon Thomas Lee to "The Hills: New Beginnings" Cast
"The Hills: New Beginnings" is slated to premiere in 2019.

[10/15/18 - 11:26 AM]
TLC Puts Its Best Foot Forward With Brand New Medical Transformation Project "Dr. Foot Fixer"
Patients with crippling, humiliating and sometimes ooey-gooey conditions desperate to lead a normal life turn to Dr. Ragland and her practice with the sole purpose of being able to feel fabulous, from head to toe, once again.

[10/15/18 - 11:02 AM]
Sundance Now's Groundbreaking Original Relationship Dramedy "This Close" Unveils Star-Studded Season Two Guest Star Line-Up
Marcia Cross, Camryn Manheim, Austin Nichols, Lisa Rinna, Margaret Cho and Millicent Simmonds are all on tap.

[10/15/18 - 11:02 AM]
Discovery Channel Brings Saturday Night Lights to Primetime with Brand-New Motor Series "Race Night at Bowman Gray"
Bowman Gray Stadium is NASCAR's first and longest running weekly track where the competition is intense, and the engines are powerful.

[10/15/18 - 09:16 AM]
Ben Aldridge Set to Star in "Pennyworth" for Epix and Warner Horizon Scripted Television, Based on the Characters from DC
He'll play Thomas Wayne opposite the just-announced Jack Bannon as Alfred Pennyworth.