The object of the game is simple...to get to the top of the Pyramid (aka "Winner's Circle") in the shortest time possible. But to do so, contestants must face celebrities (and vice versa) by naming as many answers in a particular category as possible within 30 seconds. If a contestant wins the main game, they get the right to go to the Winner's Circle to try for the grand prize, which throughout the series has ranged from $10,000 to $25,000. The most popular incarnation of the series has been "The $100,000 Pyramid", where three top contestants who have gone to the pyramid in the shortest amount of time return for a Tournament Of Champions, which the grand prize is $100,000. Written by
On two occasions (1974-79 and 1985-88) in many local television markets, the daytime network versions and the weekly and daily syndicated versions of Pyramid aired the same day. See more »
Keep your eye on this spot. You are about to see one celebrity and one contestant step into this circle, with a chance to win $10,000 in less than a minute. Ladies and Gentlemen, THIS IS "THE $10,000 PYRAMID"!
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Since Bob Stewart left Goodson-Todman in the mid 60s to form his own production company, he has had successes such as Eye Guess, Personality and Three on a Match. But in 1973, he had the biggest hit of his career with The $10,000 Pyramid.
Derived from Password, Stewart loosened up the main game by allowing a player descriptive clues to get their partner to guess the word without revealing part of the answer. The winning team goes to The Winner's Circle where the clue giver faces the giant pyramid and gives clues to their partner so they can identify six subjects in 60 seconds. This is what makes Pyramid one of TV's greatest game shows. It is the best bonus round of any game show ever invented because it's 60 seconds of drama and suspense, two important elements needed for a successful game show.
Another element that made Pyramid a hit was host Dick Clark. The American Bandstand host brought to the proceedings something no other host has done. If a contestant loses the big money, he would give clues that would have helped the contestant win. He was the type of host who cared about the players and wanted them to win. Also hosting the various versions were Bill Cullen, John Davidson, Donny Osmond and Mike Richards. They did a really good job as hosts.
Also, there were many celebrities who were outstanding at the game. Some of the best Pyramid players were Soupy Sales, Anita Gillette, Betty White, Nipsey Russell and Henry Polic II.
Since its debut in 1973, the top prize has risen to 25, 50 and 100 thousand and there was also a version simply titled Pyramid and also The Pyramid. It's TV's most durable word game and it will put you in The Winner's Circle.
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