More than a decade after its last run ended, "Pyramid" saw new life as a syndicated entry hosted by one-time teen heartthrob Donny Osmond. The basic premise was identical to the 1973 classic word association game: Two teams of two (a contestant and a celebrity partner) each try to convey words and/or phrases in any one of six categories. This time, they had just 20 seconds to guess six words correctly. As before the cluegiver could do anything short of saying the word itself to get his/her partner to say the word; the word can be passed on (and scored if they thought of it later), but if the cluegiver blurts out the essence of the word, the word is thrown out and the contestant can't score on it. One of the categories hid a "Super Six" card, which gave the contestant a bonus prize if all six words were guessed. Three go-arounds were played (the celebrity giving the clues the first time, the contestant the next time through and a choice of cluegivers in the final round). The contestant... Written by
Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
I'm a sucker for game shows. Just turn the television on and I could probably watch the Game Show Network cable channel for hours.
I always thought "The $10,000 Pyramid" (and its later reincarnations) should have been called "The Game Show That Wouldn't Die". The original creator, Bob Stewart, had a wonderful concept for a game and the current revival hosted by Donny Osmond captures the original rather well.
There are a list (pun intended) of things I'm not totally happy about with the revival:
1. Contestants have only one episode to win some cash instead of the maximum of 5 episodes.
2. The weekly episodes have various celebrities instead of two celebrities for the entire week.
3. With some exceptions, the judges on the revival are a little bit more lenient when people give clues in the Winner's Circle. Perhaps because the answers are more wordy?
4. I prefer Dick Clark and even the late Bill Cullen over Donny Osmond. When someone mentions the name Donny Osmond, you either love him or hate him. There's no grey area with him.
Now having said this, I still like the show because:
1. A quicker First Round (Name 6 clues in 20 seconds instead of 7 clues in 30 seconds).
2. A number of celebrities and contestants have done a good job of giving clues creatively which always made it a fun show to watch and play along.
3. Even after watching 30 year old repeats of "Pyramid" I still get excited when contestants get to the top of the pyramid. It can be very spine-tingling to see if two contestants can be on the same wavelength and if they are successful, the contestant can win $10,000, $25,000 or $100,000.
4. Donny Osmond does not overshadow the concept of the game. I believe he realizes he's not the show, the game is the show. From a person who was never a fan of the Osmonds, Donny has done a good job as host.
I have no idea if the show is doing well but I hope "Pyramid" will last a few seasons.
Update (June 2006): Sony Pictures Television cancelled "Pyramid" after two seasons. PAX-TV aired the program after its cancellation.
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