Pyramid (game show)

Pyramid is the collective name of a series of American television game shows that has aired several versions domestically and internationally. The original series, The $10,000 Pyramid, debuted on March 26, 1973,[7] and spawned seven subsequent Pyramid series. Most later series featured a full title format matching the original series, with the title reflecting an increasing top prize. The game features two contestants, each paired with a celebrity. Contestants attempt to guess a series of words or phrases based on descriptions given to them by their teammates. The title refers to the show's pyramid-shaped gameboard, featuring six categories arranged in a triangular fashion. The various Pyramid series have won a total of nine Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Game Show, second only to Jeopardy!, which has won 13.

Pyramid
Pyramid 2017 logo.png
Logo from current version of The $100,000 Pyramid
GenreGame show
Created byBob Stewart
Written byMichael X. Ferraro
Shawn Kennedy[1]
Anna Lotto [2]
Karen Lurie [3]
Directed byMike Gargiulo
Bruce Burmester[4]
Paul Nichols
Bob Loudin
Paul Overacker
Rich DiPirro
Presented byDick Clark
Bill Cullen
John Davidson
Donny Osmond
Mike Richards
Michael Strahan
Narrated byBob Clayton
Jack Clark
Steve O'Brien
Alan Kalter
Johnny Gilbert
Charlie O'Donnell
John Cramer
JD Roberto[5]
Brad Abelle
Theme music composerKen Aldin
Bob Cobert[4]
Barry Coffing
John Blaylock
Alan Ett
Scott Liggett[6]
Bleeding Fingers Music
ComposerBob Cobert
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes1,211 (1973–1988)
40 (2012)
54 (2016–present)
Production
Executive producers
  • Bob Stewart
  • Vin Rubino
  • Constance Schwartz
  • Michael Strahan
ProducersAnne Marie Schmidt
Sande Stewart
Francine Bergman
David Michaels
Erin Perry[4]
Stephen Brown
Cathy Cotter
John Ricci Jr.
Jonathan Bourne
Running time22 minutes (1973–2012)
44 minutes (2016–present)
Production companiesBob Stewart Productions
(1973–1988)
Basada, Inc.
(1973–1974, 1978–1981, 1986–1988)
Stewart Tele Enterprises
(1991)
Columbia TriStar Domestic Television
(2002)
Sony Pictures Television
(2002–2004, 2012, 2016–present)
Embassy Row (2012)
GSN Originals
(2012)
SMAC Productions (2016–)
Carolco Television Productions
(1991)
DistributorViacom Enterprises
(1974–1979)
CPM, Inc., Chicago
(1981)
20th Century Fox Television
(1985–1988)
Orbis Communications
(1991)
Multimedia Entertainment
(1991)
Columbia TriStar Domestic Television
(2002)
Sony Pictures Television
(2002–2004)
Release
Original networkThe $10,000 Pyramid:
CBS (1973–1974)
ABC (1974–1976)
The $20,000 Pyramid:
ABC (1976–1980)
The $25,000 Pyramid:
Weekly syndication (1974–1979)
The $50,000 Pyramid:
Daily syndication (1981)
The (New) $25,000 Pyramid:
CBS (1982–87, 1988)
The $100,000 Pyramid:
Daily syndication (1985–1988, 1991)
Pyramid:
Daily syndication (2002–2004)
The Pyramid:
GSN (2012)
The $100,000 Pyramid:
ABC (2016–present)
Picture format480i (SDTV)
(1973–2004)
1080i (HDTV)
(2012–present)
Audio formatMono
Stereo
Original releaseMarch 26, 1973 (1973-03-26) –
present
External links
Website

Dick Clark is the host most commonly associated with the show, having hosted the network daytime version from 1973 to 1980 (which moved from CBS to ABC in 1974, and increased its namesake top prize from $10,000 to $20,000 in 1976) and its revival from 1982 to 1988 on CBS (The (New) $25,000 Pyramid). Clark also hosted two weeknight syndicated versions, The $50,000 Pyramid in 1981 and The $100,000 Pyramid from 1985 to 1988 (concurrent with the daytime show).

Bill Cullen hosted the first weekly nighttime version of The $25,000 Pyramid from 1974 to 1979. John Davidson hosted a revival of The $100,000 Pyramid in 1991, and Donny Osmond hosted a version simply titled Pyramid from 2002 to 2004; both were five-nights-a-week affairs. GSN's The Pyramid, hosted by Mike Richards, who now is an executive at format owner Sony Pictures Television, aired a single forty-episode season in 2012.

The current revival of The $100,000 Pyramid debuted June 26, 2016, on ABC with Michael Strahan as host, and has aired on Sunday nights during the summer months since, completing its fourth season in September 2019. On November 20, 2019, the series was renewed for a fifth season, which premiered on May 26, 2021.[8][9][10][11]

HistoryEdit

Broadcast historyEdit

 
Dick Clark as host of The $10,000 Pyramid

The $10,000 Pyramid, with host Dick Clark, made its network debut on March 26, 1973[7] and was a ratings hit, sustaining its ratings even when episodes were delayed or preempted by the Watergate hearings. A year later, the ratings temporarily declined (against the original version of Jeopardy! on NBC) and CBS canceled it. The show was quickly picked up by ABC and began airing on that network on May 6, 1974. As per CBS custom at the time with celebrity game shows, three weeks of episodes for CBS were taped in Hollywood at CBS Television City, Studio 31.[12] The remainder of the CBS episodes originated in New York City at the Ed Sullivan Theater, moving to ABC's Elysee Theatre after Pyramid switched networks.[13]

Beginning on January 19, 1976, the series doubled its top prize and was retitled The $20,000 Pyramid. From October 1 to November 9, 1979, the series briefly became Junior Partner Pyramid, which scrapped the usual celebrity-contestant pairings in favor of children playing the game with a parent or other adult relative. Its last episode aired June 27, 1980, with Family Feud subsequently moving up a half-hour to take over the 12:00 noon (EST) slot formerly occupied by The $20,000 Pyramid.

 
Title card of the 1980s (New) $25,000 Pyramid

On September 20, 1982, the series returned to the CBS daytime lineup as The (New) $25,000 Pyramid, again with Clark as host, but now taped in Los Angeles full-time at CBS Television City's Studio 33 (currently used for The Price is Right, now known as the "Bob Barker Studio") and remained there for the entire run up until December 31, 1987. Blackout began airing in the series' 10:00 a.m. timeslot the following Monday, but that show was canceled after 13 weeks of episodes. On April 4, 1988, The $25,000 Pyramid returned to the CBS daytime schedule, but only for 13 more weeks. The show's final episode aired on July 1. The following Monday, the show was replaced by a revival of Family Feud hosted by Ray Combs.

Concurrent with the network show's run, several nighttime versions of the show were sold to local stations through syndication: the original $25,000 Pyramid and The $50,000 Pyramid were taped in the Elysee Theatre in New York, and the original version of The $100,000 Pyramid[14] taped at Studio 33 in Hollywood. A revival of The $100,000 Pyramid, hosted by John Davidson, ran from January until December 1991 and taped in Studio 31.[12] Pyramid, hosted by Donny Osmond, ran from September 16, 2002 to September 10, 2004 and was taped at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California. The Pyramid was taped at the CBS Studio Center. Strahan's The $100,000 Pyramid is taped at the ABC Television Center in New York.

As of August 2020, production for season five of The $100,000 Pyramid has resumed in New York City with new safety protocols and guidelines introduced; these guidelines includes measures such as crew and contestants having their temperatures tested, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on-site, and social distancing measures. This season will not include an in-studio audience due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[15]

Later developmentsEdit

In late 1996, Sony Pictures Television (then-Columbia TriStar Television) produced a pilot for a new version of Pyramid, with Mark Walberg as host, which featured a format radically different from the earlier versions, including an increase of the number of celebrities to six, each of which would be assigned to a different main game subject. It did not sell, but Sony tried again the following year, this time with Chuck Woolery at the helm and a format closer to the original, although the six-celebrity motif from the previous pilot remained.[16] This version also failed to sell, but two years later, after the success of its series Rock and Roll Jeopardy! on VH1, Sony attempted to give Pyramid similar treatment with a 1999 pilot called Pyramid Rocks. Hosted by Bil Dwyer, the format likewise attempted to incorporate music into the game, but proved no more successful than the previous two attempts at reviving the series.[17]

Following CBS's cancellation of Guiding Light in April 2009, Pyramid was one of three potential series considered as a replacement for the veteran soap opera. (Let's Make a Deal and The Dating Game as The New Dating Game or The Newlywed Game or The New Newlywed Game were the other two, with a pilot shot for the former series.) During the tapings that took place in June of that year at the Kaufman Astoria Studios in New York, the top prize was raised to a potential $1,000,000 with a tournament format similar to the $100,000 format. Dean Cain and Tim Vincent were tapped as hosts of the pilots, with $50,000 announcer Alan Kalter returning, and Sony Pictures game show legend Ken Jennings served as a panelist in the pilots.[18]

CBS passed on Pyramid and opted to pick up Let's Make a Deal, hosted by Wayne Brady, as Guiding Light's replacement. Several months later, in December 2009, CBS announced the cancellation of another long-running soap opera, As the World Turns. Pyramid was once again among the series being considered as a potential replacement.[19] CBS ordered a third pilot on April 9, 2010.[20] Andy Richter was identified as a potential host.[21][22]

On May 18, 2011, TBS announced development of a possible new version of Pyramid, again to be hosted by Andy Richter.[23] It was later announced[citation needed] that the show was not picked up.

Another pilot, titled The Pyramid, was taped on June 16, 2012.[24] On July 12, 2012, GSN announced The Pyramid had been picked up and would premiere on the network on September 3, with Mike Richards hosting the show.[25] The series ran for 40 episodes before being cancelled later in the year.

On January 9, 2016, ABC announced a revival of the series, specifically the $100,000 format, had been greenlit and set to air during the summer of 2016. This version also marked the return of the show to New York City, where it had originally been produced in the 1970s. The first season comprised ten hour-long episodes, with Michael Strahan serving as host. Each episode consists of two full games. Two introductions and two closings are taped with ability to air either; as with Celebrity Family Feud and Match Game, each game is its own 30-minute episode, and the introduction and closing aired depends if one game is the first or the second game to air in a single 60-minute block.[26][27]

The series premiered on June 26 of that year, airing as part of ABC's "Sunday Fun & Games" lineup at 9:00pm ET/8:00pm CT (along with the Steve Harvey-hosted Celebrity Family Feud and the Alec Baldwin-hosted Match Game).[28][29][30][31] On August 4, 2016, ABC renewed The $100,000 Pyramid for a second season.[32] On June 11, 2017, the show moved to 10/9 central in order to pair it up with the seed-funding reality competition show Steve Harvey's Funderdome along with the third season of Celebrity Family Feud. On August 6, 2017, ABC announced The $100,000 Pyramid was renewed for a third season.[33] On June 10, 2018, the show moved back to its regular 9:00pm ET time slot. This was also paired up with the fourth season of Celebrity Feud hosted by Steve Harvey, along with the third season of To Tell the Truth hosted by Anthony Anderson. In this format, the host opens each show introducing the celebrity guests, each of whom then introduces his or her partner/contestant by first name only.

Other personnelEdit

Bob Clayton was the series' original announcer and performed these duties until his death in 1979. Alan Kalter and Steve O'Brien shared the primary announcer role until The $50,000 Pyramid ended production in 1981. Substitutes included Fred Foy, John Causier, Dick Heatherton, Scott Vincent, and Ed Jordan.

When the series was revived and production moved to California in 1982, Jack Clark became the announcer and held the position until 1985. Johnny Gilbert became the primary announcer for The $25,000 Pyramid while Charlie O'Donnell took the job for The $100,000 Pyramid when it launched that fall. Both Gilbert and O'Donnell substituted for each other on their respective series; other substitutes included Jerry Bishop, Rod Roddy, Bob Hilton, Charlie Tuna, and Dean Goss. For the 1991 revival, Gilbert and Goss were both featured announcers and frequent panelist Henry Polic II also announced for several weeks.[4] John Cramer announced the 2002–04 version, and JD Roberto announced The Pyramid (2012). The 2016 ABC primetime version is announced by Brad Abelle.

Mike Gargiulo directed through 1981, with Bruce Burmester replacing him until the end of the 1991 revival.[4]

The original theme tune was "Tuning Up" by Ken Aldin. In 1982, it was replaced by an original, similarly styled composition by Bob Cobert, which was also used on the 1991 revival.[4] Barry Coffing and John Blaylock composed the theme and incidental music for the 2002–04 version, while Alan Ett composed a cover of Bob Cobert's 1982–91 theme for The Pyramid. Bleeding Fingers Music composed a separate cover of Cobert's theme for the 2016 version.

GameplayEdit

The Pyramid's gameboards, both in the main game and in the Winners' Circle bonus round, feature six categories arranged in a triangle (referred to as a pyramid), with three categories on the bottom row, two on the middle row, and one on the top. In the main game, a category's position on the board is arbitrary. In the Winners' Circle, categories become progressively more difficult the higher they are on the board.

Main gameEdit

 
Charles Siebert uses pantomime to describe "lasso" on The $25,000 Pyramid in 1982.

Two teams compete in the main game, each composed of a celebrity and a regular contestant.

At the beginning of the game, the teams are shown six categories, whose titles gave vague clues to their possible meaning (for instance, "I'm All Wet" might pertain to things found in water). Once the category was chosen, its exact meaning is given (except in certain bonus situations where the meaning was not given and a cash/prize bonus won for completing all the clues). For up to 30 seconds, one contestant conveys to the other clues to a series of items belonging to a category. At this stage, the clue-giver could use whatever language they wanted, with the exclusion of saying any word that was part of the correct answer (for example, using "high up" for "height"). If the clue-giver gave an illegal clue, that clue was forfeited and no points were earned. The clue-giver could also include visual gestures and other non-verbal elements, and could also lead the player towards saying part of the answer to get them to say the correct answer.

One point is scored for each item correctly guessed. If a word is passed, the giver could not go back to that word, but if the receiver knew the word later on and guessed it, the team would earn the point. Since the 2002 Osmond version, a team that passed on any words could return to them if time permitted, but if a word was guessed correctly after it had been passed, it would not count until the word was returned to and correctly guessed then.

When The $10,000 Pyramid launched on CBS, there were eight possible items in a category. This was reduced to seven when the show moved to ABC, and this became the standard used for every subsequent series with two exceptions. When The $20,000 Pyramid briefly switched to its Junior Partner Pyramid format in November 1979, the time limit was increased to 35 seconds. The Donny Osmond-hosted Pyramid used categories with six items, with 20 seconds given to guess all six. Illegal clues, such as using part of the word in the description, or conveying its essence, results in the word being forfeited and no points are earned.

Originally, the celebrity gave the clues in both the first and third rounds, and the contestant in the second round. This soon changed to having the contestant decide whether to give or receive in the third round (except for the Osmond version, which used the original "celebrity-contestant-celebrity" giving pattern). The teams alternated in the first two rounds, and the team with the lower score played first in the third round. Whoever had the higher score after three rounds advanced to the Winners' Circle. In the 1970s, 1980s and 2016 versions, in the rare event that contestants were mathematically unable to at least tie their opponent before the opponent has had his/her last turn (or even rarer, before that point), the game ends and the remaining categories are left unplayed, unless one of them concealed a bonus.

During the later years of the ABC run, if either team achieved a perfect score of 21, it was worth a $1,000 bonus ($500 during the Junior Partner Pyramid era), later changed to a prize near the end of the run, while the 1977–78 season of the Cullen version likewise offered a $2,100 bonus for a perfect score.

Originally, if a tie occurred after the rounds were completed, the host gave the team who caused the tie a choice between two letters of the alphabet, and the team then played a round with seven words each beginning with that letter. The opposing team was then given seven words with the other letter. Tiebreaker rounds were played until the tie was broken, though the rules were later changed to award the victory to whichever team completed its own seven words faster, if both teams did so. In the 2016 Strahan version, if both teams achieve the same score, the team to do so in the shorter time is declared the winner, with a tiebreaker round being played if the teams match each other for both score and time.

Beginning in January 1984, if both teams managed a "perfect game" by each scoring 21 points, the contestant whose team won the tiebreaker originally received a new car, but this was changed to a $5,000 cash bonus by September of that year. This bonus was also used on the 1980s incarnation of The $100,000 Pyramid.

Bonus CardsEdit

Throughout the 1970s, a random category during the main game doubled as the "Big 7", meaning that the contestant originally received a prize if all seven words were guessed correctly, but this was soon changed to a $500 cash bonus. On the Bill Cullen-hosted $25,000 Pyramid, the Big 7 payoff was $1,000 when it was first introduced during the second season, but this was later replaced by a "Big Money Card" worth varying amounts of cash from $1,000 to $5,000 (though the maximum amount was later dropped to $4,000); for the final season, the Big 7 returned, and was always played for a Chevrolet Chevette.

During the short-lived Junior Partner Pyramid era, there was no official bonus card; rather, each of the two teams selected one category from either of the day's two games to designate as their "Bonus 7", which otherwise worked the same as the Big 7, right down to the $500 bonus. However, unlike any other version, all bonuses won in this manner counted towards a team's score for the day.

The short-lived $50,000 Pyramid used no bonus cards, but added a feature called "The Player of the Week", in which the contestant who successfully conveyed or identified all seven answers in the fastest time during a main game round that week received a trip for two to Europe, and later returned to compete in the show's $50,000 tournament. If two players were tied during a particular show or week, the tied players would return at the beginning or end of an episode and play a standard tiebreaker round to determine a winner.

Similar to the earlier Big 7, a new bonus called the "7–11" was introduced in April 1983 on The (New) $25,000 Pyramid, hidden behind one category in the first round; if all seven words were guessed, the contestant won an $1,100 bonus. Initially, the contestant could choose to play for either this bonus or $50 per correct guess, but this option was dropped from January 1985 onward in favor of the all-or-nothing approach.

Beginning in 1982, a random category in the second round was designated as the "Mystery 7", in which the host did not reveal the topic of the category until after the fact, and correctly guessing all seven words awarded a prize. The Mystery 7 was initially shown to the teams as one of the six categories, but from April 1984 onward, it was hidden behind a category name. This is the only bonus used in the 2016 edition, during the second round of each half.

For a brief time in early 1983, the Mystery 7 was replaced by a format similar to the earlier "Player of the Week" feature from The $50,000 Pyramid, in which the player who had the fastest main game round during the week would win a Greek cruise. However, this bonus was dropped after only three weeks, and the Mystery 7 reinstated.

The John Davidson-hosted version had its own similar bonuses: "Gamble for a Grand"/"Gamble for a Trip" offered the choice to reduce the round's time limit from 30 to 25 seconds to win $1,000 cash or a trip, respectively, and "Double Trouble" offered the team 45 seconds to guess seven two-word responses for a $500 bonus.

The Donny Osmond-hosted version had only one bonus: "Super Six", which was featured in both games each day, and awarded the contestant a prize if the team managed to get all six words within the 20 seconds.

On the GSN version, there were no bonus cards, but sweeping a category awarded a $500 bonus and added $5,000 to the Winner's Circle bank (see below).

Winner's CircleEdit

 
A contestant gives clues to Kathy Najimy in the Winner's Circle on The $100,000 Pyramid in 2016.

The winning team from the main game plays the Winner's Circle, in which one player must describe six categories of increasing difficulty to their partner within 60 seconds by giving a short and concise list of items relating to each category in play (contestant partners always have the option to give or receive clues in the Winner's Circle). During the show's original run on CBS from 1973 to 1974, hand gestures of any kind were permitted in this round. However, when the show moved to ABC in 1974, hand gestures became strictly forbidden, and all subsequent editions of the show included wrist straps attached to the clue giver's chair to help contestants abide by this rule. An illegal clue (ex: using obvious hand/body gestures, overly descriptive sentences, direct synonyms, prepositional phrases, giving away the key word of a category, or giving a clue that is not related to the category at hand) results in the category being thrown out, thus disqualifying the contestant from winning the grand prize; however, the team is still allowed to play the remainder of the Winner's Circle until time runs out or until all remaining categories are correctly guessed, whichever comes first. If all six categories are guessed before time runs out, the contestant partner wins the top prize; if not, he/she wins money for each category that is correctly guessed.[34][35][36] Clue givers can pass on a category and then return to it if time allows.

The values for individual categories during standard gameplay are shown in the table below. Category numbering proceeds across the bottom row of the pyramid (left/center/right), then the middle (left/right), and finally the single one at the peak.

Version 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
The $10,000/$20,000/$50,000/Junior Pyramid $50 $100 $200
The $25,000 Pyramid (1970s) $100 $200 $300
All-Star Junior Pyramid Special $100 $250 $500
Junior Partner Pyramid (1979) $100 $125 $150 $175 $200 $250
The (New) $25,000/$100,000 Pyramid (1982–91) $50 $100 $150 $200 $250 $300
Pyramid (2002–04) Regular gameplay $200 $300 $500
Six-player tournament/four-player semifinals $500 $1,000 $2,500
Finals match of a four-player tournament $1,000 $2,500 $5,000
The Pyramid (2012) $100 $200 $300 $400 $500 $750
The $100,000 Pyramid (2016) $1,000 $1,500 $2,000 $3,000 $4,000 $5,000

Returning champions and winnings limitsEdit

On the original 1970s daytime Pyramid, contestants were allowed to stay until either defeated in a match or winning in the Winners’ Circle.

For each time a champion played the Winners' Circle under the original format, they played for $10,000 each time and retired with all previous winnings in addition to the $10,000 prize should they win it. After the top prize increased to $20,000, the bonus structure was altered. A champion still played for $10,000 on their first attempt at the Winners’ Circle. If unsuccessful, the champion played $15,000 on their second attempt if they returned to the Winners’ Circle. If still unsuccessful after two tries, the champion played for $20,000 for their third and all subsequent efforts. Champions’ winnings were adjusted to fit their winnings in the bonus.

During the brief Junior Partner Pyramid era, a team's first visit to the Winners' Circle was worth $2,500, while the second was worth $5,000.

During the 1970s $25,000 Pyramid, if any contestant managed to win the top prize they would receive exactly $25,000; this meant that the value of any bonus prizes they may win along the way would be factored into the total and the contestant would receive the rest in cash. There were no returning champions on this series; the show aired weekly and syndication practices of the day made returning champions impractical in most cases.

On The $50,000 Pyramid in 1981, both contestants played for $5,000 on their initial trip to the Winners’ Circle. If one of them made it to the round a second time, they played for a total of $10,000 regardless of how they had done in the first playing. Each episode featured two new contestants.

When the $25,000 Pyramid returned in 1982, the same format used on the two previous syndicated series was employed. Both contestants played for the entire show, with a Winners’ Circle played after each game. Since this show restored the use of carryover champions, the Winners’ Circle was used to determine the day's champion. The winner of the first game played the Winners’ Circle for $10,000, and if that same contestant also won the second game he/she became the champion and played the Winners’ Circle for a total of $25,000. If the other contestant won, that contestant had to either match or surpass the first contestant's Winners’ Circle winnings. If both contestants earned the same amount in the Winners’ Circle, they returned to play on the next show. Otherwise, the highest money winner was the day's winner and got to return. This same format was used when The $100,000 Pyramid launched in 1985 and again when it returned in 1991.

Champions on The $25,000 Pyramid were retired after either winning five consecutive matches or exceeding the network's winnings limit. This was originally $25,000, but was increased to $50,000 on October 22, 1984 (episode #0542) and to $75,000 on September 29, 1986 (episode #1041). Contestants were allowed to keep a maximum of $25,000 in excess of the limit; bonus prize values were not factored into the final limits. There were no limits on winnings for either edition of The $100,000 Pyramid, with the same five match limit in place. As mentioned above, however, a contestant could return after their initial run as champion provided that they recorded one of the three fastest Winners’ Circle times during a tournament cycle.

On Pyramid, if a contestant won the first Winners’ Circle the round was played for $10,000. If the same contestant returned to the Winners’ Circle after the second game, the potential prize depended on what happened in the first Winners’ Circle round. If the contestant was unsuccessful in winning the first time, he/she tried again to win the $10,000. If the contestant won the $10,000 the first time, he/she played for $15,000 more (a total of $25,000) and a chance to win $100,000 in a subsequent tournament if the round was won a second time.

On The Pyramid, each Winners' Circle was played for a base of $10,000. For each category that the contestant and celebrity swept in the front game, a $500 bonus was awarded to the contestant and an additional $5,000 was added to the potential prize, with the maximum prize for a trip to the Winners' Circle being $25,000 for each contestant.[37] Both Pyramid and The Pyramid did not have returning champions.

The 2016 ABC format consists of hour-long episodes, each containing two complete pairs of games. The contestant who wins the first game of a pair plays the Winners' Circle for a prize of $50,000. If the same contestant wins both games, he/she plays the second Winners' Circle for an additional $100,000, leading to a potential maximum total of $150,000.[38] Two new contestants compete in each half of an episode; there are no returning champions.

TournamentsEdit

On The $50,000 Pyramid, tournaments started with eight past "Players of the Week" competing over the course of a week. The quarterfinals were played on Monday and Tuesday, with two different contestants in each half, and the winner of each game would advance to the semi-finals after playing the Winner's Circle for $5,000. On Wednesday and Thursday, each match would have two semi-finalists playing two games against each other, with players winning one game playing for $5,000, and players winning both games in the same show playing for a total of $10,000 (as it was during regular play). The two players who won the most money would compete in the finals, while the losing contestants from the semi-finals competed in a "wild card" match on Friday to determine who would join them. Starting the following Monday, two finalists played one game, and the winner played the Winners' Circle for $50,000. If the grand prize was not won, that player played the next game against the finalist who sat out the previous game, continuing in this manner throughout the week until someone won in the Winner's Circle. When playing for $50,000, an illegal clue immediately ended the round, and no money was awarded for each individual category.

On the 1985–91 versions of The $100,000 Pyramid, the three contestants who made it to the top of the pyramid in the shortest lengths of time during a seven to ten-week span were invited back at a later date to compete in the show's $100,000 tournament. The tournament was played round-robin style, with two contestants competing each episode while the third sat out (the two contestants with the fastest qualifying times played against each other the first night of the tournament). During the tournament, all front game bonuses were eliminated save for the $5,000 bonus for winning a 21–21 tiebreaker. Also, contestants in the tournament played the Winner's Circle for $100,000 each time out, instead of the usual $10,000 or $25,000. The first contestant to make it to the top of the pyramid within the usual 60 seconds won the $100,000 and ended the tournament, since only one person could win it. If neither contestant won the $100,000 on a tournament episode, then the one who scored the most money in the Winner's Circle returned on the next episode to compete against the contestant who had sat out on the current episode (in the event of a tie, a coin toss determined who returned on the next episode). If somebody won the $100,000 in the first half of a tournament episode, then the other two contestants played against each other in the second half of the show and the winner of that game played the Winner's Circle for $10,000.

On the Osmond version, tournaments lasted for exactly three episodes, and rules varied depending on whether four or six champions had qualified. During a six-player tournament, each contestant's first attempt at the Winner's Circle was worth $25,000. If $25,000 was won in the first half and the same player returned to the Winner's Circle, that contestant played for an additional $75,000 and the tournament title. If the tournament ended with no players having won both Winner's Circles in one show, either the contestant who won $25,000 in the fastest time or the player who won the most money would have his or her tournament winnings augmented to $100,000. In a four-player tournament, the first two semi-finalists competed on day one and the other two semi-finalists on day two, with each Winner's Circle attempt worth $25,000. The top two winners then returned to compete in the finals, where each Winner's Circle victory was worth an additional $50,000, for a maximum payoff of $150,000 if any of the contestants managed a clean sweep.

Unlike the Clark and Davidson versions, the "Super Six" bonus remained in play during the Osmond era tournaments and was played for larger prizes than usual.

International versionsEdit

Country Name Host Channel Air dates
  Australia[39] Pyramid Shura Taft Nine Network (2009–2012)
GO! (2013–2014)
September 1, 2009 – 2014
  Canada
(  Quebec)[40]
Pyramide Sébastien Benoit Radio-Canada April 28, 2008 – April 22, 2011
  Chile Contrarreloj Esperanza Silva
Coco Legrand
Canal 13 2002
  Egypt[41] الهرم
El Haram
Moufida Sheeha ERT 2 May 16, 2009
  Estonia[42] Püramiid Teet Margna TV3 March 4, 2006
  France[43] Pyramide Patrice Laffont
Olivier Minne
France 2 1991–2003
2014–2015
  Germany[44] Die Pyramide Dieter Thomas Heck
Micky Beisenherz and Joachim Llambi
ZDF
ZDFneo
1978–1994
2012
Hast Du Worte? Jörg Pilawa (1996–1997)
Thomas Koschwitz (1997–1999)
Sat.1 1996–1999
  Indonesia Piramida Ronnie Sianturi
Ricky Johannes
RCTI 1995–1999
2000
Piramida Baru Ricky Johannes 2001–2003
  Iran Pyramid Sina Valiollah PMC 2009
  Israel שחק אותה
Play It
Yigal Shilon
Dudu Topaz
Channel 1 1979–1980
1983–1984
הפירמידה
HaPyramida
Oded Menashe Channel 2 2002
  Italy[45] Pyramid Enrico Brignano and Debora Salvalaggio Rai Due December 3, 2007 – February 3, 2008
  Poland[46] Piramida Hubert Urbański
Andrzej Strzelecki
Polsat 1997–1999
  Portugal A Grande Pirâmide Sergio Figueira
Manuel Luis Goucha
RTP1 1994–1995
  Russia Пирамида
Piramida
Ivan Urgant Russia 1 May 16, 2004 – March 20, 2005
  Singapore[47] The Pyramid Game Samuel Chong
Benedict Goh
Darryl David
Channel 5 1994–1999
  Turkey Piramit Mim Kemal Öke aTV 1994–1995
Yusuf Çim Show TV 2015–2016
  United Kingdom[48] The £1,000 Pyramid Game Steve Jones ITV 1981–1984
The Pyramid Game 1989–1990
Donny's Pyramid Game Donny Osmond Challenge 2007
  Venezuela Match 4 Juan Manuel Montesinos Venevisiόn 1984–1989
Contra reloj Daniela Kosán Televen 2001–2002
  Vietnam[49] Kim tự tháp Chi Bảo HTV7 (2005–2007)
HTV9 (2007–2008)
April 30, 2005 – 2008

The British version was called The Pyramid Game and ran intermittently from 1981 to 1990, with Steve Jones as host. Donny Osmond hosted a short-lived 2007 revival, which used a similar set and the same music package as the 2002 American revival hosted by Osmond.

In 2009, Sony created an Australian version of The Junior Partner Pyramid called simply Pyramid. This version was hosted by Shura Taft until 2012, with Graham Matters taking over the following year.

A German version titled Die Pyramide aired on ZDF from 1979 to 1994, and was hosted by Dieter Thomas Heck. A new version aired on ZDFneo in 2012, and was co-hosted by Micky Beisenherz and Joachim Llambi.

Versions in French, both titled Pyramide, were produced at different times in France and in Canada.

Home gamesEdit

The first board game of The $10,000 Pyramid was released in 1974 by the Milton Bradley Company, with a total of eight editions produced through 1981. Beginning with the fourth edition, like its TV counterpart, the title and top payoff changed to The $20,000 Pyramid, while the final edition was titled The $50,000 Pyramid. However, due to concerns about players easily memorizing possible Winners' Circle subjects, the format of the board game's Winners' Circle endgame was changed to mirror that of the TV version's main game.[50]

Cardinal Games released a new home version of The $25,000 Pyramid in 1986,[51] this time using the actual Winners' Circle rules and format, which was also given to all contestants who appeared on both the daytime and nighttime versions for most of 1987. This version was reissued in 2000 by Endless Games,[52] which later released a new edition based on the Osmond version in 2003.[53]

The $100,000 Pyramid, a video game adaptation, was released in 1987. Developed and published by Box Office Software, it was originally released for Apple II and then ported to DOS and Commodore 64.[54] Years later, Sierra Attractions released a new PC CD-ROM version of The $100,000 Pyramid in 2001,[55] which was followed by a DVD game from MGA Entertainment in 2006.

A version titled The $1,000,000 Pyramid was released by Ubisoft for the Nintendo Wii in 2011.[56]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://findawriter.wgaeast.org/member/e78d1473-ee96-43e9-aa2b-a8dd8e2e50cb
  2. ^ https://findawriter.wgaeast.org/member/36da04eb-7b07-4ebc-b796-ffec5f3e0f81
  3. ^ https://findawriter.wgaeast.org/member/3714b7f4-2376-48c0-937b-bc5ce37dfebc
  4. ^ a b c d e f Schwartz, Ryan, and Wostbrock 1999, pp. 220–221.
  5. ^ "News". JD Roberto. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  6. ^ "The Pyramid cast and crew". IMDb. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  7. ^ a b Ken Tucker (April 18, 2012). "A Dick Clark appreciation: The deceptively laid-back, conservative revolutionary". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  8. ^ "ABC Renews "Summer Fun & Games" for 2020" (Press release). ABC. November 20, 2019 – via The Futon Critic.
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ "Revised Premiere Dates for ABC Summer Series "The Ultimate Surfer," "Press Your Luck," "The $100,000 Pyramid" and "Card Sharks"" (Press release). ABC. April 28, 2021. Retrieved May 3, 2021 – via The Futon Critic.
  12. ^ a b "Shows". CBS Television City. September 7, 1954. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  13. ^ "Elysee Theatre". Cinematreasures.org.
  14. ^ "10 Fun Facts About '$100,000 Pyramid'". Mentalfloss.com. June 22, 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  15. ^ https://deadline.com/2020/08/the-100000-pyramid-back-to-studio-abc-1203006568/?fbclid=IwAR1qUrQ9MWZgRDxeLLgCu8nYjRA2wFlbt743fBcDdYfy7nAs2SERhRbPLRo
  16. ^ "The Game Show Pilot Light: Pyramid (1997)".
  17. ^ "Watch: Celebrate Pyramid's Return With the Unsold VH1 Pilot "Pyramid Rocks"".
  18. ^ "Set Report from "The $1,000,000 Pyramid"". Buzzerblog.com. June 25, 2009. Archived from the original on March 24, 2016. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
  19. ^ "About.com—New York Times—Will We Get Pyramid Back After All?". gameshows.about.com. Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  20. ^ "CBS orders 'Pyramid' pilot". Retrieved September 20, 2013.
  21. ^ "Andy Richter wrapping deal to host new version of 'Pyramid' for CBS". Los Angeles Times. May 27, 2010.
  22. ^ [3] Archived September 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "TNT and TBS Announce Extensive Slate of New Projects from Top Talents". Turner. May 18, 2011. Retrieved May 25, 2011 – via The Futon Critic.
  24. ^ "buzzerblog (buzzerblog) on Twitter". 12 May 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  25. ^ "GSN Announces Premiere of The Pyramid on Monday, September 3". GSN Corporate. July 12, 2012. Archived from the original on October 14, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  26. ^ "ABC is Reviving Game-Show Classic $100,000 Pyramid". Vulture.com. New York Media, LLC. January 8, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  27. ^ "'Pyramid' builds pacts". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. January 9, 2016. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  28. ^ "ABC Announces Its 2016 Summer Primetime Schedule". ABC. April 19, 2016. Retrieved April 28, 2016 – via The Futon Critic.
  29. ^ Stanhope, Kate (January 8, 2016). "ABC Orders '$100,000 Pyramid' Revival Hosted by Michael Strahan". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  30. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (January 9, 2016). "ABC Bringing Back 'Pyramid' Game Show with Host Michael Strahan". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  31. ^ Snierson, Dan (January 8, 2016). "ABC orders $100,000 Pyramid reboot with Michael Strahan as host". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  32. ^ Nakamura, Reid (August 4, 2016). "ABC Renews Game Shows 'Match Game,' 'Celebrity Family Feud,' '$100,000 Pyramid". TheWrap. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  33. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. ""Celebrity Family Feud" and "The $100,000 Pyramid" Renewed by ABC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  34. ^ Graham 1988, pp. 181–182.
  35. ^ Schwartz, Ryan, and Wostbrock 1999, pp. 220–222.
  36. ^ Fabe 1979, pp. 255–259.
  37. ^ "BUZZERBLOG Exclusive Info on 2012 GSN Revival". BuzzerBlog. Archived from the original on August 6, 2012. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  38. ^ The $100,000 Pyramid. Episode 3. 10 July 2016. Event occurs at 42:29. ABC.
  39. ^ Nine Network. "GTV9 Program Guide – Week Commencing 2 May 2010" (PDF). TV Tonight.
  40. ^ "Pyramide – Radio-Canada.ca". Pyramide – Radio-Canada.ca. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  41. ^ "arbnights.net – Diese Website steht zum Verkauf! – Informationen zum Thema arbnights". 1.video.arbnights.net. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  42. ^ "Püramiid « Teet Margna". Margna.ee. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  43. ^ "france2.fr/emissions/pyramide". Archived from the original on October 1, 2016. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  44. ^ Uwe Mantel (September 16, 2012). "ZDF verbannt "Die Pyramide" ins Nachtprogramm". Dwdl.de (in German). Retrieved October 7, 2012.
  45. ^ "Pyramid – Chi mi capisce è bravo". Televisionando.it.
  46. ^ "Programy w TV, które każdy oglądał, ale o nich zapomniał". Facebook.com. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  47. ^ Khairul Hazim Zainudin. "TCS Channel 5 – The Pyramid Game promo (December 1997)". YouTube. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  48. ^ Pyramid at UKGameshows.com
  49. ^ "[ HTV7 ] – Gameshow KIm". YouTube. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  50. ^ "Why Did the Board Game Version of the $25,000 Pyramid Not Actually Have a Pyramid In It?". Legendsrevealed.com. 8 June 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  51. ^ [4][dead link]
  52. ^ "The $25,000 Pyramid Game (Endless edition 2000) – Board Game Version – BoardGameGeek". Boardgamegeek.com. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  53. ^ Mortensen, Eric (1 August 2017). "Pyramid: Home Game Series Board Game Review and Rules". Geekyhobbies.com. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  54. ^ "The $100,000 Pyramid for Apple II (1987)". MobyGames. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  55. ^ "The $100,000 Pyramid". IGN. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  56. ^ "The $1,000,000 Pyramid". IGN. Retrieved 28 January 2019.

SourcesEdit

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Hollywood Squares
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show
1976
as The $20,000 Pyramid
Succeeded by
Family Feud
Preceded by
Hollywood Squares
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show
1980–81
as The $20,000 Pyramid
tie with Hollywood Squares in 1980
Succeeded by
Password Plus
Preceded by
Password Plus
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show
1983–87
as The $25,000 Pyramid
Succeeded by
The Price Is Right
Preceded by
The Price Is Right
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show
1989
as The $25,000 Pyramid
Succeeded by
Jeopardy!