User ReviewsReview this title
In the present era where there's a dearth of first-run game shows, it's a shame we have to lose this one. This was a nice remake of a classic, tweaked a little to fit into the 75-channel world, but solid in its format. Still, there were a few things that departed from the classic a bit too much, and that may have caused its demise:
*No returning champions. Bringing back returning champs gives the viewers a sense of continuity, and it makes things more interesting when there's a champion to be dethroned. Instead, Pyramid opted for the cheap way out, which is taping the programs at will and showing them in any order they want.
*Winners circle judging. If the category were "Cities in Europe," and the contestant said "Places/Things in Europe," the contestant would get credit under the old rules of the '80s. The important thing was the KEY WORD(S) of the category. The most frustrating thing about the latest Pyramid was that the entire category had to be said VERBATIM to get credit. This really turned me off, and I turned the show off often, as it wasn't in the spirit of the game.
*No real theme music. A minor detail, you say? The melody of the Pyramid themes of the '70s and '80s were recognizable and identified themselves well with the show. While the 2002-04 Pyramid music fit in well with the modern, purple & scaffolding set, it still sounded like background music and no one would recognize it if it were on its own.
*No true $100,000 tournament. Sure, they had such tournaments, but 2002-04 big money format was such that it was possible that there would be no $100K winner (and it even happened once). The spirit of the $100K tournament in its original, successful format was: We're going to throw tough categories at you, make you earn the big money, and this tournament won't end until SOMEONE wins the big prize, no matter how long it takes. This format had some of the best drama in game show lore, and the new version again opted the cheap way out, risking a fall-flat conclusion. That's what they got, too, and it hurt the show badly.
That's not to say there weren't some improvements this time around. Flat screens have replaced outdated trilons on the finely-tuned set, and the nice effect with the six coming into view in the winners circle was a sweet, dramatic touch. Having different celebrities every day, instead of every week, was also proven experiment. Finally, Donny Osmond also did a solid job as host. He was there to present the game, move it along, add a little personality to it, but not get it the way. That's what the best hosts do.
I'm sure this show will be back in another life form. The format is too strong not to rekindle. Still, I hope producers learn from this version's mistakes, and create a better version one day of the show we knew and enjoyed well.
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.
The best game show and I hope it win daytime emmys for best game show in syndication.
Donny Osmond is going to be one great game show host of the 21st century and I hope the show will be a success.
I give it 10 out of 10.
9/10 Not a bad revival But still one of the best games out there right now.
Watch PYRAMID repeats on PAX TV every night at 7 PM ET/PT!
In the front game, their are now six words or phrases in each category now rather than the traditional seven, but now contestants must get the words and phrases within 20 seconds instead of 30 seconds. Being the in 21'st Century the new Pyramid is much high tech and uses lots of video monitors especially those used in the game.
The best improvement is that the audience applause has now been cut out during the 'Winners Circle' when the category is correctly guessed. You still have 60 seconds to get to the top of the Pyramid, and still NO HANDS when giving the clues in that part of the game.
Some of the music during game play you might find annoying at first but I got used to it. The 'Winners Circle' Music is the best and better than the one note countdown sound that was used in the past incarnations. Pyramid purists might be disappointed that a whole new theme is used, but it does have Techno/Egyptian feel to it. Were did get the great Pyramids from anyway?
Give this Pyramid a chance and you might get hooked on this one as well.