Pyramid (game show)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Pyramid
Pyramid 2017 logo.png
Logo from 2016 ABC revival of The $100,000 Pyramid
GenreGame show
Created byBob Stewart
Directed byMike Gargiulo (1973–81)
Bruce Burmester (1982–92)[1]
Paul Nichols, Bob Loudin (2002–04)
Paul Overacker (2012)
Rich DiPirro (2016–present)
Presented byDick Clark (1973–88)
Bill Cullen (1974–79, syndicated)
John Davidson (1991)
Donny Osmond (2002–04)
Mike Richards (2012)
Michael Strahan (2016–present)
Narrated byBob Clayton (1973–79)
Jack Clark (1973, 1982–85)
Steve O'Brien (1979–82)
Alan Kalter (1979–81)
Johnny Gilbert (1982–88, 1991)
Charlie O'Donnell (1985-1988)
John Cramer (2002–04)
JD Roberto (2012)[2]
Brad Abelle (2016–)
Theme music composerKen Aldin (1973–81)
Bob Cobert (1982–92,[1] 2012, 2016)
Barry Coffing, John Blaylock (2002–04)
Alan Ett, Scott Liggett (2012)[3]
Bleeding Fingers Music (2016)
Composer(s)Bob Cobert
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes1,211 (1973-1988)
40 (2012)
37 (2016–)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Bob Stewart (1973-91)
  • Vin Rubino (2016)
  • Constance Schwartz (2016)
  • Michael Strahan (2016)
Producer(s)Anne Marie Schmidt (1973–88)
Sande Stewart (1981–88)
Francine Bergman (1982–88)
David Michaels (1982–92)
Erin Perry (1991–92)[1]
Stephen Brown, Cathy Cotter (2002–04)
John Ricci Jr., Jonathan Bourne (2012)
Running time22 minutes (1973–2012)
44 minutes (2016–)
Production company(s)Bob Stewart Productions
(1973–1988)
Basada, Inc.
(1973–1974, 1978–1981, 1986–1988)
Stewart Tele Enterprises
(1991)
Columbia TriStar Domestic Television
(2002)
Sony Pictures Television
(2002–04, 2012, 2016)
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, 2012, 2016–)
Release
Original networkThe $10,000 Pyramid
CBS 1973–74
ABC 1974–76
The $20,000 Pyramid
ABC 1976–80
The $25,000 Pyramid
Weekly syndication
1974–79
The $50,000 Pyramid
Daily syndication 1981
The (New) $25,000 Pyramid
CBS 1982–87, 1988
The $100,000 Pyramid
Daily syndication
1985–88, 1991
Pyramid
Daily syndication 2002–04
The Pyramid
GSN 2012
The $100,000 Pyramid
ABC 2016–
Original releaseOriginal daytime series:
March 26, 1973 (1973-03-26)–March 29, 1974 (1974-03-29) (CBS)
May 6, 1974 (1974-05-06)–June 20, 1980 (1980-06-20) (ABC)
Weekly syndicated series:
September 9, 1974 (1974-09-09)–September 9, 1979 (1979-09-09)
First daily syndicated series:
January 26, 1981 (1981-01-26)–September 4, 1981 (1981-09-04)
Second daytime series:
September 20, 1982 (1982-09-20)–December 31, 1987 (1987-12-31)
April 4, 1988 (1988-04-04)–July 1, 1988 (1988-07-01)
Second daily syndicated series
September 9, 1985 (1985-09-09)–September 2, 1988 (1988-09-02)
Third daily syndicated series
January 7, 1991 (1991-01-07)–December 6, 1991 (1991-12-06)
Fourth daily syndicated series
September 16, 2002 (2002-09-16)–September 10, 2004 (2004-09-10)
GSN daily series
September 3, 2012 (2012-09-03)–October 26, 2012 (2012-10-26)
ABC primetime weekly summer series:
June 26, 2016 (2016-06-26) – present
External links
Website

Pyramid is an American television game show franchise that has aired several versions domestically and internationally. The original series, The $10,000 Pyramid, debuted March 26, 1973,[4] and spawned seven subsequent Pyramid series. Most later series featured a full title format matching the original series, with the title reflecting the top prize increase from $10,000, $20,000, $25,000, $50,000 to $100,000 over the years. 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.

Dick Clark is the host most commonly associated with the show, having hosted every incarnation from 1973 to 1988, with the exception of the original version of The $25,000 Pyramid, which aired in weekly syndication from 1974 until 1979 and was hosted by Bill Cullen. The $100,000 Pyramid was revived for a brief 1991 run with John Davidson hosting. In 2002 the series was revived as simply Pyramid, with Donny Osmond hosting for two seasons. GSN's The Pyramid was hosted by Mike Richards and aired for a single forty-episode season in 2012.

A revival of The $100,000 Pyramid debuted June 26, 2016, on ABC with Michael Strahan as host. The Strahan version has been renewed for a fourth season.

History[edit]

Broadcast history[edit]

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[4] 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.[5] The remainder of the 1973–81 episodes originated in New York City at the Ed Sullivan Theater, moving to ABC's Elysee Theatre after Pyramid switched networks.[6]

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.[7] 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 though 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[8] 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.[5] 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.

Later developments[edit]

Following CBS's cancellation of Guiding Light in September 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.[9]

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.[10] CBS ordered a third pilot on April 9, 2010.[11] Andy Richter was identified as a potential host.[12][13]

On May 18, 2011, TBS announced development of a possible new version of Pyramid, again to be hosted by Andy Richter.[14] It was later announced[citation needed] that the show was not picked up.

Another pilot, titled The Pyramid, was taped on June 16, 2012.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17][18]

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).[19][20][21][22] On August 4, 2016, ABC renewed The $100,000 Pyramid for a second season.[23] 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.[24] 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 personnel[edit]

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.[1] John Cramer announced the 2002–04 version, and JD Roberto announced The Pyramid (2012).

Mike Gargiulo directed through 1981, with Bruce Burmester replacing him until the end of the 1991 revival.[1]

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.[1] 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.

Gameplay[edit]

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 game[edit]

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

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

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 such a clue, they were buzzed and that answer would be forfeited. 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 knows the word later on and guesses it, the team still earns a point (no sound effect was played, in order to avoid a distraction). Since the 2002 Osmond version, a team that passes on any words could return to them if time permitted, but if a word is guessed correctly after it had been passed, it did 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 thrown out (denoted by a rapid "cuckoo" sound).

Originally, the celebrity gave the clues in both the first and third rounds, and the contestant in the second round. This 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 Cards[edit]

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 during the second season, but this was later replaced by a "Big Money Card" worth varying amounts of cash from $1,000-$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 for the CBS version, 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.

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 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.

Winners' Circle[edit]

A contestant, restrained in her seat, gives clues to Kathy Najimy in the Winners' Circle on The $100,000 Pyramid in 2016.

The winning team from the main game plays "The Winners' Circle," in which the goal is to communicate six categories of increasing difficulty within 60 seconds, using only lists of words and phrases that fit them. 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 some editions of the show included wrist straps attached to the chair to help contestants abide by this rule. One team member gives clues to the category currently in play, while the other tries to guess it. An illegal clue or hand gesture results in the category being thrown out, thus disqualifying the contestant from winning the grand prize; however, the contestant is still allowed to play the remainder of the Winners' Circle, either until time runs out or until the remaining categories have been correctly guessed. If all six categories are guessed before time runs out, the contestant wins the top prize; if not, he/she wins money for the guessed categories.[25][26][27] The clue-giver can pass on a category and then return to it after playing through all six, 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 (1982-1991) $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 limits[edit]

On the 1970s daytime version, contestants were allowed to remain on the show until they were defeated or won the Winners' Circle. Under the $10,000 format, a contestant who won the Winners' Circle was allowed to keep all earlier winnings. Under the $20,000 format, the contestant's total was merely augmented to the amount won in the Winners' Circle. The syndicated versions featured no returning champions prior to 1985.

After the top prize on the 1970s daytime show was increased to $20,000, the Winners' Circle structure likewise changed, with a champion playing for $10,000 on their first attempt, $15,000 on their second attempt, and $20,000 for their third and all subsequent efforts. 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 syndicated version, if a contestant won a bonus prize, then went on to win the $25,000 top prize, the value of the bonus (either the additional bonus cash, or the value of the car offered during the final season) was deducted from the champion's total, leaving them with exactly $25,000. This version did not feature returning champions.

On the short-lived 1981 version, the first Winners' Circle was worth $5,000; if the same player made it to the second Winners' Circle, it was played for a total of $10,000. This version also did not feature returning champions.

On all versions from 1982-onward, all main game bonus winnings remained intact in the event of a $25,000 win. On the $25,000 and $100,000 versions of the show, the same two contestants competed for both halves of the episode. A contestant who won the first of the two games on the episode played the Winners' Circle for $10,000. A contestant who won both games played the second Winners' Circle for a total of $25,000 (e.g., if a contestant won $10,000 in the first Winners' Circle, the second was worth an additional $15,000 to the contestant). On all versions from 1982 to 1991, a contestant who won both games of an episode became the champion and returned on the next show. If each contestant won one game, the contestant who won the higher amount in the Winners' Circle became champion (winnings from the various main game bonuses were not considered as part of the "score" winnings). If both contestants won equal amounts of money in the Winners' Circle (including $10,000 wins), both returned on the next show.

From 1982 to 1991, contestants were allowed to remain on the show until defeated or a maximum of five episodes. Champions on the CBS version also retired after 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.

On Pyramid, the goal was once again to try to win $25,000. However, this required a contestant to get to and win the Winners' Circle twice. If the contestant made a second trip without having won the first, he/she was given another chance at $10,000. If the contestant managed to win both, he/she won the $25,000 and automatically qualified for the $100,000 tournament.

On The Pyramid, each Winners' Circle was played for a base of $10,000. For each category that the contestant and celebrity swept, 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.[28] 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.[29] Two new contestants compete in each half of an episode; there are no returning champions.

Tournaments[edit]

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 Pyramid 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 Winners' 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 version of The $100,000 Pyramid, the three contestants who completed the Winners' Circle in the shortest lengths of time qualified for a $100,000 tournament, which was held every few weeks. During the tournament, all front game bonuses were removed except the $5,000 bonus for breaking a 21–21 tie. The first contestant to complete the Winners' Circle won the $100,000 grand prize, ending the tournament. If neither contestant did so on a particular episode, the one who accumulated more money in the Winners' Circle returned on the next show to compete against the contestant who had not played on that episode (in the event of a tie, a coin toss determined who returned). If one of the three contestants won the $100,000 in the first Winners' Circle of an episode, the other two played against each other in the second half and that winner played for $10,000 in the Winners' Circle.

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 Winners' Circle was worth $25,000. If $25,000 was won in the first half and the same player returned to the Winners' Circle, that contestant played for an additional $75,000 and the tournament title. If the tournament ended with no players having won both Winners' 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 Winners' Circle attempt worth $25,000. The top two winners then returned to compete in the finals, where each Winners' 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.

The Barack Obama/Osama bin Laden Incident[edit]

On August 12, 2018 a contestant named Evan Kaufman, who teamed up with former Saturday Night Live cast member Tim Meadows, made a mistake in the Winner's Circle[30]by mixing up former Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden with former president Barack Obama. As Kaufman's round began, starting with the easiest topics at the bottom of the pyramid, the category was "People Whose Last Name is Obama" where instead of citing the former president or his wife Michelle, Kaufman first said "bin Laden" before offering the name Barack after a pause. Meadows quickly offered the correct answer after Kaufman provided the former president's first name. Kaufman's flub was later mocked on Twitter by viewers on the episode. Kaufman posted a series of tweets about the incident:

So. This is me below. Racist $100,000 Pyramid guy. Let me tell you a story about perhaps the most embarrassing moment of my life. #KillMe; I was on $100,000 Pyramid, I'm playing with Tim Meadows, one of my heroes from SNL. My son had been born two weeks prior. I am very tired but excited to win money for my family. We play up the whole tired dad thing. The first square flips. I breathe. I read "People Whose Last Name is Obama" I freeze. There's only one Barack Obama. The man I would have voted for three times. Here's what my brain decided. Who is associate with Obama? Who did he kill? What sounds like Obama!...And so you have this perfectly viral clip. A clip that is insanely funny. It would be so funny if it wasn't me. I leave knowing that my day of reckoning is coming. Maybe they can cut it out? They can't...it's timed, I leave with $8,500...and the story of the worst pyramid guess of all time".

International versions[edit]

Country Name Host Channel Air dates
 Australia[31] Pyramid Shura Taft (2009–12)
Graham Matters (2013)
Nine Network (2009–12)
GO! (2013–2014)
September 1, 2009 – 2014
 Canada
( Quebec)[32]
Pyramide Sébastien Benoit Radio-Canada April 28, 2008 – April 22, 2011
 Chile Contrarreloj Esperanza Silva
Coco Legrand
Canal 13 2002
 Egypt[33] الهرم
El Haram
Moufida Sheeha ERT 2 May 16, 2009
 Estonia[34] Püramiid Teet Margna TV3 March 4, 2006
 France[35] Pyramide Patrice Laffont
Olivier Minne
France 2 1991–2003
2014–2015
 Germany[36] Die Pyramide Dieter Thomas Heck
Micky Beisenherz and Joachim Llambi
ZDF
ZDFneo
1978–94
2012
Hast Du Worte? Jörg Pilawa (1996–97)
Thomas Koschwitz (1997–99)
Sat.1 1996–99
 Indonesia Piramida Ronnie Sianturi
Ricky Johannes
RCTI 1995–99
2000
Piramida Baru Ricky Johannes 2001–03
 Iran Pyramid Sina Valiollah PMC 2009
 Israel שחק אותה
Play It
Yigal Shilon
Dudu Topaz
Channel 1 1983–84
הפירמידה
Ha-Pyramide
Oded Menashe Channel 2 2002
 Italy[37] Pyramid – Chi mi capisce è bravo Enrico Brignano and Debora Salvalaggio Rai Due December 3, 2007 – February 3, 2008
 Poland[38] Piramida Hubert Urbański
Andrzej Strzelecki
Polsat 1997–99
 Portugal A Grande Pirâmide Sergio Figueira
Manuel Luis Goucha
RTP1 1994–95
 Russia Пирамида
Piramida
Ivan Urgant Russia 1 May 16, 2004 – March 20, 2005
 Singapore[39] The Pyramid Game Samuel Chong
Benedict Goh
Darryl David
Channel 5 1994–99
 Turkey Piramit Mim Kemal Öke aTV 1994–95
 United Kingdom[40] The ₤1,000 Pyramid Game Steve Jones ITV 1981–84
The Pyramid Game 1989–90
Donny's Pyramid Game Donny Osmond Challenge 2007
 Venezuela Match 4 Juan Manuel Montesinos Venevisiόn 1984–89
Contra reloj Daniela Kosán Televen 2001–02
 Vietnam[41] Kim tự tháp Chi Bảo Thiên Bảo HTV7 April 30, 2005 – 2007

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 games[edit]

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 was changed to mirror that of the main game.[42]

Cardinal Games released a new home version of The $25,000 Pyramid in 1986[43], 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 [44], which later released a new edition based on the Osmond version in 2003.[45]

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.[46] Years later, Sierra Attractions released a new PC CD-ROM version of The $100,000 Pyramid in 2001[47], 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.[48]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Schwartz, Ryan, and Wostbrock 1999, pp. 220–221.
  2. ^ "News". JD Roberto. Retrieved 2014-01-02.
  3. ^ "The Pyramid cast and crew". IMDb. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ a b "Shows". CBS Television City. 1954-09-07. Retrieved 2014-01-02.
  6. ^ "Elysee Theatre".
  7. ^ "Xanfan Celebrity Archives: The $10,000/$20,000 Pyramid".
  8. ^ "10 Fun Facts About '$100,000 Pyramid'". mental_floss. June 22, 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Set Report from "The $1,000,000 Pyramid"". Buzzerblog. June 25, 2009. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
  10. ^ "About.com—New York Times—Will We Get Pyramid Back After All?". Gameshows.about.com. Retrieved 2014-01-02.
  11. ^ "CBS orders 'Pyramid' pilot". Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  12. ^ "Andy Richter wrapping deal to host new version of 'Pyramid' for CBS". Los Angeles Times.
  13. ^ [1] Archived September 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ "TNT and TBS Announce Extensive Slate of New Projects from Top Talents". The Futon Critic. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
  15. ^ "buzzerblog (buzzerblog) on Twitter". 12 May 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  16. ^ "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.
  17. ^ "ABC is Reviving Game-Show Classic $100,000 Pyramid". Vulture.com. New York Media, LLC. January 8, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  18. ^ "'Pyramid' builds pacts". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. January 9, 2016. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  19. ^ "Breaking News – ABC Announces Its 2016 Summer Primetime Schedule". The Futon Critic. Futon Media. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (January 9, 2016). "ABC Bringing Back 'Pyramid' Game Show with Host Michael Strahan". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  22. ^ Snierson, Dan (January 8, 2016). "ABC orders $100,000 Pyramid reboot with Michael Strahan as host". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  23. ^ Nakamura, Reid (August 4, 2016). "ABC Renews Game Shows 'Match Game,' 'Celebrity Family Feud,' '$100,000 Pyramid". TheWrap. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  24. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. ""Celebrity Family Feud" and "The $100,000 Pyramid" Renewed by ABC". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2017-08-26.
  25. ^ Graham 1988, pp. 181–182.
  26. ^ Schwartz, Ryan, and Wostbrock 1999, pp. 220–222.
  27. ^ Fabe 1979, pp. 255–259.
  28. ^ "BUZZERBLOG Exclusive Info on 2012 GSN Revival". Buzzerblog.com. Retrieved 2014-01-02.
  29. ^ The $100,000 Pyramid. Episode 3. 10 July 2016. Event occurs at 42:29. ABC.
  30. ^ Mazza, Ed. "'Racist' Game Show Contestant Explains 'Worst Pyramid Guess Of All-Time'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-08-13.
  31. ^ Nine Network. "GTV9 Program Guide – Week Commencing 2 May 2010" (PDF). TV Tonight.
  32. ^ http://ici.radio-canada.ca/emissions/pyramide/saison4/
  33. ^ http://video.arbnights.net/watch/-EJvl501iqQ
  34. ^ http://www.margna.ee/category/puramiid/
  35. ^ http://www.france2.fr/emissions/pyramide france2.fr/emissions/pyramide
  36. ^ Uwe Mantel (2012-09-16). "ZDF verbannt "Die Pyramide" ins Nachtprogramm". DWDL.de (in German). Retrieved 2012-10-07.
  37. ^ "Pyramid - Chi mi capisce è bravo". televisionando.it.
  38. ^ https://www.facebook.com/ProgramyTV/photos/a.465651183544943.1073741825.465648566878538/467058703404191/?type=3
  39. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4BvuwwItMY
  40. ^ Pyramid at UKGameshows.com
  41. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_bsNSY0AqU
  42. ^ http://legendsrevealed.com/entertainment/2015/06/08/why-did-the-board-game-version-of-the-25000-pyramid-not-actually-have-a-pyramid-in-it/
  43. ^ https://www.amazon.com/Pyramid-Board-Game-1986-Clark/dp/B001TKV6WG
  44. ^ https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgameversion/102389/endless-edition-2000
  45. ^ https://www.geekyhobbies.com/pyramid-home-game-board-game-review-and-rules/
  46. ^ https://www.mobygames.com/game/100000-pyramid_
  47. ^ http://www.ign.com/games/the-100000-pyramid
  48. ^ http://www.ign.com/games/the-1000000-pyramid

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

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!