"The Pyramid" Review

Set Design- 10
Gameplay- 9
Show Flow- 9
Potential Viewer Ratings- 7
Play-Along Factor- 10
Host- 9
Overall Rating- 9.0

Premise- Two teams, each composed of a civilian and celebrity contestant, compete against each other. In the front game, both teams will be shown six categories. After a team selects a category, the contestant will have 30 seconds to get their teammate to guess 7 words or phrases by using clues. If a team can guess all 7 words correctly in any category, the contestant will win a $500 bonus and will add $5,000 to their Winner’s Circle jackpot. Should a tie occur, another round will be played with each team being presented with an “infinite” list of words. The team would scores the most words in 30 seconds will win the game. The team who scores the most points will win a trip to the Winner’s Circle. In the Winner’s Circle, the team will have 60 seconds to guess six subjects. The six subjects are worth $100, $200, $300, $400, $500, and $750 respectively. The contestant’s Winner’s Circle jackpot starts at $10,000 and increases by $5,000 depending on how well the team performed in the front game. Up to $25,000 can be won in each Winner’s Circle bonus round. If a team can successfully guess all six subjects in 60 seconds or less, the civilian contestant will win their Winner’s Circle jackpot. Otherwise, the contestant will win the consolation money from guessing certain subjects.  The maximum amount a contestant can win is $53,000.

And now, for the review…

The last time GSN attempted to revive a game show (Lingo), the viewers were not too pleased with the results. With the network’s revival of the Pyramid series, I think it’s safe to say that GSN has redeemed themselves. From the updated version of the classic set to the overall gameplay, this GSN rendition of the once popular series reminded us all why Pyramid was the success that it was during the 70s and 80s. The Pyramid successfully combined today’s technology and trends with elements from the classic game show, mainly referring to the use of the same sound effects, right down to the “cuckoo clock”. This version is more fast-paced and competitive as in the original version, and the category titles are “punny” and simple without being too wordy and corny, like on Pyramid with Donny Osmond. The show has done a great job of selecting celebrities who play the game well and who are just as competitive as the contestants are. Although I do miss the contestants’ search for the bonus squares in each round, the “7 out of 7” dual bonuses compensate for it.

Mike Richards serves as an excellent host for The Pyramid. He engages with the contestants and celebrities well while keeping the show going at an excellent pace and not getting too caught up in the banter after each round. Like Clark, he tries his best to relax the contestants to relieve any nervousness, stress, and/or tension they may be feeling prior to playing in the front game and Winner’s Circle round. In fact, Richards has worked alongside Dick Clark before and has learned all about becoming an excellent game show host from the Pyramid master himself, according to interview conducted by Access Hollywood. Needless to say, Richards has taken all of Clark’s advice and tips to heart, and it shows through Richards hosting The Pyramid remarkably.

My only concern about the show is the viewership ratings. Since GSN is not a top-rated cable network, I’m concerned that The Pyramid may not attract as many viewers as it deservedly should. However, if The American Bible Challenge gained almost two million viewers on its first official night out, I’m sure that The Pyramid will have no problem in that area. I have also noticed that the judges are a little more lenient when it comes to accepting certain words. For example, a contestant had given SURVIVE as an answer, when in actuality, the correct answer was SURVIVOR. In the original version, the judges would not have accepted a form of the word as a correct response.

Overall, if Dick Clark were here today, I believe that he would be grinning from ear to ear at the sight of GSN’s rendition of Pyramid and Mike Richards taking the helm of the show. The Pyramid has a classic feel of the original version with a modern twist, from slightly remixing the original 80s theme music to the overall pace of the show. The only element that would make this show better is if The Pyramid has returning champions. Nevertheless, I will be very disappointed if this series lasts for less than two seasons.

Watch new episodes of The Pyramid Weekdays at 6:00pm on GSN!
**All screenshots have been taken from the actual episodes of The Pyramid. No ownership is implied.**

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Tony says:

    The Pyramid is on @ 5:00PM central/6PM eastern…


  2. joel65913 says:

    So far the show is pretty good but as a die hard fan of the old show it could use a tweak here and there but over time hopefully that will happen.
    I agree about the lack of returning champs, that's a viewer magnet since if you like the champ you're going to tune back in to see how they do the next day and the day after. And this business of adding money into the end game rather than having them seek the 7/11 and Lucky 7 is not as exciting, those added an extra edge to the front game that is missing now.
    The host is okay probably as close as you can get to Dick Clark but he is irreplaceable.
    My other quibble is one that is a variable and always will be, the celebrity players. The first weeks two are adequate, nothing more, they aren't adept at giving clues that might lead the player to the answer in a roundabout way. It would be terrific if they would bring back some of the most expert players like Teresa Ganzel, Adrienne Barbeau, Earl Holliman or the best player ever Shelley Smith.
    Still it is miles ahead of that awful redo that Donny Osmond did, although I wish they had left the theme music alone.


  3. David LeSaffre says:

    Despite your review, this version of The Pyramid was doomed to only last two months of first-run episodes. Mike Richards was a plastic host who didn’t understand the magic of the Winner’s Circle, the celebrity partners were incompetent compared to who we saw in the Clark and Cullen eras, and GSN clearly didn’t want to give away $50K in one shot…it was basically impossible to win with the caliber of the contestants well below what we purists are used to seeing. Not having any maingame bonuses other than the laughable $500 for 7 out of 7 made the game feel out of date by about 35 years. With all these strikes against it, there was no way viewers would watch more than an episode or two, and it suffered a quick death to the relief of all concerned.


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