On the heels of its record-breaking ratings with The Great American Bible Challenge last week, GSN will try to capitalize on that success by offering a preview episode of The Pyramid, a remake of the classic game show, The $25,000 Pyramid Thursday night.
The late Dick Clark hosted most incarnations of the word game throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Donnie Osmond hosted a remake several years ago.
This new version, airing exclusively on GSN, is hosted by Mike Richards, who doubles as executive producer of CBS’s The Price is Right and Let’s Make a Deal.
GSN provided me with a link to screen the premiere episode. It is very true to 1980s Clark version with a few minor changes. The set is updated for the 21st century: gone are the little white chase lights, a staple of game shows decades ago; they’ve been replaced by LED lighting that can change color in the blink of an eye. Unlike the Osmond version, this show abandoned the 1990s game show style of dark, Armageddon style set design.
Game play is much the same: two teams, consisting of a celebrity and civilian, compete to describe words to their partner against the clock. Each team has three subjects and each time they can get all seven words correctly, the contestant receives $500 and $5,000 added to the possible bank they can win in the famous Pyramid round. The base amount a contestant will play for is $10,000. If they get a perfect score in all three categories and win the front game, they play the Pyramid for $25,000.
Richards, who has not been treated kindly by diehard fans of The Price is Right because of changes he and host Drew Carey have made since Bob Barker retired five years ago, does an admirable job as host. He’s no Dick Clark, but then no one else is, either. He does a good job of keeping the game play moving, while still finding time to joke with contestants and celebrities when it’s warranted.
Diehard Pyramid fans were delighted to hear the rumor that the same theme music from Clark’s version would be used this time around; the screening version I saw featured a remake of this tune, but not the same mix. This particular mix isn’t as dynamic as the old one, so if you weren’t familiar with the old version, you might not even hear it well enough over the audience applause to recognize it. On the other hand, in this age of abbreviated credits, there’s no time for much theme music, anyway.
Overall, it is a very good effort at remaking a great game. If you were a fan of Clark’s Pyramid, you’ll probably like this one just fine. One can hope that if it does well, the broadcast networks might be more willing to consider game shows over talk shows as more soaps slowly fade into the sunset. But only time will tell on that one.
You can see the preview version of The Pyramid on GSN Thursday at 10pm ET. It will have its official premiere as a weeknight show starting Monday at 6pm ET. Check your local listings for GSN on your cable or satellite system.
(Image Courtesy GSN)