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Encyclopedia > Pyramid (game show)
Pyramid

Title card from The $20,000 Pyramid
Genre Game show
Created by Bob Stewart
Starring Dick Clark
(1973-1988)
Bill Cullen
(1974-1979)
John Davidson
(1991-1992)
Donny Osmond
(2002-2004)
Country of origin Flag of the United States United States
Language(s) English
No. of episodes $10,000/$20,000 Pyramid: 1,808
$25,000 Pyramid (Bill Cullen): 150
$50,000 Pyramid: 90
$25,000 Pyramid (Dick Clark): 1,404
$100,000 Pyramid (Dick Clark): 550
$100,000 Pyramid (John Davidson): 170
Pyramid (Donny Osmond): 315
Production
Executive
producer(s)
Bob Stewart
Running time approx. 22-26 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel ABC, CBS & syndicated
Original run March 26, 1973September 10, 2004

Pyramid is the collective name of a series of American television game shows where contestants tried to guess a series of words or phrases, based on descriptions that were given to them by their teammates. Most different versions of the show included the various dollar values of their top prize in their titles, e.g., The $100,000 Pyramid. As a whole, series won nine Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Game Show, second only to Jeopardy!, which has won 11. Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... For other persons named Dick Clark, see Dick Clark (disambiguation). ... William Bill Lawrence Frances Cullen (February 18, 1920 – July 7, 1990), was an Emmy Award-winning American radio and television personality. ... John Davidson in 1990. ... Donald Clark Donny Osmond (born December 9, 1957) is an American entertainer. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American television network. ... This article is about the broadcast network. ... In the television industry (as in radio), syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast programs to multiple stations, without going through a broadcast network. ... March 26 is the 85th day of the year (86th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ... is the 253rd day of the year (254th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Quiz show redirects here. ... The Daytime Emmy Awards are awards presented by the New York-based National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles-based Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in recognition of excellence in American daytime television programming. ... Jeopardy redirects here. ...


The original concept which creator Bob Stewart presented to CBS was a rough pilot presentation titled Cash on the Line taped at CBS's Ed Sullivan Theater on Friday, February 2, 1973. It was said the programming executives at the network only liked the second part of the proposed program's format, and suggested that Stewart rework that part into another game; this would eventually become the main game portion of Pyramid, featuring two celebrity-civilian partnered teams. Ed Sullivan. ... is the 33rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ...


Stewart then reworked the game and presented another version to CBS, with a bonus round that featured a giant pyramid board and a top $10,000 cash prize which could be won in one minute. He made the point that offering such a large amount of money in such a quick fashion had not been done before on television. There was no second pilot episode taped, but a run-through presentation was made in front of the network executives, with Peggy Cass and Bill Cullen as the celebrities demonstrating the new Pyramid game format. Mary Margaret (Peggy) Cass (May 21, 1924 - March 8, 1999) was an Academy Award-nominated actress, comedian, game show panelist, and announcer. ... William Bill Lawrence Frances Cullen (February 18, 1920 – July 7, 1990), was an Emmy Award-winning American radio and television personality. ...

Contents

Broadcast history

The $10,000 Pyramid, with host Dick Clark, made its network debut on March 26, 1973 and was a ratings hit, sustaining its ratings even when episodes were delayed or pre-empted by the Watergate hearings. A year later, the ratings temporarily declined and CBS canceled it. The show was quickly picked up by ABC, and its run there began May 6, 1974. The television game show Pyramid has been seen on several different networks and in syndication since it first premiered in 1973. ... Dick Clark redirects here. ... March 26 is the 85th day of the year (86th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ... Watergate redirects here. ... is the 126th day of the year (127th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the 1974 Gregorian calendar. ...


The first thirty episodes (six weeks) which aired on ABC were taped at CBS's Ed Sullivan Theater while a replica set was built at ABC's smaller Elysee Theater, known also as Studio TV-15. One reason may have been the size of the set (including the giant Pyramid board itself), and Pyramid historian William Padron also states that the CBS union staff objected to seeing their creations moved to an ABC studio. The first episode taped at ABC was broadcast on Monday, June 17, 1974 with June Lockhart and William Shatner. is the 168th day of the year (169th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the 1974 Gregorian calendar. ... June Lockhart (born 25 June 1925 in New York City, USA) is an American television and film actress best known for her roles as the mothers on Lassie and Lost in Space. ... William Alan Shatner (born on March 22, 1931) is a Canadian actor who gained fame for playing James Tiberius Kirk of the USS Enterprise in the television show Star Trek from 1966 to 1969 and in seven of the subsequent movies. ...


A weekly syndicated nighttime version, known as The $25,000 Pyramid and hosted by Bill Cullen, made its debut in September 1974, seen mostly on network-affiliated stations during the prime access time slot. This edition lasted until September 1979. William Bill Lawrence Frances Cullen (February 18, 1920 – July 7, 1990), was an Emmy Award-winning American radio and television personality. ...


The network daytime version was a ratings success for ABC, usually ranked #3 among daytime game shows. On January 19, 1976, the show increased its top prize and was renamed The $20,000 Pyramid. However, ratings later began to slide, and ABC canceled the show on June 27, 1980. is the 19th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1976 Pick up sticks(MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 178th day of the year (179th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ...


For a five-week period from October 1 to November 9, 1979, the series became Junior Partner Pyramid, with the traditional celebrity-civilian pairings scrapped in favor of children playing with a parent or other adult relative. is the 274th day of the year (275th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 313th day of the year (314th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins. ...


From January 26, 1981 to September 4, 1981, the program returned to daily first-run syndication as The $50,000 Pyramid, with Clark as host. is the 26th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... AUGUST 25 1981 US Marine Sean Vance is Born on the 25th of August {ear nav|1981}} Year 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays the 1981 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 247th day of the year (248th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... AUGUST 25 1981 US Marine Sean Vance is Born on the 25th of August {ear nav|1981}} Year 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays the 1981 Gregorian calendar). ...

Title card to the 1980s version of The $25,000 Pyramid (later known as The New $25,000 Pyramid)
Title card to the 1980s version of The $25,000 Pyramid (later known as The New $25,000 Pyramid)

In 1982, the series returned to the CBS daytime lineup, again with Clark as host, as The $25,000 Pyramid; the word 'New' was added to the title early on to prevent viewers from thinking the shows were reruns of Cullen's version, but was dropped in early 1985. It quickly became a hit, and a new nightly syndicated version, The $100,000 Pyramid, also with Clark, was added in 1985. CBS cancelled the daytime version on December 31, 1987, but returned it for an additional 13 weeks of episodes in the spring of 1988 when its replacement, Blackout, failed. Both the $25,000 and $100,000 versions came to an end in the summer of 1988. Blackout was an American game show that aired on CBS for 13 weeks, from January 4 to April 1, 1988. ...


Later versions included a short-lived 1991 revival of The $100,000 Pyramid, hosted by John Davidson, and a 21st century version, the first to be simply be titled Pyramid, hosted by Donny Osmond, which ran from 2002 to 2004. John Davidson in 1990. ... Donald Clark Donny Osmond (born December 9, 1957) is an American entertainer. ...


Even on versions where he didn't host, Dick Clark was still involved; he appeared on the Cullen and Osmond versions as a celebrity player, and offered pre-taped well wishes to Davidson on his version's premiere episode; at the time, Clark was hosting The Challengers, which prevented him from returning for this version. The Challengers was an American syndicated game show hosted by Dick Clark who originally was the host of The $100,000 Pyramid and American Bandstand. ...


Gameplay

Front game

The Pyramid's game boards, both in the main game and in the Winner's Circle bonus round, featured six categories arranged in 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 was not an indicator of its difficulty; in the Winner's Circle, categories became progressively more difficult the higher they were on the board.


The game featured two teams, each composed of a celebrity and a "civilian" contestant. The game almost always featured one female celebrity and one male. At the beginning of the game, the teams were shown six categories, whose titles gave vague clues to their possible meaning (e.g., "I'm All Wet" might pertain to things found in the water). Once the category was chosen, its exact meaning was given (except in certain bonus situations where the meaning was not given and a cash bonus won for completing all the clues). For up to 30 seconds, one player would convey to the other clues to a series of items belonging to a category. One point was scored for each item correctly guessed.


Originally, there were eight possible items in a category; this was soon reduced to seven, and reduced again to six (in 20 seconds) for the Osmond-hosted version; the short-lived Junior Partner Pyramid format kept the seven words, but increased the time limit to 35 seconds. Using any part of the answer in giving a clue resulting in the item being disqualified with a "cuckoo" (or a "burble" on the Osmond version) sound effect. Originally, the celebrity gave the clues in the first and third rounds, and the civilian contestant in the second round. Eventually, the team was given the opportunity to choose which player would give the clues in the third round. 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 played the "Winner's Circle" at center stage for a cash bonus.


From 1977 to 1978, any player who scored a perfect 21 points received a $1,000 bonus on the daytime show and a $2,100 bonus on the nighttime show.


If there was a tie score at the end of the third round, a tiebreaking round was played using two letters from a certain letter of the alphabet ("Things that begin with ..."). In the 1970s, the objective was to score as many words as possible within 30 seconds, with the score added onto the team's initial maingame score and play continuing until the tie was broken, leading to rare occasions when a team's score passed the 40-point mark!


Later in the 1970s syndicated run and on all subsequent versions, a "best of seven" tiebreaker was used; the earlier maingame score was wiped clean, and if the first team guessed all seven words within their alloted time, the opposing team had to guess seven words within the time it took the first team to get all seven, which meant tiebreakers almost always took just one round to complete (if both teams tied with less than 7, the score was again wiped clean and a new tiebreaker was played, though this rarely happened). Beginning in mid-1984, if the teams tied with a perfect score of 21-21, whoever broke the tie won a new car; by that fall, this bonus was changed to $5,000 cash, which also carried over to the first syndicated $100,000 Pyramid. This article is about the year. ...


Bonus games

A number of bonus games were used during the front games, offering cash or a prize if the team correctly guessed all of the answers in a particular category. During the 1970s daytime version, one category each day hid the Big 7, which was originally worth a trip, but soon changed to $500. The Cullen-hosted version originally used the Big 7 with a payoff of $1,000; this was replaced during the 1976-77 season with a Big Money Card worth a random amount from $1,000-$5,000. During the final season of this version, the Big 7 returned and was played for a new car.


During the short-lived Junior Partner Pyramid format, there was no Big 7; rather, each team would choose one category during either of the day's two games to designate as their Bonus 7, which otherwise worked the same way as the Big 7, right down to the $500 payoff. One notable difference, however, was that the bonus money counted towards a team's final total for the day; this is the only time in Pyramid history when that occurred.


No bonuses were used on the $50,000 Pyramid; however, a trip was given to the player who achieved the fastest maingame time during the course of the week.


Starting in the 1980s CBS version, a Mystery 7 was played in game two and won the contestant a bonus prize for guessing all seven words without being told the category until the end; for the first two years, it was shown in plain view, but was later concealed behind one of the categories. Several months into its run, a 7-11 bonus debuted, played in game one for a cash bonus of $1,100 (originally, contestants could either go for the money or "play it safe" and take $50 per word; few teams chose this option, and it was finally dropped in early 1985). Both bonuses were carried over to the syndicated "$100,000 Pyramid" show.


For a time in early 1983, the Mystery 7 was dropped in favor of a Player of the Week format, where a player who guessed all seven answers in the fastest time during the week received a trip to Greece (much like the $50,000 version); this was dropped after three weeks when it was realized a champion would have to be disqualified from this competition if their reign carried over from one week to another. For the Jimi Hendrix song, see 1983. ...


In the 1990s, a Double Trouble game was added, with contestants winning $500 for guessing seven two-word phrases in 45 seconds. In games where this appeared, there were two such categories in one game, and each team was required to play one of them. The 1990s version also included Gamble for a Grand (also played as Gamble for a Trip), in which a contestant could choose to give up time in one round and try to guess all seven clues in only 25 seconds, for a $1,000 bonus or vacation if successful. The 2002 Osmond revival had a Super Six in each half of the show, with a bonus prize awarded for a successful round.


Winner's Circle

The Winner's Circle included a larger pyramid, also composed of six boxes; each box contained a category, such as "Things You Plan" or "Why You Exercise", and would be revealed one at a time. One player (usually the celebrity) gave a list of items to the other player, who attempted to guess the category to which all of the described items belonged. Each category was worth a small amount of money; correctly guessing all six categories in 60 seconds earned the cash bonus. An illegal clue would disqualify the category and end the player's chance to win the large bonus, though smaller amounts could still be won if other categories remained in the game. Illegal clues in the Winner's circle included: "the essence of the answer" (i.e., the answer itself or a direct synonym), describing the category itself rather than naming items, answers that did not fit the category, and made-up expressions. When The $10,000 Pyramid moved to ABC, hand gestures became illegal (the clue giver had arm straps attached to his/her chair to discourage this). Prepositional phrases and overly descriptive sentences were legal clues until The New $25,000 Pyramid revised its rules in 1982. A prepositional phrase (PP) is a linguistic term for a phrase whose head is a preposition. ...


On the original daytime version, the first three categories were each worth $50, the fourth and fifth $100, and the sixth $200. On the 1970's version of The $25,000 Pyramid, the first three categories were each worth $100, the fourth and fifth $200, and the sixth $300. During the short-lived Junior Partner Pyramid format in 1979, the payoffs escalated from $100 to $225, in $25 increments. On the 1982-1988 CBS version and the syndicated versions of 1985-1988 and 1990-1991, the categories were worth escalating amounts from $50 to $300 in increments of $50. On the 2000's revival, the first three were worth $200, the fourth and fifth $300, and the sixth $500; these respective values were increased to $500/$1,000/$2,500 during 6-player tournament play and the semi-finals of a 4-player tournament, while the finals of the latter format saw these values increased again to $1,000/$2,500/$5,000.


The cash bonus format for a successful trip to the Winner's Circle varied on different versions of the show. On The $10,000 Pyramid, a successful player won that amount of money and retired from the game. On The $20,000 Pyramid, a player's first trip to the Winner's Circle was for a possible $10,000, the second for $15,000, and third and subsequent trips for $20,000. A player who lost the maingame left the show; thus, at least one new player would be introduced for the second game of each episode; a game with a Winner's Circle win in the first half would bring two new players to the show for the second half.


During the Junior Partner Pyramid format, two teams competed in two games each day, with $2,500 being the payoff for winning the day's first Winner's Circle, and if the same team made it to the second one, it would be worth $5,000; the team with the highest total were the champions and returned the next day.


On the short-lived $50,000 Pyramid, two contestants also competed for the entire show; the first Winner's Circle was worth $5,000, and regardless of whether if it was won or not, if the same player made it to the day's second Winner's Circle, it would be worth $10,000.


Originally, if there was no time for the second Winner's Circle, it would be played at the top of the next show. On the week-ending Friday episode, if the second game ended in a tie and time was running short, the celebrities would team up to play the Winner's Circle and if won, their contestant partners split $5,000 between them (this procedure may have been instituted following a Monday show that started with a Winner's Circle, in which the previous week's celebrity, Nipsey Russell, returned just to play that round and then left). By the 1980s, games no longer straddled; every episode contained two maingames and two Winner's Circles. Julius Nipsey Russell (September 15, 1918 – October 2, 2005)[1] was an African-American comedian, best known today for his many appearances as a guest panelist on game shows from the 1960s through the 1990s, especially Match Game, Password, Hollywood Squares, To Tell the Truth and Pyramid. ...


On the 1970s syndicated version, if time was running short after the second game, the winning contestant received an additional $2,500; by the final season, the aforementioned "best of 7" maingame tiebreaker had been instituted, thus eliminating the need for that rule.


Returning champions and winnings limits

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


On the $25,000 and $100,000 versions of the show, the same two contestants competed for both halves of the episode. A player who won one of the two games on the episode played the Winner's Circle for $10,000; a player who won both games played the second Winner's Circle for a total of $25,000 (thus a second successful Winner's Circle trip actually added only $15,000 to the player's score). On all versions from 1982 to 1991, a player who won both games of an episode became the champion and returned on the next show; if each player won one game, the player with the higher total in the Winner's Circle became champion (cash won in the various front-game bonuses did not count). If the two players won equal amounts of money in the Winner's Circle, both returned on the next show.


Contestants on all 1982-1991 versions were allowed to remain on the show until defeated, lasting the maximum of five shows or (on the daytime version) exceeding the CBS winnings limit. This was originally $25,000, increased to $50,000 in early 1984, and again to $75,000 by the end of the show's run; however, players were allowed to keep all winnings in excess of the limit(s).


The 2000's revival featured no returning champions. Each trip to the Winner's Circle was for $10,000, unless a player won the bonus in the first game and then won the second game; in that case, the second trip was for a total of $25,000, as well as a spot in the $100,000 tournament. (Note that a player on previous versions did not have to win the earlier attempt at the Winner's Circle to play for the larger bonus in the later game.)


Tournaments

On The $50,000 Pyramid, the player with the fastest time in the front game during that week qualified for the $50,000 tournament. The field started with eight contenders but was narrowed down to three by the end of the first week of the tournament. Starting the following Monday, two finalists played one game and the winner played the Winner's 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.


On the syndicated versions beginning in 1985, the three players who won the Winner's Circle in the shortest time during a given period of shows (usually 13 weeks) returned on later episodes to compete in a tournament. The players alternated in a round-robin, with two players in each game and the third player replacing the loser of that game in the next one, if neither player won the Winner's Circle that day (in the event of a tie, a coin toss was used to determine who returned on the next show). The first player to win the Winner's Circle won $100,000 and ended the tournament. If a $100,000 win happened in the first game of the show, the two remaining players played the second game for a possible $10,000. No bonus cards were in play during a tournament, although the $5,000 bonus for a 21-21 tie remained intact on the 1980s version.


On the recent Osmond version, the tournament was played between either four or six players who won $25,000 in their initial appearance, with two tournaments played each season. During a six-player tournament, each contestant's first attempt at the Winner's Circle was worth $25,000; if it 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 neither player able to win 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 semifinalists competed on day one and the other two semifinalists on day two, with each attempt at the Winner's Circle worth $25,000. The top two winners then returned to compete in the finals, where a Winner's Circle victory was worth an additional $50,000.


Set evolution

Clock and score displays

The $50,000 Pyramid was unusual in that the clock in its main game counted up, from 00 to 30 (to facilitate "Time of the Week" scoring). It was also the first Pyramid version to use a fully electronic display for the main-game clock (using a vane-display clock), rather than a chromakeyed Solari board display. During regular gameplay, the Winner's Circle clock was also vane-display, with it starting at "1 00" and counting down from there. The Solari boards were used for the clock during tournament play, going as before (counting down from "30" and "60"). A chroma key is the removal of a color (or small color range) from one image to reveal another behind it. ... Solari departure boards are electric departure boards used in train stations around the world. ...


When Pyramid returned to CBS, the clock and score displays were all vane displays (each digit using seven flipper pieces to display numbers). However, during the Winner's Circle round, the player receiving the clues and host Dick Clark would see an eggcrate-display clock to indicate how much time is left. In close wins, home viewers were sometimes shown this eggcrate clock after the win to further prove how little time remained. Sometimes, when time was ran short when the next to last subject or the last subject was being guessed, Clark would advise the clue giver to "Hurry!"


Set Evolution and Colors - 1973-81

When The $10,000 Pyramid debuted in 1973 on CBS, the predominant color was orange, with small amounts of light blue on the background walls except behind the large pyramid. The background behind the large pyramid was accomplished with studio lights in a reddish hue. The large pyramid was a very dark brown. The pyramid originally had a giant orange wall covering it, which was raised during the show's original opening sequence (this was quickly removed when CBS changed the opening to a "recap of past winners" montage format, popular with 1970's era game shows). The Winner's Circle trilons had an orange color background on all sides of the trilons including the golden Pyramid symbol side. This color scheme was replicated when the show moved to ABC, as well as on the first couple seasons of The $25,000 Pyramid with Bill Cullen in syndication. This article is about the broadcast network. ...


The color scheme changed in late December 1975, shortly before the debut of The $20,000 Pyramid, to a darker blue color. The category side and the dollar amount side on the Winner Circle trilons retained their orange color throughout the 70s and on the 1981 version known as The $50,000 Pyramid. The edges of the pylons behind the contestants in the front game changed to a sky blue color, while the background color behind the large pyramid changed to a lighter blue color and the shag carpet was changed to a golden color. By January 1980, the golden carpet would be removed to display a white "kitchen tile" motif with a few lines. The $50,000 Pyramid's set during 1981 kept much of the last few changes of The $20,000 Pyramid's set from its last few months in 1980.


The host's lectern did not originally have the show's name on it, but it was later added. The orange set had the show's logo in black lettering. When the set's color scheme was changed, the lectern changed to blue with white lettering. In 1980, a new lectern was introduced, made of plexiglass with a light blue pyramid shaped logo with white lettering. It would be modified and used again on The $50,000 Pyramid during 1981, by simply painting a "5" over the "2" that was previously there.


Celebrities

June Lockhart and Rob Reiner were the first celebrity guests on the debut week of CBS' The $10,000 Pyramid in 1973. Lockhart was frequently seen as a guest during the 1970s, and Reiner later appeared on two episodes of Cullen's show during its first season. June Lockhart (born 25 June 1925 in New York City, USA) is an American television and film actress best known for her roles as the mothers on Lassie and Lost in Space. ... Robert Rob Reiner (born March 6, 1945) is an American actor, director, producer, writer, childrens advocate and political activist. ...


Several game show hosts and future hosts appeared as panelists, including Bill Cullen, Geoff Edwards, Nipsey Russell, Betty White and Henry Polic II. Clark and Cullen appeared as celebrity guests on each other's shows, and Clark also appeared on three episodes of the Osmond version. William Bill Lawrence Frances Cullen (February 18, 1920 – July 7, 1990), was an Emmy Award-winning American radio and television personality. ... Geoff Edwards is an American television actor, game show host and radio personality born on February 13, 1931 in Westfield, New Jersey. ... Julius Nipsey Russell (September 15, 1918 – October 2, 2005)[1] was an African-American comedian, best known today for his many appearances as a guest panelist on game shows from the 1960s through the 1990s, especially Match Game, Password, Hollywood Squares, To Tell the Truth and Pyramid. ... Betty White (born January 17, 1922) is an Emmy Award-winning American film and television actress with a career spanning sixty years, sometimes referred to as The First Lady of Television and Americas Sweetheart. ... Henry Polic II (born February 20, 1945 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American stage, screen, and voice actor. ...


Billy Crystal holds the record for the fastest Winner's Circle win at 26 seconds, in an episode aired on December 2, 1977. Though the episode itself was destroyed, a clip of Crystal's entire record-breaking round was later shown on a 1979 episode that featured Crystal and his Soap co-star, Sal Viscuso. For the American political commentator, see William Kristol. ... is the 336th day of the year (337th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1977 (album) by Ash. ... For other uses, see Soap (disambiguation). ... Sal Viscuso voiced as the P.A. System Announcer, a recurring voice in the television series M*A*S*H. External links Sal Viscuso entry on Internet Movie Database Categories: People stubs ...


On one episode of the $25,000 Pyramid in 1986, Tom Poston and contestant Kris Mallory set a new record by winning no money in the Winner's Circle. Poston received the clues from Mallory. Tom Poston (October 17, 1921 – April 30, 2007) was an American television and film actor. ...


Lois Nettleton and Bill Cullen were guests on the final episode of the ABC version on Friday, June 27, 1980. The episode also featured, during its closing segment, a joke Winner's Circle board featuring categories that might have been used if the producers "wanted to save the money". Lois Nettleton in Twilight Zone:The Midnight Sun Lois Nettleton (born August 6, 1929 in Oak Park, Illinois) is an actress and voice artist mostly known for her work in television. ... is the 178th day of the year (179th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ...


William Shatner had played the $10,000 and $20,000 Pyramids several times, with very notable incidents. The first was when he played the Winner's Circle all by himself in 1975, on the $10K version (he did not win the money, but producers gave him the money anyway). The other notable incident occurred on the $20K version in 1977, when he accidentally gave "The blessed" as a clue for "Things that are blessed," (costing his partner the $20,000 grand prize) and he threw his chair out of the Winner's Circle in anger, breaking it. Dick then approached Shatner with the broken chair. On the next day's episode, Dick showed a clip of the now-infamous incident. Shatner rarely appeared on any version of the show after that. William Alan Shatner (born on March 22, 1931) is a Canadian actor who gained fame for playing James Tiberius Kirk of the USS Enterprise in the television show Star Trek from 1966 to 1969 and in seven of the subsequent movies. ...


Several contestants later returned to the show after becoming celebrities. These include David Graf of the Police Academy film series, who won $10,000 with his partner, Patty Duke, in 1979. When the two were reunited as celebrities for a week in 1985, a clip of the big win was shown. David Graf (April 16, 1950 – April 7, 2001) was an American actor, best known for his role as Sgt. ... Captain Harris, Tackleberry, and Proctor in Sweden 1989 to promote Police Academy 6: City Under Siege. ... Patty Duke (born December 14, 1946) is an Academy Award-winning American actress of the stage and screen. ...


Constance McCashin of Knots Landing appeared as a contestant on the Cullen version. She later made frequent appearances on the show as a celebrity guest in the 1980s, including on the debut week of the CBS version of The [New] $25,000 Pyramid in 1982 with Robert Mandan. Constance McCashin (born June 18, 1947 in Chicago) is an American actress. ... Knots Landing was a primetime television soap opera that aired for 14 seasons, from December 27th, 1979 to May 13th, 1993 on CBS. Set in a fictitious coastal suburb of Los Angeles in California, the show initially centered around the lives of four married couples residing in a cul-de... Robert Mandan (born February 2, 1932 in Clever, Missouri) is an American actor. ...


Mel Harris of thirtysomething appeared on Pyramid as a contestant in 1979 on the ABC daytime version, and again in 1985 on the syndicated $100,000 version, before finding success as an actress. She later appeared as a celebrity on the Davidson era in 1991 (and a clip of her winning big on the mid-1980s version was shown during the Monday episode of that week). Mel Harris (b. ... Thirtysomething (1987 – 1991) was a ground-breaking and award-winning American television drama created by Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick for United Artists Television. ...


Kathy Najimy appeared as a contestant in 1985 and later returned as a celebrity on the Osmond version. In a similar fashion, Pine-Sol spokeswoman Diane Amos was also a contestant in 1985 and returned as a celebrity on a special "Commercial Stars" episode of the Osmond version (with Subway pitchman Jared Fogle). Kathy Ann Najimy (born February 6, 1957) is an American actress, best known as Olive Massery on the television series Veronicas Closet, Sister Mary Patrick in Sister Act and the voice of Peggy Hill on the animated television series King of the Hill. ... Pine-Sol is a household cleaning agent used in bathrooms, kitchens, and other cleaning applications. ... SUBWAY® is the name of a franchise fast food restaurant that mainly sells sandwiches and salads. ... Jared S. Fogle (born December 1, 1977 in Indianapolis, Indiana), also known as The Subway Guy, is a spokesman employed by Subway Restaurants in its television advertising campaign. ...


Announcers

Bob Clayton was the show's main announcer until he died of a cardiac arrest in 1979. Other New York-based announcers, usually filling in on occasion whenever Clayton was absent, were Alan Kalter, Fred Foy, John Causier, Dick Heatherton, Ed Jordan and Scott Vincent. By 1980, Steve O'Brien was hired as the show's principal announcer for the ABC network daytime edition (as The $20,000 Pyramid), and O'Brien and Kalter then rotated announcing duties until 1981 when the last New York broadcast was produced and aired in syndication (as The $50,000 Pyramid). Bob Clayton was an American game show announcer and host of several shows. ... Alan Kalter on the Late Show with David Letterman Alan Kalter, or Big Red, began his stint as the voice of The Late Show with David Letterman on September 5, 1995. ... Fred Foy was an American actor and voice specialist. ...


When the show moved to Los Angeles in 1982, Jack Clark announced until 1985, with Rod Roddy, Jerry Bishop, and Charlie Tuna substituting on occasion. From then on, Johnny Gilbert, Bob Hilton, and Charlie O'Donnell rotated the announcing position, with Dean Goss also serving as occasional substitute. Robert Ray (Rod) Roddy (September 28, 1937 – October 27, 2003) was an American radio and television announcer. ... Charlie Tuna is a well known radio personality from Los Angeles, and is currently based on station KBIG 104. ... Johnny Gilbert (born July 13, 1924 in Newport News, Virginia) is a prolific American television game show announcer, best known for his over 20-year association with TVs Jeopardy!. His other credits include Sports Challenge, Camouflage, Chain Reaction, Go, Blackout, Card Sharks, Family Feud, The $25,000 Pyramid, and... Bob Hilton with The Price Is Right announcer Rich Fields. ... Charlie ODonnell (born August 12, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a television announcer best known for his work on Wheel of Fortune. ...


Gilbert was the regular announcer on Davidson's version, although Goss and Henry Polic II both filled in for him for several weeks during the first season. John Cramer announced for all of Osmond's version. Henry Polic II (born February 20, 1945 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American stage, screen, and voice actor. ... John Cramer (known on camera as Cramer) is an American television announcer. ...


Versions outside the USA

Foreign editions have been produced as well.


Among them:


United Kingdom: The Pyramid Game for ITV (originally featured on the short-lived Bruce's Big Night as the £1000 Pyramid), produced by London Weekend Television and hosted by Steve Jones, which aired from 1981-1984 and again from 1989-1990. Donny Osmond, who hosted the 2002-2004 version in the US, is hosting a new version called Donny's Pyramid Game on Challenge as of 7 May 2007. This January 2007 does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see ITV (disambiguation). ... LWT redirects here. ... Donald Clark Donny Osmond (born December 9, 1957) is an American entertainer. ... For other uses, see Challenge (disambiguation). ... is the 127th day of the year (128th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ...


France: Pyramide for France 2, hosted by Patrice Laffont. It was aired from 1991 to 2003.


Germany: Pyramide, first on ZDF from 1978-1994, and hosted by Dieter Thomas Heck, then later called Hast Du Worte?, and airing on Sat.1 from 1996-1998, and hosted by Jörg Pilawa, then Thomas Koschwitz. Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (Second German Television), ZDF, is a public service German television channel based in Mainz. ... Sat. ...


Singapore: Aired on Channel 5 in the late 1990s and hosted at various times by Samuel Chong, Benedict Goh and Darryl David. It had the same name as the UK version. It also had a spin-off Malay version aired on Suria, named Piramid. Channel 5 logo before 1994. ... This January 2007 does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... ...


Estonia: Called Püramiid for TV3, airing since March 2006. TV3 is a private television channel in Estonia. ...


Vietnam: A local version called Kim Tų Tháp and airing on HTV7.


Russia: Called Piramida.


Indonesia: The local version stands several years with title Kuis Piramida.


Chile: The show is called Contrareloj, and the set is a dead ringer to the Donny Osmond-era set. It airs on Canal 13 and is hosted by a female-- Esperanza Silva. Corporación de Televisión de la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UCTV), generally known by its broadcast frequency Canal 13, is the second oldest television station in Chile. ...


Italy: Rai Due produces "Pyramid" since December 3, 2007. Rai Due is one of the three main television channels broadcast by Italian public television company RAI alongside with Rai Uno and Rai Tre. ...


Turkey: Piramit, airing on the Turkish channel aTV, from 1994 to 1995. ATV is a nation wide tv channel in Turkey. ...


Canada: Pyramide, airing on the French-Canadian channel Radio-Canada, starting in spring 2008. CBC redirects here, as this is the most common use of the abbreviation. ...


Home versions

Main article: Pyramid (home game)

Milton Bradley made eight editions of the CBS/ABC versions starting in 1974. The dollar values in the MB editions changed over the years as the TV show did, with the eighth edition titled The $50,000 Pyramid, which is now rare. Pyramid was home game adaptation of the American game show where contestants tried to guess a series of words or phrases, based on descriptions that were given to them, in the shortest amount of time; first published by Milton Bradley in 1974 til 2003 by Endless Games. ... For the Oakland Athletics outfielder, see Milton Bradley (baseball player) The Milton Bradley Company is an American game company established by Milton Bradley in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1860. ...


The Winner's Circle portion of the Milton Bradley home versions was totally unlike the Winner's Circle on the TV show. In the home version, the Winner's Circle was almost exactly like the previous round, where one player would describe a single word to the other rather than the more familiar list of listing items in a category. Bob Stewart later said that this was because there were a limited number of categories - indeed, there are repeated categories in Winner's Circle games throughout the various Pyramid versions - and they didn't want potential contestants to practice with the home game and then see the same categories on the real show.


Cardinal Games created the first $25,000 Pyramid game in 1986, with a picture of Dick Clark on the box, the game had the correct version of the "Winner's Circle" round in the game; the game also had the option of playing it as The $100,000 Pyramid. Endless Games created a similar (to the Cardinal edition) version in 2000, still calling it The $25,000 Pyramid with a second edition based on Osmond's Pyramid in 2003.


The first computer version of The $100,000 Pyramid was released in 1987 for MS-DOS, Commodore 64 and Apple II computers by Box Office Software. Sierra Entertainment released a version from 2001 for the PC; which is mostly based on the 1985 version with some elements of the 1991 version. In 2006, MGA Games released a DVD game of The $100,000 Pyramid with gameplay different from the 80s version. Microsofts disk operating system, MS-DOS, was Microsofts implementation of DOS, which was the first popular operating system for the IBM PC, and until recently, was widely used on the PC compatible platform. ... C-64 redirects here. ... The Apple II was one of the most popular personal computers of the 1980s. ... Sierra Entertainment is an American computer game developer and publisher headquartered in Los Angeles, California. ... DVD Television Games are standalone games that can be played on set-top DVD players. ...


Episode status and rights

Most daytime episodes prior to 1978 are believed to be largely erased. Three episodes of the original CBS show exist in the UCLA Film & Television archives, and 14 episodes taped in 1973 originating from CBS Television City in Hollywood have been preserved and aired on GSN. GSN has also aired the last two seasons of The $20,000 Pyramid, approximately 350 of the 1,404 episodes of the CBS $25,000 Pyramid, and all 550 episodes of the 1980s $100,000 Pyramid. USA Network has also previously aired repeats of both 1980s versions. Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Binomial name Ucla xenogrammus Holleman, 1993 The largemouth triplefin, Ucla xenogrammus, is a fish of the family Tripterygiidae and only member of the genus Ucla, found in the Pacific Ocean from Viet Nam, the Philippines, Palau and the Caroline Islands to Papua New Guinea, Australia (including Christmas Island), and the... GSN redirects here. ...


CBS Television Distribution (originally Viacom) owns the rights to the versions hosted by Bill Cullen and John Davidson, the latter in partnership with StudioCanal via the latter's acquisition of syndicator Orbis Communications. Repeats of The $50,000 Pyramid aired in 1982 on the then-CBN Cable Network, shortly before the premiere of the CBS revival. None of these versions has aired on GSN. CBS Television Distribution is a United States and Global television distribution company, a merger of the television distribution arms of CBS Paramount Domestic Television, CBS Paramount International Television and King World. ... Viacom (NYSE: VIA) (NYSE: VIAb) is an American media conglomerate with various worldwide interests in cable and satellite television networks (MTV Networks and BET), and movie production and distribution (the Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks movie studios). ... StudioCanal (aka Le Studio Canal, Canal Plus, Canal + Distribution, and Canal+ Image S.A.), is a French-based production and distribution company that owns the third-largest film library in the world. ... The Carolco Pictures logo. ...


External links

MobyGames is a website devoted to cataloging computer and video games, both past and present. ...

Daytime Emmy Award history

Preceded by
Hollywood Squares
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show
1976
as The $20,000 Pyramid
Succeeded by
Family Feud
Preceded by
Hollywood Squares
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show
1980 – 1981
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 Show
1983 – 1987
as The $25,000 Pyramid
Succeeded by
The Price is Right
Preceded by
The Price is Right
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show
1989
as The $25,000 Pyramid
Succeeded by
Jeopardy!
This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Daytime Emmy Awards are awards presented by the New York- based National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles-based Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in recognition of excellence in American daytime television programming. ... This article is about the American game show. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Daytime Emmy Awards are awards presented by the New York- based National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles-based Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in recognition of excellence in American daytime television programming. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Password Plus and Super Password were American game shows that were revivals of the original CBS and ABC game show Password (1961-67; 1971-1975). ... Password Plus and Super Password were American game shows that were revivals of the original CBS and ABC game show Password (1961-67; 1971-1975). ... The Daytime Emmy Awards are awards presented by the New York- based National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles-based Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in recognition of excellence in American daytime television programming. ... The Price Is Rights US 36th season logo. ... The Price Is Rights US 36th season logo. ... The Daytime Emmy Awards are awards presented by the New York- based National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles-based Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in recognition of excellence in American daytime television programming. ... Jeopardy redirects here. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Game Show Information Free TV tickets (294 words)
Quiz shows like the $64,000 Question and Twenty-One were extremely successful, until it was discovered the producers were giving out the answers ahead of time. Academy Award winner Robert Redford brilliantly depicted this scandal in American History in his Oscar winning film "Quiz Show".
Other popular TV game shows created during this time included "This is your Life" with celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, "What's My Line" with panelists that included Desi Arnaz and Arlene Francis, "Queen for a Day" "I've Got a Secret" and the "Price is Right".
Game shows have remained a huge source of entertainment, and are still a major part of pop culture.
Wikinfo | Game show (871 words)
A game show is a radio or television programme involving members of the public or celebrities, sometimes as part of a team, playing a game, perhaps involving answering quiz questions, for points or prizes.
In a reality show the competition usually lasts several days or even weeks and a competitor's progress through the game is based on some form of popularity contest, usually a kind of disapproval voting by their fellow competitors or members of the public.
Dating game shows, the original reality games, in which the prize is typically a well-funded dating opportunity that one can only pursue with the individual one has 'won' on the show.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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