Saturday, April 23, 2016

Pyramid fossilized?

At what's left of what used to be Matt Ottinger's board, they're cooing over ABC's Pyramid reboot.

Several posters have attended the show's tapings and have nothing but good things to say. Given the well-known preferences of the board, this can mean only one thing. The producers have frozen the format in time, and ABC's "new" version is a DNA-match to the old Dick Clark version.

Which is hardly terrible, of course. The old version was one great format. That's why GSN also did a paint-by-numbers revival that copied the old show slavishly. I can't blame ABC too much for trying this approach.

Just one thing, though. GSN's version expired after one season of so-so ratings, though reruns continue to grind away on weekday afternoons. My guess is the been-there-done-that effect. Viewers saw exactly the same thing as the old Dick Clark reruns and thought, why bother? Sure, the oldies board to end all oldies boards prefers Pyramid's format to be dipped in liquid nitrogen and kept eternally frozen. But is this the way to develop a new fanbase in 2016?

I always liked how the Donny Osmond version of 2002-04 wasn't afraid to tinker a little with the classic format (though the winner's circle sneak peek in the first season was a big goof). Apparently there ain't any tinkering going on in ABC's rewind. Let's just hope that the Celebrity Family Feud lead-in does the trick for the old format.

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