Monday, June 27, 2016

Rebuilding the pyramid

ABC's remake of Pyramid debuted, and it was just like old times. I mean exactly like old times. There was one teensy-weensy change from the ancient Dick Clark version in the tiebreaker rules, but otherwise we might as well have been back in 1985. There was even a Mystery 7 category.

No doubt this explains why the show got nice advance notices from the heavily traditionalist game show Interwebs. And since Pyramid is one of my personal fave formats, I can hardly whine, either.

Michael Strahan was relaxed, friendly and competent as the host. The ABC hour was basically two half-hour eps smushed together. The celebs in the first thirty minutes were Sherri Shepherd and Anthony Anderson. Sherri has plenty of experience on Donnymid and Celebrity Name Game, and she played just fine. Anthony has no experience on any version, and he played...beyond godwaful. I actually felt sorry for the poor civvies who had to team up with him.

Things perked up in the second half-hour, with Rosie O'Donnell and Kathy Najimy doing well. Rosie did endure one crucial blank-out moment, but it's a tough format and I'm not going to be too harsh a judge. And a couple of the civvies went home very happy after the winners circle. ABC's Pyramid is a paint-by-numbers remake, but the numbers for this format are just swell, thank you.

UPDATE: Speaking of numbers, ABC's entire game show night got nice news from the Nielsen Company. Pyramid led a sweep of Sunday night for the alphabet net. 8.09M total viewers and a 1.7 18-49 rating. Celebrity Family Feud got 7.98M and 1.6, and Match Game did 6.64M and 1.5. A fine night for the genre.

20 comments:

  1. Anderson was awful. But I'll somewhat give him a pass because he did start to pick it up during gameplay, but still lost. Good thing he didn't go to the Winner's Circle. The second half hour was really exciting and intense with the back and fourth ties. Michael was solid as host, but Dick Clark will truly be the master of the Pyramid. Although I'm sure he would give his blessing to the show if he were still alive.

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    1. I was disappointed not seeing the traditional tiebreaker. It probably worked in a 21-21 tie but what about a 20-20 or 19-19? They'd have to go back to the tapes and figure out when each contestant got the last word correct in each round? Just go to "Words that begin with fill in the blank letter"! Not that complicated.

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    2. But would also eat up precious commercial time.

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    3. Probably took Strahan that long to explain the rule.

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  2. I hope this good performance will let ABC consider a weekday show? One more problem than the tie breaker is that the trylons for the Winner's Circle spun too slow. Almost 2 seconds.

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    1. My thoughts exactly. Maybe ABC could cancel The View & greenlight a couple games or NBC might break away from 12 hours of Today. I'd be happy with a high profile syndicated game or 2 to help rid us of so many judge shows.

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    2. That would be the reason why I would rather just have monitors than trilons. I understand it's the classics, but I'm worried that it will slow down the game play along with the teams chance of winning.

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    3. ABC did cancel The Fab Life so there is an open spot in their daytime lineup (unless they gave it back to the affiliates).

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    4. The FabLife was syndicated. And they would never, EVER cancel the View. Maybe the Chew or General Hospital, but the View is like an institution in daytime programming.

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    5. So was All My Children, One Life to Live, As the World Turns, and Guiding Light were also longer institutions in daytime programming, lasting longer than even TPIR has, and all three were gone in the space of 2.5 years.

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    6. Well, that's true. But those are soap operas, and I believe the networks don't really want soap operas. I think the reason for why General Hospital is still here is so that people don't think they've ''given up'' on soaps. And as for the View, it's a talk show, and networks seem to LOVE talk shows.

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  3. Another home run as a game show remake. Strahan was more than competent...he was quite good.

    One of the reasons GSN's version failed was lousy "celebrity" play. THey need to audition the "celebrities" as much as the players. It's not fair to stick a contestant trying to win money with a lousy celebrity with no idea how to play the game.

    But it was another winner.

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    1. Well, Anthony Anderson was super-lousy. But the other three celebs were fine.

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    2. Another reason GSN's version failed was a lousy host. He was way too forced. I also think that the producers for that version were the reason why it failed, they were way too lazy.

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    3. Disagree on this, too. Richards was more than okay as the host. And "failed" is a relative term. While GSN's Pyramid didn't get renewed, the show still holds a place on the network in reruns. So somebody's watching it.

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  4. This blog's policy against obscenity in the comment sections is well established. I have deleted a comment from Rick Silas and reprinted it with the obscenity removed...

    The only problem was- they need to bring back the 7-11 for round 1 or double up the mystery 7 for both mini-pyramid rounds. Otherwise, this was f------ awesome to have a smart game show back on prime time TV!

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  5. I probably would've aired the Rosie/Kathy episode first and the Sherri/Anthony episode second. You'd have the 21-21 tie in the first game, the inappropriate clue, and Liz's scream as the first episode. Actually, I would've aired a $100K winner episode first or an episode where a contestant won $50K in the second half first. It is kind of a letdown having the Winner's Circle win first rather than second although it was great seeing two wins the first week regardless.

    I thought "bunches" was way easy a win. "Earned" and "Squeak" were a little harder, and "Blurred" was the toughest one on the show. It's sad he got blurred but couldn't figure out a bee stung (going the sting ray route just didn't work).

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  6. Robin Thicke's Lines is a good, albeit modern clue, for Things that are Blurred.

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  7. -Four- consecutive contestants gave the clues in the WC? Does anyone know if that is the rule in this format? Cause I can't remember it happening that often at least in the 80's version.

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