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The Game Show Forum => The Big Board => Topic started by: chad1m on May 18, 2011, 09:54:19 AM

Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: chad1m on May 18, 2011, 09:54:19 AM
TBS & TNT announced (http://"http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news/2011/05/18/tnt-and-tbs-announce-extensive-slate-of-new-projects-from-top-talents-561104/20110518turner01/") their slate of programs in development today. TBS announced four shows, only one of which is unscripted: Pyramid hosted by 2010 CBS daytime candidate pilot host and sidekick to TBS's new poster child Conan, Andy Richter. This is what is listed from Turner:

Pyramid - Andy Richter, famed sidekick to Conan O'Brien, hosts Pyramid, a  modern-day take on the iconic game show that began as The $10,000  Pyramid. Contestants team with a celebrity partner to take turns  guessing words or phrases in a category. Pyramid comes to TBS from Sony  Pictures Television, Embassy Row and executive producer Michael Davies  (Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?).

Will 2011 be the year that some incarnation of the Pyramid finally makes it out of development and onto our TV screens? I hope so.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Matt Ottinger on May 18, 2011, 12:52:53 PM
We always have cause for concern when a press release uses the phrase "modern-day take".  Still, it sounds like the recent efforts have hewed pretty close to the original version, and there isn't a lot of reason to believe they'll introduce physical challenges or some such nonsense.  Cautiously optimistic, both for a pick-up and for something worthy of a pick-up.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Clay Zambo on May 18, 2011, 01:12:23 PM
Ooh!  Instead of the "Mystery 7" and the "Double Dip" they'll have "describe these things that are messy while we pelt you with chocolate pudding"!
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: clemon79 on May 18, 2011, 01:47:17 PM
We always have cause for concern when a press release uses the phrase "modern-day take".  Still, it sounds like the recent efforts have hewed pretty close to the original version, and there isn't a lot of reason to believe they'll introduce physical challenges or some such nonsense.  Cautiously optimistic, both for a pick-up and for something worthy of a pick-up.
QFT. I'd be more than willing to give this a chance. Based on the pilots Davies has demonstrated that he seems to have a modicum of understanding as to what was broken with Donnymid.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: TimK2003 on May 18, 2011, 05:01:34 PM
We always have cause for concern when a press release uses the phrase "modern-day take".  Still, it sounds like the recent efforts have hewed pretty close to the original version, and there isn't a lot of reason to believe they'll introduce physical challenges or some such nonsense.  Cautiously optimistic, both for a pick-up and for something worthy of a pick-up.

I'd much rather see the words "Modern-day take" in a press release for Pyramid than any words or phrases that allude to the "Donnymid" series.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: weaklink75 on May 18, 2011, 06:26:29 PM
My concern is that this really doesn't seems right for TBS and their "Very Funny" brand- they did a pilot for Match Game and it didn't work out, and that was a better fit..
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Jimmy Owen on May 18, 2011, 07:10:15 PM
My concern is that this really doesn't seems right for TBS and their "Very Funny" brand- they did a pilot for Match Game and it didn't work out, and that was a better fit..
With Richter hosting, Pyramid could be reimaged to fit the "Very Funny" brand.  Let's wait until the show airs to judge.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: chris319 on May 18, 2011, 08:09:38 PM
Quote
With Richter hosting, Pyramid could be reimaged to fit the "Very Funny" brand.
Are you kidding? Pyramid is not a comedy show. It's one of the most durable game formats but comedy it is not. It's been proven over the decades to work without "reimaging" or "a new take" or the artificial injection of comedy. If you want Hollywood Squares or Match Game, put on Hollywood Squares or Match Game. If you want a comedy vehicle for Andy Richter, develop a comedy show. It doesn't much matter if Andy Richter is the emcee of Pyramid because as we all know, people don't tune in for the comedy stylings of the emcee; they tune in to play the game.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Jimmy Owen on May 18, 2011, 09:07:47 PM
Well, TBS does show the occasional movie and MLB games, so it's not 100% comedy, but it's close.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Neumms on May 19, 2011, 12:07:48 AM
Well, TBS does show the occasional movie and MLB games, so it's not 100% comedy, but it's close.

They did show the Twins trying to compete against the Yankees in last year's playoffs. Very funny, unless you live in Minnesota.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: MyronMMeyer on May 19, 2011, 02:56:27 AM
Well, TBS does show the occasional movie and MLB games, so it's not 100% comedy, but it's close.

They did show the Twins trying to compete against the Yankees in last year's playoffs. Very funny, unless you live in Minnesota.

I'd like to laugh at that, but I'm too busy sticking my head in the oven.

-M
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: TonicBH on May 19, 2011, 03:22:32 AM
TBS & TNT announced (http://"http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news/2011/05/18/tnt-and-tbs-announce-extensive-slate-of-new-projects-from-top-talents-561104/20110518turner01/") their slate of programs in development today. TBS announced four shows, only one of which is unscripted: Pyramid hosted by 2010 CBS daytime candidate pilot host and sidekick to TBS's new poster child Conan, Andy Richter. This is what is listed from Turner:

Pyramid - Andy Richter, famed sidekick to Conan O'Brien, hosts Pyramid, a  modern-day take on the iconic game show that began as The $10,000  Pyramid. Contestants team with a celebrity partner to take turns  guessing words or phrases in a category. Pyramid comes to TBS from Sony  Pictures Television, Embassy Row and executive producer Michael Davies  (Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?).

Will 2011 be the year that some incarnation of the Pyramid finally makes it out of development and onto our TV screens? I hope so.

Michael Davies? This can only end in disaster. I can't put faith in that guy reviving that show without adding dumb gimmicks that just don't work.

Besides, Pyramid is cerebral and requires timing. Comedy is not that show's forte.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: The Ol' Guy on May 19, 2011, 06:57:10 AM
Agreed - the show's not built for comedy. If Andy stays 98% all business like Dick Clark was, I'm sure he'd have some slack cut if he were to drop in an occasional comic reaction line to something done in play. And TBS could make a special variation for promoting the show. Pyramid on TBS. Very fun!
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Mr. Armadillo on May 19, 2011, 09:11:39 AM
It's been proven over the decades to work without "reimaging" or "a new take" or the artificial injection of comedy.
It hasn't been proven for nearly two and a half decades.  I wouldn't be so sure that it can work in 2011 without "reimaging".
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: tpirfan28 on May 19, 2011, 09:32:56 AM
We always have cause for concern when a press release uses the phrase "modern-day take".  Still, it sounds like the recent efforts have hewed pretty close to the original version, and there isn't a lot of reason to believe they'll introduce physical challenges or some such nonsense.  Cautiously optimistic, both for a pick-up and for something worthy of a pick-up.
QFT. I'd be more than willing to give this a chance. Based on the pilots Davies has demonstrated that he seems to have a modicum of understanding as to what was broken with Donnymid.
Considering "what was broken with Donnymid" is "everything", it shouldn't be that hard to fix.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Matt Ottinger on May 19, 2011, 09:46:49 AM
Considering "what was broken with Donnymid" is "everything", it shouldn't be that hard to fix.
I know it sounds better and seems to make a more powerful statement when you talk in extremes, but to say that "everything" was wrong with Donnymid is a gross and somewhat ridiculous exaggeration.  There were many, many things about it that we didn't like, but there were also many things that were very much in line with the classic show, and some modern tweaks that might actually have been a slight improvement.  For any of us who had the chance to see the TRULY god-awful pilots from a few years earlier, Donnymid was a treat.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Jumpondees on May 19, 2011, 12:01:11 PM
Well, I am not going to hold my breath for this one until I see it actually go to prodcution.  Remember that it was not that long ago that TBS was working on a Match Game revival that never materialized.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Neumms on May 19, 2011, 12:06:40 PM
Note of optimism: It's for a network, so they could do returning champs.

Maybe their comedy bent will influence celebrity partner selection. Minor characters from "Seinfeld" and "The Office" and generally funny people could be an improvement on the infotainment stars and boring athletes Donny was getting.

And maybe the front-game category names will actually be funny. Funny without cutaways to the celebs chuckling, presumably at something else.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: clemon79 on May 19, 2011, 12:13:25 PM
Considering "what was broken with Donnymid" is "everything", it shouldn't be that hard to fix.
Well, "improve", perhaps. I think "fix" is a long way away from Donnymid.

I know it sounds better and seems to make a more powerful statement when you talk in extremes, but to say that "everything" was wrong with Donnymid is a gross and somewhat ridiculous exaggeration. There were many, many things about it that we didn't like, but there were also many things that were very much in line with the classic show, and some modern tweaks that might actually have been a slight improvement.
While I agree to a point (I'm one of those who thought Donny was a tolerable host, for example), I'm curious to know what you think the improvements were. I'm open to the idea that there might be some, but damned if I can think of one. I'm wondering what I may be missing.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: toetyper on May 19, 2011, 12:22:06 PM
anyone wanna speculate  what time slot TBS would put  pyramid? 7pm? 8pm? 11pm?
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: chad1m on May 19, 2011, 12:40:00 PM
11pm?
11 won't happen, since they've spent too much time and money on advertising Conan in that timeslot. But you certainly pose a valid question. Maybe a 10:30 slot to lead into Andy with Conan? It's just hard to picture Pyramid airing that late in the day.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: rebelwrest on May 19, 2011, 01:42:16 PM
11pm?
11 won't happen, since they've spent too much time and money on advertising Conan in that timeslot. But you certainly pose a valid question. Maybe a 10:30 slot to lead into Andy with Conan? It's just hard to picture Pyramid airing that late in the day.

For some reason, I think 6:30 PM seems to be a strong time for cable.  Maybe because since its mainly opposite the nightly newscasts.  If TBS put Pyramid at 6:30 PM it could have a strong showing.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Tony Peters on May 19, 2011, 02:04:14 PM
Any concerns I might have for Pyramid are, sadly for me, rendered moot since I don't have cable or satellite (cable doesn't even go out to where I live; plus, our family budget is very limited, and we have determined that satellite internet is more important/useful to us than satellite TV).
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Neumms on May 19, 2011, 03:01:43 PM
Any concerns I might have for Pyramid are, sadly for me, rendered moot since I don't have cable or satellite (cable doesn't even go out to where I live; plus, our family budget is very limited, and we have determined that satellite internet is more important/useful to us than satellite TV).

:-(
Thanks for letting us know.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Matt Ottinger on May 19, 2011, 03:36:42 PM
I'm curious to know what you think the improvements were.
First instinct, and I know it's somewhat controversial, is the set.  I personally think it was a high-tech gloss that proved it was a modern show, but would not have taken anything away from traditional game play.  I also agree with you that Donny was not really part of the problem.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: clemon79 on May 19, 2011, 03:47:32 PM
First instinct, and I know it's somewhat controversial, is the set.  I personally think it was a high-tech gloss that proved it was a modern show, but would not have taken anything away from traditional game play.  I also agree with you that Donny was not really part of the problem.
No, I'll buy that. I thought you had things in mind that were closer along the lines of the actual game format.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: chris319 on May 19, 2011, 06:41:40 PM
Quote
It hasn't been proven for nearly two and a half decades. I wouldn't be so sure that it can work in 2011 without "reimaging".
What's to "reimage"? It's a pretty basic format, like Jeopardy! and WOF which have been on for decades without radical changes. Given the way producers approach game shows these days, it's a "be careful what you wish for" situation. You wouldn't want a "variety show within a game show", would you?
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: trainman on May 20, 2011, 12:12:33 AM
Any concerns I might have for Pyramid are, sadly for me, rendered moot since I don't have cable or satellite (cable doesn't even go out to where I live; plus, our family budget is very limited, and we have determined that satellite internet is more important/useful to us than satellite TV).

My guess is that TBS will put the episodes online.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Neumms on May 20, 2011, 11:31:41 AM
Quote
It hasn't been proven for nearly two and a half decades. I wouldn't be so sure that it can work in 2011 without "reimaging".
What's to "reimage"?

I would love for them to shorten the front game, mainly because I've always found it boring. 20 seconds was an interesting twist, but then it was too easy to crap out and make the game a runaway. I say make it two rounds, celeb gives once, civilian gives once. That leaves time for post-mortems at the Winners' Circle.

I'm with you, Matt, on the set. I think there could have been more lighting effects when somebody won, but modernization was smart. The CBS pilot set updated the old versions just enough to be completely dorky, like Drew's TPIR set "updates."

I didn't mind finding new music, either. It's just that what they picked had no hook and no melody.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Jimmy Owen on May 20, 2011, 11:52:25 AM
Maybe I'm overthinking this, or maybe stuck in the past, but if you have only four categories in the front game, that would change the mini-pyramid to a square shape.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Matt Ottinger on May 20, 2011, 12:21:16 PM
I say make it two rounds, celeb gives once, civilian gives once.
You know, this might not be bad.  I'd tweak your idea and make the two rounds 45 seconds, and have ten subjects.  That's the same amount of game play as the original version, but you're still saving time with less back-and-forth.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: TheLastResort on May 20, 2011, 01:17:36 PM
Maybe I'm overthinking this, or maybe stuck in the past, but if you have only four categories in the front game, that would change the mini-pyramid to a square shape.

Keep the six categories.  Two would be unused.  If one of them had a bonus, too bad.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Matt Ottinger on May 20, 2011, 01:39:07 PM
Maybe I'm overthinking this, or maybe stuck in the past, but if you have only four categories in the front game, that would change the mini-pyramid to a square shape.
Keep the six categories.  Two would be unused.  If one of them had a bonus, too bad.
Make a square and surround it by some triangles.  This is not an insurmountable problem.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: chris319 on May 20, 2011, 06:17:39 PM
These are all minor game tweaks, not a major "reimaging".
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: TimK2003 on May 20, 2011, 06:38:46 PM
Keep the front game as-is.  

On the one hand, if you are paired up with a Z-List celeb who can't play worth shiat either in the giving or receiving department, then the contestant can use the 3rd (round) category to either give or receive to make the best of it.  If only given the chance to play only 2 categories, and the celeb gives (and sucks) first, you're pretty much dead meat.  With the 3rd category, the contestant knows what setup was stronger (give to, or receive from the celeb) and they can try to make up for a bad category or bad celeb that either gave or received poorly.

On the other hand, if your talent coordinators do find both celebs and civilians who can play the game effectively, there is a good chance that they won't need all 30-seconds anyway for every category.

Overall, even with the amount of time devoted to commercials, if you take out the promotional prize considerations at the end by making the game an all-cash show, have the credits flashing through on the lower 1/3rd of the screen during the final act/wrap-up of the day's winnings, and limiting the chit-chat to a fraction of what was done on the Clark version between rounds, I really think you can still fit a pair of six 30-second category rounds and two WC games into 22 minutes and still not look rushed.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Casey Buck on May 20, 2011, 07:04:02 PM
Overall, even with the amount of time devoted to commercials, if you take out the promotional prize considerations at the end by making the game an all-cash show, have the credits flashing through on the lower 1/3rd of the screen during the final act/wrap-up of the day's winnings, and limiting the chit-chat to a fraction of what was done on the Clark version between rounds, I really think you can still fit a pair of six 30-second category rounds and two WC games into 22 minutes and still not look rushed.
Actually, I'm pretty sure the Clark version was about 22 minutes (or maybe 22.5 minutes) long. Most cable-original shows these days run about 21-22 minutes per half hour in length, so hopefully, nothing would have to be shortened format wise.

However, the format would have been much worse off if Pyramid went to CBS Daytime. With their present commercial loads, the show would have only ran about 19 minutes in length (an hour of Price runs ~38 minutes long).
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: chrisholland03 on May 20, 2011, 07:07:21 PM
Considering "what was broken with Donnymid" is "everything", it shouldn't be that hard to fix.
For any of us who had the chance to see the TRULY god-awful pilots from a few years earlier, Donnymid was a treat.

*cough cough*Pyramid Partners*cough cough*
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: MSTieScott on May 20, 2011, 07:32:15 PM
Regarding the proposed gameplay changes, has it been announced whether this "Pyramid" would be a half-hour in length? Because the last pilot was for an hour-long show -- they fit plenty of gameplay in the hour without radical rule changes (though it did reintroduce the "you're out of luck if you get a bad celebrity" factor).
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: calliaume on May 20, 2011, 10:27:13 PM
Regarding the proposed gameplay changes, has it been announced whether this "Pyramid" would be a half-hour in length? Because the last pilot was for an hour-long show -- they fit plenty of gameplay in the hour without radical rule changes (though it did reintroduce the "you're out of luck if you get a bad celebrity" factor).
I thought I read an hour-long show, but that could have been referring to last year's pilot.

If they are doing an hour, you could still do six categories, 30 seconds -- but then have two complete games with two different contestants in each game, and a third game where the two winners square off.  The only drawback is the "who gets stuck with the rotten celebrity" issue that the '80s edition skirted so well -- but by the time the '80s version came around, Bob Stewart seemed to have the knack of pairing off celebs that were within striking distance of each other in terms of gameplaying skill.  (Which is also a reason why some of our "I never appear on television except for this show" celebrities kept getting called back.)
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Unrealtor on May 21, 2011, 01:04:23 AM
Regarding the proposed gameplay changes, has it been announced whether this "Pyramid" would be a half-hour in length? Because the last pilot was for an hour-long show -- they fit plenty of gameplay in the hour without radical rule changes (though it did reintroduce the "you're out of luck if you get a bad celebrity" factor).
I thought I read an hour-long show, but that could have been referring to last year's pilot.

If they are doing an hour, you could still do six categories, 30 seconds -- but then have two complete games with two different contestants in each game, and a third game where the two winners square off.  The only drawback is the "who gets stuck with the rotten celebrity" issue that the '80s edition skirted so well -- but by the time the '80s version came around, Bob Stewart seemed to have the knack of pairing off celebs that were within striking distance of each other in terms of gameplaying skill.  (Which is also a reason why some of our "I never appear on television except for this show" celebrities kept getting called back.)

By the late '80s, especially on $100K Pyramid, he also wasn't booking anyone he didn't already know was a solid player.

My answer to how you solve the crappy celebrity problem in a three-game format is to play the first two games with the same pair of contestants, then the winner of the first part of the show plays against the returning champion in game 3 (meaning that whoever gets stuck with them has had at least one chance to win with a decent celebrity in the past.)

However, for reasons discussed above in terms of time available, I feel like four games in an hour would be a better fit, allowing partner swaps in both the first and second halves of the show. If you guesstimate that a game in the '80s could be done in about 8 minutes without rushing, then three of those would barely fill half of a 40-42 minute show.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: clemon79 on May 21, 2011, 02:32:32 AM
My answer to how you solve the crappy celebrity problem
It saddens me that we're all automatically dismissing "don't book crappy celebrities" as a potential solution.

Mind you, I understand why that is. But it's sad that we're accepting it, however implicitly.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: chris319 on May 21, 2011, 10:19:25 AM
My answer to the "crappy celebrity" problem is quite simple: use regulars. HS always had Paul Lynde, Rose Marie, Wally Cox, Charley Weaver/George Gobel on the panel. MG always had Brett, Charles, Richard and a short list of ladies in seat 6. Goodson's NY panel shows had the same panelists for extended periods. If they're unwilling or unable to find new faces who are decent players week after week, find 2, 3 or 4 pair of celebs who are good players and don't book anyone else; simply rotate through the regulars.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Unrealtor on May 21, 2011, 11:54:42 AM
My answer to how you solve the crappy celebrity problem
It saddens me that we're all automatically dismissing "don't book crappy celebrities" as a potential solution.

Mind you, I understand why that is. But it's sad that we're accepting it, however implicitly.

If you solve the crappy celebrity problem, you solve all other variants of the mismatched celebrity problem, including the "good player having a bad day" problem and the "(s)he's better/worse than we thought" problem.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: TLEberle on May 21, 2011, 01:55:59 PM
I would love for them to shorten the front game, mainly because I've always found it boring. 20 seconds was an interesting twist, but then it was too easy to crap out and make the game a runaway.
What's boring about it? I think the interesting thing about the front game is the tightrope of "will the team get to 21" and then "who will win the tiebreaker", waiting to see who will fall off the tightrope first. A problem with 6-in-20 is that it doesn't allow much time to come back from one missed connection. If you don't get it straight away there isn't really time to get it again. As boring as it is to watch game after game go to 21-21 ties (and really, was it that boring?) I thought it was much worse to see teams that couldn't score more than a couple of points.

There were many, many things about it that we didn't like, but there were also many things that were very much in line with the classic show, and some modern tweaks that might actually have been a slight improvement.
On the other hand, the things they got wrong they got very very wrong. If you were to watch the show without judging based on the previous series, you still have the removal of carryover champions which removes some of the tension in the winner's circle, the tournament of champions with a strange hurdle for entry and the likelihood of a complete anticlimax. Plus there's the category names and absurd judgment calls, as well as the inability of the director to hold a single shot of the team as they play a round.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Fedya on May 21, 2011, 02:15:00 PM
I tend to agree with Travis.  Something I think I've said here a number of times in the past about the Osmond Pyramid is that I think they got the difficulty backwards.  While you don't want a game that's so easy it will give away too much money (making the bonus round boring), you don't want to make the celebrities look like total idiots if you can avoid it.  One of the things about 7-in-30 is that there was enough time for celebrities and players recover from a difficult word and look respectable.  One problem at the beginning of the 6-in-20, and you'd have a team getting a 2.

The Winner's Circle, when the writers didn't come up with idiotic categories (I'm talking to you, Regis' coffee cup) or bizarre judging, seemed to be easier than the 80s version.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Johnissoevil on May 21, 2011, 02:44:02 PM
For those who say Donnymid was "broken," just remember the Woolery and Wahlberg pilots from 1996 and 1997.  Those two should be (and probably are) thankful they didn't end up landing a regular job hosting such a mangled version of the game.  I'll take Donnymid over either of those two pilots anyday.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: TimK2003 on May 21, 2011, 08:20:02 PM
It saddens me that we're all automatically dismissing "don't book hire crappy celebrities Contestant & Celebrity Coordinators."

Fixed it For 'ya.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: TLEberle on May 21, 2011, 08:48:09 PM
For those who say Donnymid was "broken," just remember the Woolery and Wahlberg pilots from 1996 and 1997.  
The pilot versions didn't make it to TV. Pyramid did, and I'm not going to cut the show slack because it could have been much much worse.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Neumms on May 23, 2011, 01:49:24 PM
What's boring about it? I think the interesting thing about the front game is the tightrope of "will the team get to 21" and then "who will win the tiebreaker", waiting to see who will fall off the tightrope first.

That is the interesting thing, and it happened, what, once a week? It's just not that compelling a game. "Password" and "Taboo" are the same game but with enough challenge to be interesting. Donnymid tried to make it more challenging with the time limit, but it was too frantic. I think it would be great if the front game were handled as simply a qualifying round, a la the Fastest Finger. Maybe you go up the big Pyramid a number of times, like Million-Dollar Password. Then we're getting into a reimagining.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Jimmy Owen on May 23, 2011, 02:15:57 PM
First thought is to leave the show as it was in the Clark/Cullen eras.  But if they want to strech it out to an hour, play it the same way as 80's Pyramid, with a little more time for kibitzing, but the top players of the day would go to a final Winner's Circle, for a chance at whatever they determine will be the title of the show. ($500,000 Pyramid?)  So there would be three Winner's Circles per day.  The third one a commercial break after the second one.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Neumms on May 23, 2011, 03:55:34 PM
But if they want to strech it out to an hour, play it the same way as 80's Pyramid, with a little more time for kibitzing, but the top players of the day would go to a final Winner's Circle, for a chance at whatever they determine will be the title of the show. ($500,000 Pyramid?)

Actually, that's one more thing Donnymid got right. Get the dollar amount out of the title. It rings hollow if they only play for it twice a year, and if it's not $1,000,000 it's not impressive enough.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Neumms on May 23, 2011, 03:59:26 PM
Another idea...I recall that in rehearsals for the original $10,000 version, there were 10 categories and it was too much to get through in 60 seconds, so Bob Stewart covered the bottom level with a plank. What if they made it 10 categories in 90 seconds? Then it's more of the fun part of the show, especially if it's an hour. Or, if it's an hour and there's one grand prize round at the end each day, maybe that once it's 10 boxes, with an incredibly theatric rising set display to add the bottom level.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: JasonA1 on May 23, 2011, 04:21:23 PM
I can't help but feel these posts are answering the question "what if you HAD to change Pyramid" rather than "what would improve Pyramid?" We don't really know how the "old" show would perform in a modern circumstance, because practically every time they've gone back to the well, something changes.

-Jason
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Neumms on May 23, 2011, 04:23:34 PM
It saddens me that we're all automatically dismissing "don't book crappy celebrities" as a potential solution.

Mind you, I understand why that is. But it's sad that we're accepting it, however implicitly.

There's crappy as in how badly they play and crappy as in they're not celebrated nor are they entertaining. The former they can avoid if they take proper care in selection and rehearsal. The latter is different.

It's hard to do regulars when you don't have a panel of nine or six or even four. "What's My Line?" did great for almost a decade with the same four every week, but the rotating chair(s) gave it necessary spice as time went on. (IGAS was okay with the same four because there was something goofy every week by nature of the show.) Even if it was Vicki Lawrence and Dick Cavett every day on Pyramid, it would get tiring after a while.  They need to have a pool of some size to draw from, or else avoid the issue with teams of strangers.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Dbacksfan12 on May 23, 2011, 04:58:26 PM
Donnymid tried to make it more challenging with the time limit
I thought this was done because of commercial pacing. (Saved them two minutes).
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: clemon79 on May 23, 2011, 04:58:30 PM
There's crappy as in how badly they play and crappy as in they're not celebrated nor are they entertaining. The former they can avoid if they take proper care in selection and rehearsal. The latter is different.
The latter I could give a rip about, too, if they can play the game. If they discover that one of the minor characters from Insert Safe Obscure Sitcom Here is a good Pyramid player, I'm fine with booking the living crap out of them. Star power is wayyyyy down on my list of requirements for a good Pyramid booking.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Otm Shank on May 23, 2011, 11:12:56 PM
For the celebrities, there should be some "oh yeah, that guy" factor, which was a little easier when there was a three-channel universe. Because the talent pool has become an immense lake, some of the reality bottom feeders become the low-hanging fruit for the casting department. Since the game is the star, the talent players cannot be "A" list stars that outshine the program, but also cannot have the "Z" list who think their wattage is much more than it is.

It takes work to find the good personality and good game player, both for the celebrity and the contestant. Unfortunately, television has tried to do more with less, and casting producers are young and hired on short-term contracts. They are doing this as a credit, because they know they will be looking for a job, in some cases, before the show hits the air.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: clemon79 on May 23, 2011, 11:40:55 PM
but also cannot have the "Z" list who think their wattage is much more than it is.
If they can play the game well and give moderately good TV, why not?

The celebrity on Pyramid serves one very important purpose, in two parts: They are a) a partner for the contestants that the contestant doesn't personally know, which fixes the inside-knowledge we-had-this-for-dinner-last-night clue problem, and they do this as b) paid talent, and therefore are removed from the money-winning equation and have no vested interest in the outcome of the game.

That's all. I really don't think star power enters into it in any meaningful way, except to let the viewer figure out who the players and who the partners are. Fer God's sake, two regulars on '80s Pyramid were secondary characters on My Sister Sam.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: BrandonFG on May 24, 2011, 12:18:16 AM
I'm not really worried about the number of channels or star power. Although cable/satellite has grown immensely since the Clark shows went off in 1988, there were still some cable regulars back in the day as well (Stuart Pankin of HBO's Not Necessarily the News comes to mind).

And I'm sure you could find a mix of secondary sitcom names and I Love the x0s or Comedy Central Roast commentators/regulars who are capable of giving/receiving clues, yet still just recognizable enough. And going with Chris's point, we could rattle off quite a few celebrities from the 80s version that weren't necessarily big names then or now.

As far as gameplay, I'd prefer to see it remain a half-hour show, mainly because it gives the runner-up from game 1 a second chance if their partner sucks. I also like the idea of four categories instead of six, to allow for a looser structure.

Don't know if this was suggested but if the show runs for an hour, I'd make it more like the 70s network versions, except three matches. Two contestants in the first, another two in the second. The winners of those two games each play a Winner's Circle for $20,000, then face off in a championship third match, with the winner going to a bigger Winner's Circle (say $30,000 to make it a "$50,000 Pyramid"). I don't really care about dollar values right now, and I know this gives the unfair advantage that the 70s version, used. The only other alternative I could think of was do three matches, and make it best of 3, but then you have a pointless third match if there's a sweep.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Neumms on May 24, 2011, 12:13:57 PM
The celebrity on Pyramid serves one very important purpose, in two parts: They are a) a partner for the contestants that the contestant doesn't personally know, which fixes the inside-knowledge we-had-this-for-dinner-last-night clue problem, and they do this as b) paid talent, and therefore are removed from the money-winning equation and have no vested interest in the outcome of the game.

That's all. I really don't think star power enters into it in any meaningful way, except to let the viewer figure out who the players and who the partners are. Fer God's sake, two regulars on '80s Pyramid were secondary characters on My Sister Sam.

Star power might enter into it, it being a television program and all. If the only people you can drum up and who can play passably are secondary characters on a #40-rated sitcom, that may be holding you back. Especially with the affable Andy Richter as host, the teams of strangers thing might be attractive. Partly because they DO have a vested interest in the outcome.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: clemon79 on May 24, 2011, 01:30:15 PM
Especially with the affable Andy Richter as host, the teams of strangers thing might be attractive. Partly because they DO have a vested interest in the outcome.
No, that's really a horrible, awful, very bad idea. You do NOT want partners having equal financial interest in the outcome of the game, because the blood is gonna get REALLY bad, REALLY fast, if someone ends up screwing someone else.

It's a bad idea, period. It wasn't a good idea on The Rich List either. I utterly fail to see why anyone would want to port that dog to another show.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: byrd62 on May 24, 2011, 01:31:59 PM
...And going with Chris's point, we could rattle off quite a few celebrities from the 80s version that weren't necessarily big names then or now...

Teresa Ganzel being one of them.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Jay Temple on May 24, 2011, 02:30:01 PM
"One" of them? She was the queen!

I think Donnymid did two things better:
1. I agree about not putting a number in the title. (Sadly, they still managed to have a $100,000 Tournament where the winner didn't even have that much including her prior winnings!)
2. They handled passed words in the main game better. In the 80's, if you passed a word, you could still play it out while another word was on screen. On Donnymid, they made you play the word on the screen, but once you worked through them, the other words came back up. I used to attribute this to better computing, but they were already doing this on Body Language.

Also, while the general set-up of tournaments was terrible, they showed that having bonus cards doesn't take away from the excitement of a tournament. (cf $100,000 Pyramid)
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: clemon79 on May 24, 2011, 02:57:37 PM
I used to attribute this to better computing, but they were already doing this on Body Language.
Manually. The words on BL were on cards, so I'm guessing a right answer was pulled out entirely, and a wrong one was moved to the back of the stack. Bob Stewart merely decided that the money he saved doing it all through a Chyron (and that includes a not-insignificant amount of preproduction as well, remember) was worth denying the contestants the opportunity for the backward answer.

(Another fringe benefit of this: less 7-11 and perfect-game bonuses to pay out! (IIRC they decided the Mystery 7 was important enough to allow for the backward answer, sans help. Or was that just when 7 of 7 was needed to force a tie or win?))

Quote
Also, while the general set-up of tournaments was terrible, they showed that having bonus cards doesn't take away from the excitement of a tournament. (cf $100,000 Pyramid)
The Super Six also did not fundamentally change the game, since it was merely a bonus prize for a perfect round, whereas if I'm in a tournament trying like hell to win $100,000, I'll tell you right now I'm gonna groan when I turn over the Mystery 7 and my round has just been made more difficult. (Yes, Stewart could have just moved the 7-11 over to both games. Guess what's cheaper?)
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: tpirfan28 on May 24, 2011, 03:10:18 PM
(IIRC they decided the Mystery 7 was important enough to allow for the backward answer, sans help. Or was that just when 7 of 7 was needed to force a tie or win?)
I could almost swear there was an episode of 80s Pyramid where someone attempted to pass on a 7-required round and either was denied or was permitted and lost instantly at the end of the last word.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Jimmy Owen on May 24, 2011, 03:56:04 PM
I liked having the number in the title.  It told you what is the top prize.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: BrandonFG on May 24, 2011, 05:34:06 PM
I liked having the number in the title.  It told you what is the top prize.
I did too, but I wouldn't be too hurt if they eliminated it. I'd rather it be something more than just "Pyramid" though, even if it's just "Pyramid 2011"...
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: TonicBH on May 25, 2011, 09:04:34 AM
Perhaps this is the old dog in me, but I'm one of those people who thought Pyramid's format, especially in the 80s, was good enough that it doesn't need tweaking. You make too many changes to an established format and you end up with the strange clustershard that was Million Dollar Password. All you really need is good category/clue writers (No "Colors of the Olympic Rings" or "What Tom Cruise's Dentist might say") and a half decent celebrity pool and you're pretty much set.

Hell, I bet some of the people who were common on the 80s and even Davidson's Pyramid could probably still do the show if you asked.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Joe Mello on May 25, 2011, 12:30:46 PM
Perhaps this is the old dog in me, but I'm one of those people who thought Pyramid's format, especially in the 80s, was good enough that it doesn't need tweaking.
The counter-argument to that is that if Pyramid is such a good format, why did it keep going off the air?
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: clemon79 on May 25, 2011, 12:59:43 PM
The counter-argument to that is that if Pyramid is such a good format, why did it keep going off the air?
Until they started screwing with it, it enjoyed two five-year-plus runs. So that seems like a pretty poor counter-argument.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: BrandonFG on May 25, 2011, 01:04:47 PM
Perhaps this is the old dog in me, but I'm one of those people who thought Pyramid's format, especially in the 80s, was good enough that it doesn't need tweaking. You make too many changes to an established format and you end up with the strange clustershard that was Million Dollar Password. All you really need is good category/clue writers (No "Colors of the Olympic Rings" or "What Tom Cruise's Dentist might say") and a half decent celebrity pool and you're pretty much set.
I've often said that the 80s daytime version is a show that should be taught in Game Show Producing 101. But there might be a minute or so of material lost since it went off the air, and that makes a huge difference. So the small tweaks for time would probably be necessary so the show doesn't feel rushed. I don't think viewers would cry foul over two fewer categories, as opposed to the "Pyramid Players" from '96.

Other than that I agree with you. Solid, consistent judging wouldn't hurt either.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: TLEberle on May 25, 2011, 01:13:33 PM
I can't put faith in that guy reviving that show without adding dumb gimmicks that just don't work.
Such as?
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: clemon79 on May 25, 2011, 01:40:46 PM
I can't put faith in that guy reviving that show without adding dumb gimmicks that just don't work.
Such as?
Pick something he did to fark up Chain Reaction. Dude could put a stop-the-clock button in the Winner's Circle every time the contestant wanted to guess. Institute a betting round.

I mean, yes, I see your point, but Davies isn't exactly unwilling to tinker where it isn't necessary, history has shown.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: JasonA1 on May 25, 2011, 01:42:56 PM
The counter-argument to that is that if Pyramid is such a good format, why did it keep going off the air?

And that damn Family Feud got cancelled before too! And Wheel of Fortune was canned from NBC - twice! Let's torch it and rebuild! Or...

I've often said that the 80s daytime version is a show that should be taught in Game Show Producing 101. But there might be a minute or so of material lost since it went off the air, and that makes a huge difference.

I think you can cut out enough non-game kibbitzing to keep the original format in tact. We can already bet with near certainty that the fifth segment wrap-up won't be in a new version. I think insisting changes for whatever modern-day production reason makes one sound wise and evolving with the times, but it's not always necessary. Just because there are examples of shows and producers changing things doesn't mean you always have to. Feud could be doing a fifth question proper. They just don't choose to.

-Jason
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: TLEberle on May 25, 2011, 01:44:46 PM
I mean, yes, I see your point, but Davies isn't exactly unwilling to tinker where it isn't necessary, history has shown.
Fair 'nough, but looking at Studio Seven, Grand Slam, Power of Ten, Millionaire and World Series of Pop Culture, and you'd be hard pressed to find a stray rule or an extra doodad; it was as if the idea was to strip everything away but the barest game mechanics.

On the other hand, even if you had competent teams I think the betting round absolutely cratered any modicum of excitement that had been built up over the last twelve minutes of Chain Reaction play. Given my choice, I think I would choose M. Davies to mount the revival rather than leave it up to chance with the new guard of producers.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: clemon79 on May 25, 2011, 01:54:39 PM
Millionaire
Do we know if Davies had a hand in the new format? Shoots that to hell, if so. (And he may not have. Just asking.)

Quote
Given my choice, I think I would choose M. Davies to mount the revival rather than leave it up to chance with the new guard of producers.
As would I. I'm just trying to look at it as a devil's advocate.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: BrandonFG on May 25, 2011, 02:08:16 PM
I think you can cut out enough non-game kibbitzing to keep the original format in tact. We can already bet with near certainty that the fifth segment wrap-up won't be in a new version. I think insisting changes for whatever modern-day production reason makes one sound wise and evolving with the times, but it's not always necessary.
True, and for some reason, I'm surprised that with increased commercial time, a break before the post-mortem is pretty much extinct, although I like how Wheel does theirs with the teaser promoting the Wheelmobile/Jeopardy!, or a commercial thanking the hotel in whatever city they last visited. It doesn't need to be two minutes, but at least it offers Pat and Vanna a chance to catch their breath.

If Pyramid does indeed using returning champs, I'd argue even harder for a post-mortem, seeing as how the second Winner's Circle could be crucial in deciding who comes back the next day. If the contestant played in the first WC, then it's moot, but if the second player has to tie or beat $800 to come back, then yeah, take a break, even if it's nothing more than a :15 montage of winners, and the announcer telling you how to become a contestant.

IMO, it flows a lot better here, compared to just saying "Jim, you won $800 and the Sony Bravia HDTV, but Jane, you're coming back with $10,000! I'mAndyRichterthanksforwatchingwe'llseeyatomorrowkthxbai!"

As for Davies, I'm with others who say I'd take him on a revival before the folks at Fremantle or Endemol. I thought the new Chain Reaction was fine format-wise...it was the contestants that I couldn't take. Well okay, the set was kinda lame too...
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: BrandonFG on May 25, 2011, 02:13:28 PM
Back to the timing issue, I can't remember but did Donny ever suggest possible clues for missed WC categories? I thought I read that he didn't as not to upstage the cluegiver, but I couldn't remember if he was the host who said that, or was it cut for time just like the :20 main rounds.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: TLEberle on May 25, 2011, 02:15:25 PM
If Pyramid does indeed using returning champs, I'd argue even harder for a post-mortem, seeing as how the second Winner's Circle could be crucial in deciding who comes back the next day. If the contestant played in the first WC, then it's moot, but if the second player has to tie or beat $800 to come back, then yeah, take a break, even if it's nothing more than a :15 montage of winners, and the announcer telling you how to become a contestant.
This was one of the things that was lacking on Pyramid. If the first contestant didn't win the winner's circle, then the only excitement was "is the eventual winner going to collect the $10,000 prize?" There was no coming back for another episode. Even if the first person won his half, if the other contestant won, then you have lost what could be a great moment: "You must win the $10,000 to come back tomorrow. Good luck." And if the second person reaches the pinnacle? That's terrific because everyone wins some cash, everyone comes back for another try at the money.

Unless someone has been back three or four times, I couldn't tell you who the carryover champion was, but the idea that you had something to strive for by way of another chance to play injected a level of excitement that one and done just can't match.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Twentington on May 25, 2011, 02:40:53 PM
Good things about Donnymid:

1. The gag category names
2. The set (I know I'm gonna catch hell for that one, but I really did like Donnymid's set particularly how the monitors rise in the WC)
3. John Cramer
4. It wasn't one of the 1990s pilots
5. When Donny wasn't screaming, he was a competent host

Bad things about Donnymid:

1. Everything else

Back to the timing issue, I can't remember but did Donny ever suggest possible clues for missed WC categories? I thought I read that he didn't as not to upstage the cluegiver, but I couldn't remember if he was the host who said that, or was it cut for time just like the :20 main rounds.

99.9% of the time, no. He'd just run onstage as if the studio were on fire, about 0.000001 seconds after time ran out, and scream, "OH! OH! OH! OH! OH! OH! OH! OH! OH!" However, I believe someone on this forum recalled one time where he did offer "a pizza" as a post-mortem clue for the missed box "Things You Slice".
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Brian44 on May 25, 2011, 02:44:50 PM
Back to the timing issue, I can't remember but did Donny ever suggest possible clues for missed WC categories? I thought I read that he didn't as not to upstage the cluegiver, but I couldn't remember if he was the host who said that, or was it cut for time just like the :20 main rounds.

On the few occasions I watched Donnymid, about all I ever remember Donny saying at the end of a losing WC round was, "Oh, oh, oh, you were SO CLOSE!!!!"

In the Davidson version, he may have ad nauseum told the celebrities, "Oh, those were such good clues!" and I don't remember him coming up with clues himself à la Dick Clark, but ISTR him occasionally fielding clues from the audience.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: JasonA1 on May 25, 2011, 03:04:32 PM
If Pyramid does indeed using returning champs, I'd argue even harder for a post-mortem, seeing as how the second Winner's Circle could be crucial in deciding who comes back the next day. If the contestant played in the first WC, then it's moot, but if the second player has to tie or beat $800 to come back, then yeah, take a break, even if it's nothing more than a :15 montage of winners, and the announcer telling you how to become a contestant.

Absolutely agree - forgot about how Wheel does it, and you're right, it flows better.

-Jason
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Neumms on May 25, 2011, 04:04:43 PM
It's a bad idea, period. It wasn't a good idea on The Rich List either. I utterly fail to see why anyone would want to port that dog to another show.

I blanked out after the fourth or fifth time I heard "an unfinished list is unfinished business," so were there fistacuffs? Dirty looks? I don't disagree, but I think the Teresa Ganzels and Charlie Sieberts drag down the show.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: JasonA1 on May 25, 2011, 04:17:00 PM
I think the Teresa Ganzels and Charlie Sieberts drag down the show.

The exceptional, competent players drag down the show? I think you're over-estimating abject star "power." Did it matter on VH1's "I Love The" shows when the contributor wasn't featured on a sitcom at the time? To the general audience, who was Michael Ian Black? I'm sure the Q rating on "The State" was through the roof and every 50-something woman knew who he was, but barring that...

-Jason
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: TLEberle on May 25, 2011, 04:25:54 PM
but I think the Teresa Ganzels and Charlie Sieberts drag down the show.
How so? Any more than Coolio and the Pine Sol lady?
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Neumms on May 25, 2011, 04:34:35 PM
[The exceptional, competent players drag down the show? I think you're over-estimating abject star "power." Did it matter on VH1's "I Love The" shows when the contributor wasn't featured on a sitcom at the time? To the general audience, who was Michael Ian Black? I'm sure the Q rating on "The State" was through the roof and every 50-something woman knew who he was, but barring that...

When they're not funny or interesting, yes, they do. Michael Ian Black had talent and soon enough other outlets, but as "I Love The" became "I Love the Third Wednesday in March in 1982," the contributors became worse and worse. Hell, they're usually exceptional and competant on "Wheel of Fortune," but I don't want to watch the same people play over and over, especially if they're pretending to be celebrities.

It's hard to do regulars on a show with only two celebrities. The fun of "Match Game" and "Hollywood Squares" is that you had the mix.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Neumms on May 25, 2011, 04:37:13 PM
On the few occasions I watched Donnymid, about all I ever remember Donny saying at the end of a losing WC round was, "Oh, oh, oh, you were SO CLOSE!!!!"

In the Davidson version, he may have ad nauseum told the celebrities, "Oh, those were such good clues!" and I don't remember him coming up with clues himself la Dick Clark, but ISTR him occasionally fielding clues from the audience.

Yeah, it was a lack of ability, not airtime. The "not upstage the clue-giver" is a load of crap. The kibbitzing is part of the fun, especially when, say, Vicki Lawrence took great comic umbrage to it.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: TLEberle on May 25, 2011, 04:38:39 PM
Yeah, it was a lack of ability, not airtime. The "not upstage the clue-giver" is a load of crap.
Except wasn't that the exact reason that Donny gave for not doing it?
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: JasonA1 on May 25, 2011, 04:42:34 PM
[The exceptional, competent players drag down the show?
When they're not funny or interesting, yes, they do.

Oh oh oh, well that's an entirely different point. I would agree with wanting witty/interesting guests. I think it would actually be easier today to find competent players who are funny, yet still a credible "celebrity" for the audience, citing "I Love The" as a prime example of the type of people they could try to get.

-Jason
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: BrandonFG on May 25, 2011, 04:42:38 PM
When they're not funny or interesting, yes, they do. Michael Ian Black had talent and soon enough other outlets, but as "I Love The" became "I Love the Third Wednesday in March in 1982," the contributors became worse and worse. Hell, they're usually exceptional and competant on "Wheel of Fortune," but I don't want to watch the same people play over and over, especially if they're pretending to be celebrities.

It's hard to do regulars on a show with only two celebrities. The fun of "Match Game" and "Hollywood Squares" is that you had the mix.
Not sure if I follow. Clark's version didn't have regulars, in the Charles Nelson Reilly/Brett Somers/Paul Lynde sense, and they weren't needed for that purpose as Pyramid focused more on who can kick butt conveying clues. I don't mind them using a comedian like Michael Ian or one of the Comedy Central roasters, but if they're appearing to just crack jokes or practice their set for an upcoming comedy show, then I'd say they don't need to be on Pyramid.

Looking back at your post though, I think we actually agree more than I thought. :-)
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Neumms on May 25, 2011, 06:04:17 PM
Except wasn't that the exact reason that Donny gave for not doing it?

I don't think Donny would admit it's because he's too dumb to play the game he's hosting.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Matt Ottinger on May 25, 2011, 11:24:48 PM
99.9% of the time, no. He'd just run onstage as if the studio were on fire, about 0.000001 seconds after time ran out
I'd like to remind you there are math teachers in the room.  
Also, numbers have meanings too.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: TLEberle on May 25, 2011, 11:34:33 PM
Good things about Donnymid:

1. The gag category names
I love the idea of the joke topic title. I really liked it on Win Ben Stein's Money, when they had some leeway because they were on basic cable. "One Hump or Two?" doesn't belong on the main game pyramid.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Neumms on May 26, 2011, 10:56:56 AM
but I think the Teresa Ganzels and Charlie Sieberts drag down the show.
How so? Any more than Coolio and the Pine Sol lady?

Exactly. At least Teresa Ganzel was better looking than the Pine Sol lady. If I recall correctly, Coolio played reasonably well, didn't he?
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Twentington on May 26, 2011, 01:04:32 PM
I'd like to remind you there are math teachers in the room.  
Also, numbers have meanings too.

Taking into mind both my abysmal math skills and the fact that I didn't mean either number in the literal sense (file under "gets rid of 99.9% of germs")...

99.9% Almost all of the time, no. He'd just run onstage as if the studio were on fire, about 0.000001 seconds after the instant time ran out

That better?
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: TLEberle on May 26, 2011, 01:22:32 PM
but I think the Teresa Ganzels and Charlie Sieberts drag down the show.
How so? Any more than Coolio and the Pine Sol lady?

Exactly. At least Teresa Ganzel was better looking than the Pine Sol lady. If I recall correctly, Coolio played reasonably well, didn't he?
Exactly what? I don't get what your problem with the C-list stars is, other than "they're there, and they're not as famous as the bar I've set for game show guests". It is well established that the game is used with contestants and guest stars. 80s Pyramid went with proven game players who could put on a good show for five episodes, collect their scale, and come back later. Bob wasn't going to pay extra to get a "big name."
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Jay Temple on May 26, 2011, 02:41:10 PM
Good things about Donnymid:

1. The gag category names
I love the idea of the joke topic title. I really liked it on Win Ben Stein's Money, when they had some leeway because they were on basic cable. "One Hump or Two?" doesn't belong on the main game pyramid.
One thing that I hoped would happen from being in the same corporate family as J! is themed categories, e.g., LLOYD and BRIDGES. In 1987, when Smokey Robinson and Gladys Knight played the $100KP for a week, either SMOKY ROBINSON or GLADYS KNIGHT was a category. I thought it would have been clever to have both.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Jimmy Owen on May 26, 2011, 03:10:39 PM
I do remember there were some stars who did Cullen pyramid that didn't do the daytime show.  Freddie Prinze comes to mind most.  Maybe that was Viacom's call.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: MikeK on May 26, 2011, 04:09:46 PM
I'd like to remind you there are math teachers in the room.  
Also, numbers have meanings too.
Dibs on the spinoff show.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: vtown7 on May 26, 2011, 07:08:50 PM
I really don't care who they get (as in how-far-down-the-alphabet-lister-stars), as long as they can play the game well and they don't resort to the Donnymid way of giving them clues in advance for the WC.

For Squares, I understand as that's part of the bluffing technique, but for Pyramid it was horribly out of place.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Neumms on May 27, 2011, 01:32:22 PM
Exactly what? I don't get what your problem with the C-list stars is, other than "they're there, and they're not as famous as the bar I've set for game show guests". It is well established that the game is used with contestants and guest stars. 80s Pyramid went with proven game players who could put on a good show for five episodes, collect their scale, and come back later. Bob wasn't going to pay extra to get a "big name."

I think if you're going to call people guest stars, they should be stars. The idea is to give viewers someone to care about. If they're not anyone who I recognize or who projects a fun and likable personality, I don't care. Exacerbating the problem is that by having them there, the host tends to play to the "star," so the contestants become interchangeable, too. I want the presentation to be as interesting as possible. If they can't get or won't pay stars, then the contestants should be the stars and the show needs to be hosted differently to play that up.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: clemon79 on May 27, 2011, 02:25:31 PM
I think if you're going to call people guest stars, they should be stars.
Semantic point, but since you're being just as semantic:

On the '80s show, the verbiage was "Today's special guests are..." or "Our special guests this week...". Don't remember the word "stars" ever being used.

Quote
If they're not anyone who I recognize or who projects a fun and likable personality, I don't care.

Okay, but what I get out of this statement is "If I recognize them, it's okay if they're a dud," which comes off incredibly shallow, or "If I don't recognize them, if they're fun and likable, I will enjoy watching them," which is a fine candidate for the Captain Obvious Memorial Trophy.

Neither statement convinces me of the validity of your argument.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Neumms on May 29, 2011, 03:03:15 AM
On the '80s show, the verbiage was "Today's special guests are..." or "Our special guests this week...". Don't remember the word "stars" ever being used.

Quote
If they're not anyone who I recognize or who projects a fun and likable personality, I don't care.

Okay, but what I get out of this statement is "If I recognize them, it's okay if they're a dud," which comes off incredibly shallow, or "If I don't recognize them, if they're fun and likable, I will enjoy watching them," which is a fine candidate for the Captain Obvious Memorial Trophy.

Neither statement convinces me of the validity of your argument.

Point taken on the first, but I'd say "special" is pushing it, too. I think your comments on the latter are beside the point. I don't say they should bring in famous people even if they can't play. I say if the "special guests" offer no entertainment value--no humor, no glamor, no unique charm or charisma--I'd rather see pairs of civilian contestants. Otherwise, why are "special guests" even there?
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: clemon79 on May 29, 2011, 03:11:12 AM
I think your comments on the latter are beside the point.
Then we're clearly so far apart on this that there's little point in continuing the discussion.

Quote
Otherwise, why are "special guests" even there?
I've already given my answer to this question a solid fifty posts ago.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: NickS on May 30, 2011, 09:16:36 AM
The idea is to give viewers someone to care about. If they're not anyone who I recognize or who projects a fun and likable personality, I don't care.

I'm with you - to a point.  There were some celebs that I couldn't stand watching but that could be counted on one hand.  However, just because I didn't watch "Benson" didn't mean that any time an actor came on the show I turned it off; I watched for the game.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Jimmy Owen on May 30, 2011, 09:23:33 AM
One of the things about the 80's Pyramid was that after a while, the celebs weren't there just to plug a current project.  They either enjoyed doing the show or were good at it.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Dbacksfan12 on May 30, 2011, 11:01:07 PM
If I could have my choice between a household name such as, say Brittney Spears...or a secondary actor from Law and Order SVU who could play the game well...I'd go with Dann Florek every time.

/Brittney Spears is a fair-chested bimbo.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: JMFabiano on June 12, 2011, 03:07:53 AM
As for Davies, I'm with others who say I'd take him on a revival before the folks at Fremantle or Endemol. I thought the new Chain Reaction was fine format-wise...it was the contestants that I couldn't take. Well okay, the set was kinda lame too...

What revivals did End-em-all do?  Or are we talking about them in general?

And is it me, or is the Fremantle hate so early 2000s (just 2000s now?  We are in the 2010s after all...)?  Temptation and $1MPW aside (and the latter is a questionable strike depending on how you look at it), they aren't quite the "force" they used to be.  Feud is better than ever in many fans' eyes, and people could do worse than the job they do on TPIR and LMAD...yes, each has its changes, and I know some people out there like to gnash their teeth loudly for every teeny, tiny one...but I still see much of the games I like continuing to exist.  

Back on topic...Davies started to score some doubt from me based on Pilot #2...yes it was for cosmetic changes mostly, but it still sounded like a letdown compared to Pilot #1.  I guess old school fan that I am, I was rooting for the classic look, coupled with the classic format which seemed intact.  I'm more worried about the contestant casting in a potential series, and have other word games they tried to bring back (Lingo, Password, and Chain) as proof.  Either there's something to be said about our nation as a whole, or people are looking for the wrong things (see: the next sentence.  That and some GS contestant coordinators seem to just want the next big clip on a blooper show or whatever).  Either way, it just seems that intellectual shows just don't work anymore.  Partially due to what 99% of everyone in the TV business does nowadays; i.e. go for looks, youth, and personality over talent.  Didn't Chain -- hey, who revived that again? -- even have an extreme age limit or something like that?   Geez, when I think of things like that, I am astounded, and thankful, that Betty White is allowed to overcome ageism and continue to be a big star.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Neumms on June 12, 2011, 12:22:40 PM
Either way, it just seems that intellectual shows just don't work anymore.

Yet Jeopardy rolls on. I know what you're saying, but in the right situation they should. They may not work on broadcast daytime--although what was the last one tried, Super Password? They may need exposure someplace other than GSN. But in the multi-channel universe, there's a place for a well-mounted Pyramid.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: TLEberle on June 12, 2011, 02:15:51 PM
Didn't Chain -- hey, who revived that again? -- even have an extreme age limit or something like that?
Proof or Not Real.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: MTCesquire on June 13, 2011, 11:05:31 AM
Didn't Chain -- hey, who revived that again? -- even have an extreme age limit or something like that?
Proof or Not Real.

I can't provide proof but I do remember reading that they didn't want any contestants above the age of 40.  I doubt I can find the casting notice for it now but I can try to search.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Kevin Prather on June 13, 2011, 01:14:59 PM
Didn't Chain -- hey, who revived that again? -- even have an extreme age limit or something like that?
Proof or Not Real.

I can't provide proof but I do remember reading that they didn't want any contestants above the age of 40.  I doubt I can find the casting notice for it now but I can try to search.
There were at least a couple members here who were contestants. One of them should be able to confirm or deny.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: knagl on June 13, 2011, 04:52:00 PM
I could almost swear there was an episode of 80s Pyramid where someone attempted to pass on a 7-required round and either was denied or was permitted and lost instantly at the end of the last word.

That sounds about right.  I'm sure they were permitted to pass, but if they answered the last word without first "going back" and answering the passed word, the round (and in your scenario) game would be over, even if time remained on the clock.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: Unrealtor on June 13, 2011, 11:24:49 PM
I can remember at least one 80s episode where seven out of seven on the sixth category was needed for a tie and Dick said in advance that, if a word was passed, the clock would continue after the seventh word and the receiver could guess the passed word but the giver could not say anything.

I can remember the last category ending abruptly on a cuckoo but never a pass.
Title: Third Time's a Charm? Pyramid in Development for TBS
Post by: knagl on June 16, 2011, 03:03:24 PM
I can remember at least one 80s episode where seven out of seven on the sixth category was needed for a tie and Dick said in advance that, if a word was passed, the clock would continue after the seventh word and the receiver could guess the passed word but the giver could not say anything.

They changed the rules if the person had to get seven to stay alive?  I'm nearly certain I've seen rounds where there was a pass and the team managed to get the other six and the round ended, even if time remained on the clock.