Sunday, September 4, 2016

A Classic Reborn: The $100,000 Pyramid (2016)

Once upon a time, syndicators would break up hour-long programs into half-hours to make it easier to sell the reruns to stations. Now, it's the other way around, and this change in strategy has moved to ABC.

As we documented previously, the network, in reviving To Tell The Truth & Match Game, as well as our next subject, The $100,000 Pyramid, for summer broadcast, expanded them to a full hour, just as they would be in syndication today. The idea now is that a half-hour just isn't enough to hold a viewer's attention for a game show. Actually, that's not true. It's just a case of lazy programming.

As I wrote in reviewing the revived Truth, the weakest of the revivals, ABC was better off including it in their Sunday block, especially considering host Anthony Anderson (Black-ish) crossed over to Pyramid, as did Match panelists such as Rosie O'Donnell and Sherri Shepherd. Continuity, kids. It works.

Michael Strahan (Good Morning America, Fox NFL Sunday) was tapped to serve as host for the new Pyramid, after GSN (a Sony network) flopped three years ago with Mike Richards as host for their half-hour revival. Like Anderson, Strahan, also a Metamucil pitchman, goes all Arsenio Hall in fawning over the female guests, such as Shepherd. Otherwise, he's fine. Game play stays the same, although gimmicks like the "Lucky/Super 7" have been excised for the nonce. Pyramid, along with the other games, will return next summer, preferably all together, and while they're at it, since they plumbed the Goodson-Todman vaults serviced by Fremantle Media, ABC can always ask for Password or What's My Line?, two more games that thrived in primetime back in the day, to be revived.

Here's a sample intro, with the ending to Celebrity Family Feud (Fremantle tag) leading the way.

Rating: A.

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