Friday, September 7, 2012


GSN's "The Pyramid" debuted Labor Day.

My review?  It's not bad.

This version is more true to the original than the Donny Osmond hosted revival several years ago.  Osmond was a good host, but the show felt rushed and too high tech.  Rounds were only 20 seconds long.  The look wasn't right.  The GSN version is closer to the mark.

As I noted a while back, the Osmond version was missing the classic Pyramid sounds.  The revival is nicely modernized, but it still has that 70's feel, and they got the sounds right.  The subjects on the big pyramid board are on screens, but the reveal triggers a sound effect, like the cube flips on the old board.  Genius!  Even though "Family Feud" has been doing old sounds on a new set for years, I still think it's genius.

The light bulbs have been replaced by neon.  The pyramid board isn't as imposing as the original.  I can live with it.

There's a twist I really like.  The least you can play for is $10,000.  $5,000 is added to the potential winnings for every perfect "7" round in the qualifying game.

Mike Richards is the host.  Vanilla, but that's not a bad thing.  He realizes the game is the star-- not the host.  He plays it very straight, much the way Dick Clark did.

Most GSN original productions have a cheap feel.  "The Pyramid" is one of its better efforts.
And, there is another game show note today.  I don't know how this one escaped me until now.  Bill Rafferty died August 11.

We first saw Bill Rafferty on some comedy specials.  He later became one of the hosts of NBC's 70's reality show "Real People."

Bill Rafferty did a few game shows over the years, including "Card Sharks" and "Blockbusters."  I could never figure out why he didn't more work.  He was glib, and funny, and smooth and very likable.  Some of his work is on  If you take a look, you'll know what I mean.

In recent years, Bill Rafferty hosted a show about the internet and computers on Retirement Living TV.

Bill Rafferty was 68.

And, one more thing before I go...

The producers of "The Price is Right" excluded Bob Barker from this week's 40th anniversary broadcast.  Barker ran the show for the first 35 years, and he should have been there, rather than appearing in just old video clips.

Barker has been critical of the new regime.  In Bob's day, they wouldn't give away a foreign car.  That rule is long gone.  Barker is also peeved the new TPIR gave away tickets to Sea World and the Calgary Rodeo, places Barker believes are animal unfriendly.

I can understand why there's friction between Barker and the producers.

Bob Barker is a legend, and he deserved better.