After the gold rush of game shows in the 1960s, the 1970s provided a few gems, including the popular daytime game show $10,000 Pyramid.
Created by Bob Stewart, the basic premise of the game was two contestants, each paired with a celebrity, would guess at words or phrases of increasing difficulty that are described to them by the celebrity from the six categories that made up the pyramid.
The inaugural host was Dick Clark, who debuted the show in 1973 on CBS TV.Each week featured two celebrities, many of who became repeat guests.
The show’s winning contestant would get to compete in the Winner’s Circle, where the team of contestant and celebrity would get 60 seconds to whip through the questions.
If the contestant answered some correctly but not all, he or she would be awarded the dollar amount attached to the question. The contestant would keep competing until they were defeated or won the Winner’s Circle.
In 1976, when the show was renamed The $20,000 Pyramid and airing on ABC TV, it won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation.
As a young child, if my Mum allowed, I would watch this show in the late afternoon, trying to guess the answers like the contestants.
Celebrities who became regulars on the Pyramid include Soupy Sales, Anne Meara, Tony Randall, Loretta Swit, David Letterman, Nipsey Russell and Rita Moreno. The game also featured famous TV duos such as William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy and Tony Randall and Jack Klugman.
As the show moved into the next decade and was renamed as The $25,000 Pyramid, the game show continued its popularity, and became a mainstay of syndicated daytime television.