Donny Osmond
John Cramer
Syndicated: 9/16/2002 - 9/10/2004
Sony Pictures Studios, Culver City, California
Packager & Distributor
Sony Pictures Television

This is chronicling the 2002 Donny Osmond version of Pyramid.

Game Format[edit | edit source]

Main Game[edit | edit source]

The game is played with two teams of two players (consisting of one celebrity & one contestant) in a game of word communication. Each game starts with the introduction of six categories arranged in a pyramid. In the main game, a category's position on the pyramid was not an indicator of its difficulty. The categories were usually puns hinting to the content within that subject (i.e. "I'd Like to Buy a Vowel" would contain things associated with Wheel of Fortune).

Each team in turn chose a category, and then a subject under that category was given. Each subject has six words/phrases/names. The team had 20 seconds to guess the six answers that fit into the category. One player described each item while the other player tried to guess what the words are. Each correct word was worth one point. When a word was passed, it could be returned if time permitted; however, if the word was passed and then guessed, it had to be returned to and guessed again to count. If at any time the clue giver gave away any part of the answer or conveyed the essence of the answer, a burble sounded and the word was thrown out.

Super Six[edit | edit source]

At some point in both games, a team would uncover a special card behind one category in which getting all six answers won a bonus prize. In situations where a team can win the game without needing all the answers or has won the game automatically, if the last category concealed the Super Six, the team was allowed to play all the way out in order to win the bonus prize. In the second season, a home viewer contest was in play; viewers registered at the Pyramid website, and if the prize was won, a home viewer would win it as well.

Tie-Breakers[edit | edit source]

If the game ended in a tie, the game shifted into a tie-breaker situation. The team that caused the tie had a choice between two letters leaving the other for the other team. Both teams had 20 seconds to get as many of the six items beginning with their letter(s) as they can. The teams continued building on their scores using the tie-breaker categories. Extra ties kept the game going, and as soon as the tie was broken, the game was over.

Winner's Circle[edit | edit source]

The giver of the winning team faced a larger pyramid board of six subjects with the guesser having his/her back to the board. The winning team had 60 seconds to climb up to the top of the pyramid by getting all six. On each subject, the giver gave a list of items that fit the subject while the guesser tried to guess what they all have in common. As soon as the guesser gets the right subject or passed, they moved on to the next subject to the right. Upon a pass, the team can come back to it if there's time leftover If at any time the giver gave an illegal clue (giving away part of the answer, conveying the essence of the answer, descriptions of the category, prepositional phrases or a synonym) the same burble from the main game would sound, the subject was re-concealed and the team forfeited the chance at the big money. The giver was discouraged from using his/her hands which is why they were strapped into the chair, and prepositional phrases were also outlawed. Even though the big money was forfeited, the team can still go for the other subjects, because when time ran out, the contestant still won money attached to the subjects guessed; of course, getting all six in 60 seconds without illegal clues won the grand cash prize.

Payoffs[edit | edit source]

Here are the amounts in the WC:

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th HPT
$200 $300 $500 $1,500

The first Winner's Circle was worth $10,000, and should they win the first bonus round, the second was worth $15,000 for a total of $25,000 and qualification into a tournament.

Tournaments[edit | edit source]

The rules were changed drastically to being played between either four or six players who won $25,000 in their initial appearance (which, due to the above requirements and a lack of returning champions, made qualification difficult), with two tournaments played each season. During a six-player tournament, each contestant's first attempt at the Winner's Circle was worth $25,000. If $25,000 was won in the first half and the same player returned to the Winner's Circle, that contestant played for an additional $75,000 and the tournament title. If the tournament ended with no players able to win both Winner's Circles in one show, either the contestant who won $25,000 in the fastest time or the player who won the most money would have his or her tournament winnings augmented to $100,000.

In a four-player tournament, contestants competed in single elimination, with the first two semifinalists competing on day one and the other two semifinalists on day two. Each attempt at the Winner's Circle was worth $25,000. The top two winners then returned to compete in the finals, where each Winner's Circle victory that day was worth an additional $50,000. A tournament sweep would be worth $150,000.

In addition, the Super Six offered more expensive prizes.

Payoffs[edit | edit source]

Here are the Winner's Circle amounts for the tournaments:

Six-player tournament/four-player semifinals[edit | edit source]
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
$500 $1,000 $2,500
Finals match of a four-player tournament[edit | edit source]
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
$1,000 $2,500 $5,000

Links[edit | edit source]

Official Website (via Internet Archive)

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