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Let's Try That Again
April 22

The following is not a repeat of last year.

One of the big stories of the last week was CBS hitting up game show superproducer Michael Davies for a pilot for a revival of "Pyramid", done in the distinctive Davies style.

One of the big stories of the last year was CBS hitting up game show superproducer Michael Davies for a pilot for a revival of "Pyramid", done in the distinctive Davies style. Twice. And CBS rejected both pilots in favor of "Let's Make a Deal", which turned out to be a big success for everyone involved.

I can't go into what made CBS choose one thing over the other (once upon a time, I suggested economics, citing the need to save money over time), because it doesn't really fit into the point of this particular article. But it's good on Michael Davies to give a good idea another go, and good on CBS for not giving up on him, given his track record for successes.

So why not give the "Pyramid" scheme another look. After all, "As the World Turns" has had better years, one much wiser than I once said that it's better to understay your welcome than to overstay it, and even a moderately-pricey project like "Pyramid" (it will be the first daytime show since "Hollywood Squares" left the air in 2004 with a budget for celebrities) is still cheaper than a somewhat-cheap ensemble soap opera. It would also explain why CBS is also looking at "Password" after a two-year absence, but that's another column.

For all intents and purposes, "Pyramid" is a good solid classic word game and is ripe for revival, and CBS seems to be gung-ho about it, but they're definitely not going to commit to something just to have it on the air. When you are on CBS's daytime schedule, there is no other option than to be built to last. Wayne Brady and Jonathan Mangum have had chemistry for ages, and they're part of the reason why "Let's Make a Deal" works. Mike Richards is adapting to Drew Carey's off-the-cuff hosting style and making the show work for him. Both cases resulted in higher returns.

If Michael Davies is good for one thing, it's making a classic better (we'll do our damnedest to forget about "Chain Reaction" if you'll do the same), and CBS's standards as the "Tiffany Network" are exceptionally high. They don't just want another cookie-cutter show with a cookie-cutter host. They want something special, and I'm convinced that if they try long and hard enough, they're going to get it.

Hopefully Davies will take this opportunity to heart and with the seriousness it deserves.

Game Show Alphabet Redux

We're at "R", and we're at a show that has become a favorite of ours since its premiere in the summer of 2002. It's been on the air in the US, the UK, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Indonesia, Poland, Serbia, the pan-Arab region, Argentina, Bulgaria, and... of course, Russia.

If only GSN had a little more faith in "Russian Roulette", it would probably be on the air. It was one of their better originals.

More information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Roulette_(game_show)

Chico Alexander has 60 seconds. E-mail him with your first subject at chico@gameshownewsnet.com