EXCLUSIVE! Set News Report! Audience member first-hand account below:
The audience gathered in the hot weather outside of CBS Radford Studios in Studio City for the last show taping of GSN’s updated “The Pyramid” game show. Six shows were on the schedule. Once inside the studio, the absence of camera operators, producers, and contestants was very apparent. The only crew person there was “The Pyramid” warm-up comic, Joby Harte, a jovial English entertainer, and host of the HUB’s “Majors and Minors”. The reason for an empty set? It was announced that one of the celebrity guests had “called in sick” and that there would be a delay while a substitute guest was found. It was never mentioned who this missing celebrity guest was.
Many in the audience joked that the mystery celebrity probably had a hangover. Music played while audience members just sat for about two hours. Finally things got going, and the celebrity guests were introduced. They were Melissa Peterman (Reba, The Singing Bee, Baby Daddy), and the emergency replacement, Samantha Harris (Entertainment Tonight, Dancing With the Stars). Peterman is always entertaining and loveable, and Harris was charming and energetic throughout the day. The executive producer explained to the audience that part of the reason for the delay was to teach Harris the game and the rules. She was a quick learner.
There were several bonus jackpots throughout the day ranging from $10,000 to $15,000. Peterman with her partner got at least three, and Harris got two. As a rough estimate, the show probably gave away about $70,000 in total during the day. There was one amazing game where Melissa and her partner got a perfect 21 in the first round to edge out a 20 by Samantha and her partner. These women were awesome. The perfect 21 allowed them to play for $25, 000, in “The Winner’s Circle”. the long day of filming ended at about 9 pm. The producers, and host Richards was appreciative of the audiences energy and support throughout the day.
Richards is not only genuine and nice, interacting with the audience in between takes, but he simply never seems to make mistakes. Many tapings have a host that stumbles on his or her words, or gets confused which makes film days take longer. Richards’ experience as a long time game show producer (The Price is Right, Let’s Make a Deal) seems to make him a fantastic host.
There was good and playful banter between Richards and Peterman. One of the contestants said “I live on a sailboat, but I need this money to get sailing lessons. I’m sick of being stuck in the same place.” It got the biggest laugh of the whole day. He said this with validation as if it were true.
It was leaked to the audience that one of last week’s tapings wasn’t going to be broadcast. Most likely it will be the episode with cousins Nicholas and Aida Turturro. Nicholas was simply awful. He didn’t seem to grasp the rules of the game, and it really wasn’t fair to the contestants who had to play with him. A contestant is only as good as his or her partner. It can also be confusing in the bonus round as to what is illegal to give as a clue. For example, the player is told he or she “can’t be too descriptive”. Also, no prepositions are allowed. It was funny when the warm up guy quizzed the audience about what a preposition and a prepositional phrase are, and most of the audience looked away in shame.
It seems like the producers realized that their mistake about not prepping Nicholas Tuturro properly, and made sure newcomer Harris was well prepared. It’s only fair to contestants that the celebrities have practiced and know the rules inside and out. Fans of the older versions of this game show will be satisfied when it airs.
More on the Tuturros’ games here: http://hollywoodjunket.com/the-pyramid-celebrity-players-join-forces-kate-flannery-dot-marie-jones-more/
“The Pyramid” will debut on September 3, 2012 on GSN.
Written and reported by: Anita Smith