Ratings Report: “Pyramid” Not Looking Good, Plus “Wheel” Up, Most Others Slightly Down Thumbnail

Ratings Report: “Pyramid” Not Looking Good, Plus “Wheel” Up, Most Others Slightly Down

Syndication ratings came out today for the week of October 1st, 2012. We also have extra information, most not good news, for The Pyramid and The American Bible Challenge, getting recent viewership information on them. We’ll get to those soon, but let’s dive right into this sea of syndie numbers first.

This is the third week of new episodes for Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! Wheel of Fortune, as it usually does, had the #1 viewership in first-run non-sports programming and the #2 household rating. Wheel was up over another 100,000 viewers over last week with almost 9.8 million viewers and gaining a slight bump with a 6.4 household rating. The third-highest scoring first-run non-sports syndie was, again, Jeopardy! The show was slightly down in viewers, losing about 100,000 viewers but keeping the same 5.6 household rating as last week.

Family Feud is still blowing out all expectations, even with a slight decrease in ratings. In week four of new episodes, they earned a 4.1 household rating, down a tenth of a point from the last week – and losing just fewer than 100,000 viewers over the previous week. It’s still a very fine statistic to be sure. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire fell two-tenths of a point down to 2.1, a place it found itself earlier in the season. It can’t go down much lower than that or alarm bells will begin to sound for that show. Repeats of GSN’s original Baggage went up a tenth of a point to 1.1 during its third syndicated week, doing very well for a show with some less-than-savory timeslots.

If you follow us on Twitter, you will have heard some of this previously (an advantage of keeping tabs with us there) but we also have the most recent available ratings for The Pyramid in its 6PM slot, along with this past Thursday’s primetime ratings for that and The American Bible Challenge. Week five’s ratings for The Pyramid, the week starting on October 1st with Josh Malina and Wallace Langham, scored an average of 314,000 viewers in its slot, an average low so far. Its high for the week in that slot was 382,000 viewers, taking 27th on the schedule, while the low was 267,000, taking 98th. Last week (week of October 8th) with Melissa Peterman and Samantha Harris, fared even worse, averaging 279,000 viewers, with a high of 371,000 – 20th and a low of 214,000 – 112th.

The primetime airing that week, which has normally shown very well paired with Bible, did not as both were way down. Bible Challenge got 544,000 viewers in its 8PM Thursday night premiere spot. At 9PM, going head-to-head with the Vice Presidential Debate (something older people, GSN’s main audience, loves), The Pyramid only scored 280,000 viewers, almost half of its primetime number from last week. The VP Debate can be used as an argument, but when coupled with its sagging ratings in the last two weeks, it’s not a good thing.

That’s your game show ratings report for the week of October 1st and even a bit from October 8th. Feel free to give us your thoughts on these ratings and the futures of some of these shows.

Sources :

TV by the Numbers
Broadcasting & Cable
Son of the Bronx

Chad Mosher

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33 responses to "Ratings Report: “Pyramid” Not Looking Good, Plus “Wheel” Up, Most Others Slightly Down"

  • GSNFan says:

    Wheel: Great. Jeopardy!: Down, but still good. Feud: Awesome. Baggage: Very Good for 3:30am.

    Then we have The Pyramid. Face it. It’s not doing well, considering last Thursday and Friday (10/11 and 10/12) it scored 214K and 226K in new runs at 6PM. Pyramid isn’t going to last for GSN, though it was a great idea. I’m watching now, and I love it. The celebrities and contestants both aren’t horrible, but it’s a TOUGH game to play. A show like Catch 21, 1 vs 100 and Lingo are all better-suited for GSN, if done right. Most recently, 1 vs 100 wasn’t done right, and it didn’t last.

    For Thursday 10/11′s ratings for GSN. The debate was on. I’m not too worried. GSN skews old when it comes to ratings. People would rather watch the 90 min. debate and coverage that they can’t see again in full

    • Mike B. says:

      I think you have a point about the game being tough. For the most part, GSN has the most success with shows that are more simple and lighthearted party games. Heck, even if we look outside of originals, their most successful daily show right now is Harvey’s Feud. Like The Pyramid, it’s a modern incarnation of a classic game show that largely retains the classic format and also has some retro elements in its production values. But it’s got much more of a lighthearted party atmosphere than The Pyramid, with a host who brings a strong comedic element to the proceedings.

      This is one reason why I think a show like Card Sharks would be a better candidate for revival. Like Feud, it’s a fun party game that lends itself to both funny and exciting moments. If they can find a good host that can play up both elements, I think it could really work on GSN. It’s also worth noting that Card Sharks has been one of their best performing classics (it often beat $25K/$100K Pyramid when both were on side by side), and that GSN has had success with the somewhat similar Catch 21.

      Another reason why Card Sharks revival would be a good idea is that they could produce it fairly cheaply, without the extra expense for celebrities like on Pyramid. I think production costs may be part of the reason why The Pyramid is in limbo, and yet Newlywed Game got a new season in spite of doing worse numbers last time around. Production costs may have also contributed to the demise of Engvall Lingo and Inaba 1 vs. 100, both of which had pretty big prize budgets by GSN standards, and got ratings that were in the same respectable-but-not-great range. So if they give it a modest budget, I think a revival of Card Sharks could be profitable for GSN even if it doesn’t do much better than The Pyramid.

      For the record, I’m a big fan of Pyramid in general and have found the revival to be very well done. But I think that fairly low-key, cerebral shows may not be the way to go for GSN. I don’t think it’s time for them to give up on classic game show revivals – after all, they’ve had success with them in the past. I just feel they’d be better off focusing on more lighthearted party games, and I think Card Sharks is a great place to start.

      • GSNFan says:

        At this point, I really think Card Sharks and Press Your Luck revivals would fit GSN. They’re both great shows, they’ve just been added to the morning schedule, and they’re not “smarts” by far either.

        • James says:

          This is a truth, but one that bothers me. Has America fallen that far that word games can’t exist anymore? And as I said, it doesn’t seem right that this Pyramid won’t get one season, when DONNYMID got TWO?!!? I guess there was a longer wait for a new Pyramid back then, and maybe people were still drawn in by the Darker and Edgier Millionaire look and all?

          That said, I’d love to see a new PYL or CS, but I’d be leery of both seeing as their last revivals weren’t so great. Whammy! always seemed to have something missing, and CS2001…need I say more? Even if Fremantle went back to the survey question format, I fear that their surveys might go the direction of a certain other current version of a classic.

  • Ben says:

    I really think Pyramid should pitch itself to syndication or CBS. This revival is one of the best game show revivals in a long time. Good set, good host, good gameplay. Having the budget of a syndicator or major network could make it even better. Maybe bring back returning champions, the tournament, etc. I think GSN would be making a big mistake if they didn’t bring it back. This show could find success if given the right forum.

    • Jay says:

      Agreed, Ben. This show largely depends on the game play…and, many are used to high scores. The celebrities are also a part of it. But, a good combo makes it work…and, it hasn’t really happened yet…save for a few episodes here and there.

      • Jay says:

        Also, when you have a format where a contestant plays for $20,000 in the first round, and $15,000 in the second, that (to me) is a format that needs tweaking.

        • James says:

          I say they should double the stakes in the second round ($20K base, and $10K per perfect round). But that may not be realistic for a cable show.

  • Chris says:

    (SIGH) How quickly people jump on the “EPIC FAIL” bandwagon just because of a ratings hiccup.

    • Andrew L. Budny says:

      I totally agree Chris, many are calling the shows cancelation way too soon. Need I remind everyone that it took three years for this to come to fruition, after CBS passed on it three times.

      I hope it gets picked up in syndication if it doesen’t get picked up for a second season on GSN, but as Les Moonves is in charge of CBS, he will never let it see the light of day.

  • Melvin Gaines says:

    The 6pm time slot for Pyramid is awful. There is no way that it is reaching the largest potential number of viewers at that time. I can only catch the reruns and it has done better during primetime…it should have premiered at 7pm in the first place. I am hopeful they will give it another chance.

    • GSNFan says:

      7PM is that whole “Jeopardy!/Wheel of Fortune” hour basically everywhere, at least in Eastern and Central time zones

      If you look closely at GSN’s ratings in the 7pm hour for anything, they haven’t been great

      • Mike B. says:

        GSN had great success with The Newlywed Game, Catch 21, and Baggage in the 6 PM hour. So I’m not sure if that’s really an excuse. Though to be fair, those shows were surrounded by airings of Deal or No Deal which was really hot on GSN at the time. The O’Hurley/Harvey Feud combo in the 5 PM hour hasn’t been nearly as strong of a lead-in, and The Pyramid has largely been able to retain or build on that audience. Bottom line is, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that GSN could get better ratings in that slot, but I also don’t think the ratings have been *bad* per se.

        I do think GSNFan has more of a point about the 7 PM hour. Nothing’s really done overwhelmingly well in that slot since Deal or No Deal lost its luster, aside from a few Harvey Feud airings here and there (and even that tends to do worse in that slot than elsewhere).

        • GSNFan says:

          Harvey Feud the week of October 8-14 got a 170K-something number at 7pm, then somewhere in the 200K’s at 7:30pm, then did much better from 8-11pm. And, that was after another episode of Harvey Feud at 6:30pm, which probably did decently.

  • Zack says:

    Pyramid is a major victim of a bad time slot for a new show. 6pm would be better suited for a re-run of any sort move pyramid to a later times slot. The only way I can catch it is through DVR

  • Sung says:

    I can only hope they see a good product that can get better, and renew it for a year (and hopefully a better time slot). Pyramid is too good of a show in my opinion to let die again so soon.

    • Andrew L. Budny says:

      Right, GSN would be foolish not to renew this. Make some tweaks and it will be better.

    • Adam says:

      You might be right, but I’m not happy with the way they’ve run the revival. No 7-11 or Mystery 7, No $10,000, then $25,000. Only getting 7-7 builds the jackpot. Suddenly, CBS didn’t sit on a Gold Mine after all. They actually sat on a Land Mine.

  • Jon says:

    Move the show to syndication and replace two talk shows

  • John Burkhart says:

    I’d prefer the full original format. 7 by 30 rounds, 3 each. Make it the Lucky 7 worth 5K. Mystery 7 still awards a prize. 10k/25K and above all else: RETURNING CHAMPIONS.

  • James Greek says:

    I’d rather watch Pyramid than the stinking vp debate. I think I was watching Full House reruns on Nick at Nite

  • Myke25 says:

    First, to those of you who are still complaining that The Pyramid isn’t exactly like the 80s versions…get over it. Why should GSN spend a bunch of money reviving a show if they aren’t bringing anything new to the table? They have the reruns in their library. If you want a show that’s exactly like Dick Clark’s shows, watch them.

    I think they put an interesting twist in the game with the Winners Circle Jackpot. By making every category a bonus category, every point means money. Most players have faced a $15K or $20K pyramid…that’s not a bad thing. And they still have room to add bonus categories for a prize if they want…should they get a second season. They didn’t introduce bonus categories like the Big 7 or 7-11 right off the bat in the 70s and 80s either. Give it time…if GSN does.

    And the answer to the ratings woes is not to throw more money at it with tournaments. I’d throw money into better promotion…and as I’ve said a few times here, they need to promote it outside their own air. They need to get more eyes on it besides those of the “choir”. And this isn’t just to save my favorite game show…it’s to save the network. GSN is by definition a niche network. It’s carried by a lot of service providers on digital or sports tiers only. That limits their audience even more. They are not going to grow that limited audience by just promoting on GSN.

    Despite the decent numbers for the Bible Challenge…I can’t help but wonder if GSN would have more success programming their originals on some other night but Thursday…historically the most competitive night on television. I agree that the 6p time slot is a killer…I know I can’t get home from work in time to see it live. I DVR it. (I wonder what the live +3 numbers are.) Add an 11 or 11:30p airing. And for pete’s sake…post full episodes on the website!!!!!
    I also wonder if The Pyramid would work better as a weekly show, rather than as a strip.

    OK…that got a little long-winded. Sorry.

    • Dorvell says:

      I’d love to see it given another season on GSN, though. Give it time to build an audience, ya know? I highly doubt that can be done with only forty episodes.

  • Dorvell says:

    Amen, Mike! You wait: Should Pyramid get cancelled (and I hope to God it doesn’t as we’ve waited too long for it to be revived and potentially given up on so easily,) those who’re constantly complaining about how it’s not the 80′s version to the last letter will be the first ones calling for GSN’s collective head! Actually, I’d argue that if it were the 80′s version to a T, not only would it be way outside GSN’s budget, but the ratings for it would probably be worse than what they are if that makes sense.

    Perhaps it would do better in syndication, but the question then becomes do stations have enough room on their schedules?

    • GSNFan says:

      It’s a game show. Stations realize that syndies like 5th Grader and Lyrics may have failed, but then you have Family Feud and Millionaire.

      Syndication isn’t out of the question for The Pyramid, but I wouldn’t heavily discuss it

  • Andrew L. Budny says:

    Myke25, THANK YOU, a fellow believer sees the light!!!! Pyramid is a good show the way it is right now. Give it another season and a little more time to build a fan base and GSN could have another hit on their hands.

    And as Dorvell said, we waited too long a decent revival of this show. As I mentioned before and I will say it again, CBS passed on this 3 times in order to give us Let’s Make A Deal and Julie Chen’s tak show (The Talk) which should have been taken off the air a long time ago.

    Les Moonves, only cares about what shows will be hits for the network and it’s cash cows Survivor, Amazing Race and Big Brother just to name a few.

    So in my opinion, when will we see another game show on CBS with Les Moonves in charge, WHEN PIGS FLY!!!!

  • The Dragon says:

    I remember not too long ago I said this would be lucky to see a second season and at the rate it is going, it won’t happen, and everyone wanted to take me to the gallows, I picked apart the time, the speed, the set, and there was a line of people wanting to sink my battleship…..looks like my ship is still sailing, it’s too bad as I was really looking forward to a great Pyramid but sadly I am a fair person and call things like I see it. Am I disappointed? In many ways yes Did I “hate” the Pyramid revival? No, I was looking forward to it. Throw out some of the cheesy garbage I mentioned before, give it a better time slot, of course the first Friday of the first week Pyramid debuted and giving it a “marathon” replacing Clarks Pyramid served it no justice either

  • Jay Temple says:

    Here’s the pity: The Pyramid is miles better than Donnymid, but because of where it’s running, it will end up with about 1/10 the number of episodes.

  • justai says:

    Oh, PLEASEEEEE cancel this show!! It is horrible!!!! The celebrities are the worst! It is like they are dumb or brain dead and do not know how to describe 80% of the words. I am watching the episode with Aida Turturro and Nick Turturro. They both are ATROCIOUS!! Nick just has NO brainpower for describing anything. And Aida is a nervous wreck. Actually, all of these new celebrities are all agitated and nervous and start shouting and calling out answers wildly and loudly. This reincarnation has none of the panache of the earlier versions of this show. Have they even put sat these people down and had them watch older Pyramid shows to learn how to be an effective clue giver? They need to bring these celebrities in and make them watch old clips to know how to do the game properly. And the host…arrgghhhh. He, too, is frenetic at times. He has nothing calming about him in comparison to past hosts. The tone of his voice just ratchets you up to where you are a bit nervous. He talks too fast and is trying way to hard to have the charm of Dick Clark or even Donny. Yeah, I’d rather watch anything else other than this. And for all you very young people who have never seen the older Pyramid shows, you have no idea how high the bar has been set with these classic shows. No, I’m not looking for a copy of how Dick Clark did it, but mannnn, this newer version just has so many dummy and idiot celebrities that have lost all ability to describe things that it makes the game hideous. GSN, please pull this show and save some grace.

    • Dorvell says:

      Points taken, and I watched those episodes as well and agree that the celebs were completely inept at giving clues.

      That said, let me ask you this. Did you tune in early on? Because (as many of us predicted when it first started,) GSN would be likely to bury the bad episodes, or show them later in the run. Looks like that’s what they did here, because they seemed to have celebs that were excellent clue-givers early-on. Dick’s versions had those problems as well throughout their runs, I’m sure. In fact, I recall at least one episode where there was a winner’s circle shutout!

      Also, you can’t put it all on the celebs: They could be giving the best clues possible, and they just don’t click with the contestants. Case and point, an episode of the $10,000.00 Pyramid where a celeb went as far as to name off the men Elizabeth Taylor had married up to that point (the category being something like “Elizabeth Taylor’s Husbands,) and the contestant still didn’t get it even though the clues were as accurate as they could possibly have been.

      and as you decided to bring age into this, this soon-to-be 23 year old has watched, and loves, Dick’s versions of this great show. Should Mike’s version last (I hope it does,) perhaps they’ll learn from past mistakes and not bring these “nervous wrecks” back.

      What you have to remember, though, (and I understand how easy it is to critique one’s performance when not in the hot seat,) is that these people are under a lot of pressure. Think about it: All the lights, cameras, a live audience, knowing that your performance is potentially going out to hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions of people is enough to get anyone’s anxiety going. Some are calm and collected about it, others aren’t. In-time and if given the chance, I’m sure they’ll weed those who have anxiety attacks out and keep bringing good players back, just like they did with Dick’s versions.

      As for Mike’s hosting, no one will ever replace Dick. However, Mike was once quoted as saying that Dick himself told him that he should get back into hosting (I guess Mike hosted shows in the past.) The fact that the man who made this game show so great could see hosting ability in Mike is enough, for me anyway, to continue watching. That, and I would hate to see this cancelled so soon because, (as I’ve said,) we’ve waited too long for a revival.

  • Myke25 says:

    I just watched the pilot GSN aired Friday. I honestly thought the 80s theme sounded out of place here. I wasn’t crazy about how they used it, either. (Why don’t they give us the music when there’s a win?) I’m glad they sped up the lighting effects on the pyramid…they were too slow on this pilot.

    I noticed that the scoring displays on the desks were way too big, Mike’s podium was kinda like Dick’s from The $50,000 Pyramid, and that they used the tie-breaker rules from the 80s…though sort of awkwardly.

    I did like the slightly slower spinning effect with the CGI trilons, though. And I thought the blue background looked better than the yellow they ultimately went with.

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