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That ‘70s game show: Genial hosts revive ‘Pyramid,’ ‘Feud’

Times Staff Writer

Let’s meet our new players.

Donny is a former teen idol who’s a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. A father of five, he is married to the lovely Debbie and his hobbies include car racing and genealogy.

Richard is a comedic actor who portrayed a handyman on “Home Improvement.” Oddly enough, Richard managed an apartment building before landing the sitcom and hails from a long line of builders.

Donny Osmond, star of the new “Pyramid,” and Richard Karn, who emcees the latest incarnation of “Family Feud,” may not be competing against each other, but since September they have been merrily fighting for ratings as hosts of their syndicated game shows. Locally, both shows air weekdays on KCAL-TV Channel 9 (“Family Feud” at 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., “Pyramid” at 7 p.m.).

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Both shows stay close to their 1970s roots. “Pyramid,” known as "$25,000 Pyramid” and "$100,000 Pyramid” back in its heyday, is the same effortless party game, but the players have notebook computers and the set has an industrial glitz design. The “Feud” benefits from its invitingly simple format in which contestants try to match survey answers, though it’s still a bit aggravating to watch teammates jump for joy no matter how inane the response.

You can relax and feel smart watching either game. On style points, however, Osmond is the clear winner: smooth, genial and generically handsome in a Dick Clark kind of way.

Though Karn is less polished and won’t make anyone forget original host Richard Dawson, he at least tries to be funny, coming off like a svelte Louie Anderson, his most immediate predecessor here.

And what if these new hosts don’t make it in the ratings? There are always parting gifts.

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