"Pyramid" was created by Bob Stewart and produced by his production company after he left the employ of Mark Goodson and Bill Todman, for whom he had created "Password."
When the show debuted on CBS on March 26, 1973, it was "The $10,000 Pyramid." It ended on CBS on March 29, 1974, but then began airing on ABC on May 6, 1974.
On January 19, 1976, the dollar value doubled as the show became "The $20,000 Pyramid." That title lasted until ABC canceled the show, as of June 27, 1980.
From 1974 to 1979, there was also a syndicated version called "The $25,000 Pyramid," hosted by Bill Cullen. Dick Clark frequently appeared as a celebrity on the syndicated show, and Cullen reciprocated by guesting on the daytime version.
Another syndicated version aired briefly in 1981. This one was "The $50,000 Pyramid," and Dick Clark was the host.
On all of these versions, the contestant who lost in the main game and didn't go to the Winners' Circle would be off the show, and a new challenger would face the winner in the second half.
It wasn't until a new daytime version premiered on CBS on September 20, 1982, called "The $25,000 Pyramid" again, that the rules were changed to allow both contestants to play for the entire half hour, with the contestant who won the most money in the Winners' Circle returning the next day. Dick Clark would often console a contestant who tanked in the first round by saying something like, "Don't worry, you get to stay for the second round. Back when we did this show in New York, you'd be outta here."
To avoid confusion with the 1970s syndicated version, the title of this version was soon changed to "The New $25,000 Pyramid," reverting back to the original "$25,000 Pyramid" after a couple of years.
Yet another syndicated version premiered in 1985, also hosted by Dick Clark, this time called "The $100,000 Pyramid." The top prize was given away infrequently. The regular games were played for $10,000 and/or $25,000 just like the daytime show, but every so often, there would be a tournament week, where the three contestants who had made it to the top of the Winners' Circle in the shortest length of time would return and play in a round robin format until someone won the $100,000. Many of the Winners' Circle categories during the tournament weeks were nearly impossible, and some so-called tournament weeks actually went past five days.
The daytime "$25,000 Pyramid" ended on December 31, 1987, but then got a reprieve and returned for another brief run from April 4, 1988 to July 1, 1988.
"The $100,000 Pyramid" ended its syndication at the end of the summer of 1988, but then returned for another season in the fall of 1991. This time, it was hosted by John Davidson, and as an addition to the Mystery 7, the Double Trouble round gave the contestant and celebrity 45 seconds to convey and guess seven two-word phrases for bonus money.
Reruns of CBS's "The (New) $25,000 Pyramid" and the Dick Clark episodes of "The $100,000 Pyramid" were aired on the USA Network in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and then on Game Show Network beginning in the late 1990s.
Most of the videotapes of "The $10,000 Pyramid" and "The $20,000 Pyramid" were destroyed after they aired, but Game Show Network has several weeks' worth of "The $10,000 Pyramid," apparently saved because they were taped in Los Angeles instead of New York. GSN has rerun those shows as part of special marathons.