- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 7, 2009

CBS eyes ‘Pyramid’

A new version of “The $25,000 Pyramid” from Sony and producer Michael Davies (“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”) is one of the projects CBS is considering as a replacement for “Guiding Light,” TVWeek.com reports.

Neither Sony nor CBS would comment. However, two people familiar with the situation said Mr. Davies and Sony have come up with a reworking of the classic “Pyramid” game-show format designed to fit into CBS’ daytime lineup.

The new take likely would be an hour in order to fill the time slot vacated by “Guiding Light,” which ends its CBS run in September after 57 years on that network.

While “Pyramid” is a contender to replace “Light,” it’s not CBS’ only option. The network is said to be considering contenders produced in-house, including talk shows.

Sony last attempted to revive “Pyramid” in 2002, launching a syndicated version of the show with Donny Osmond as host.

The studio already is a leading supplier of daytime programming to networks, distributing Corday Productions’ “Days of Our Lives” to NBC and producing “The Young and the Restless” for CBS.

Levinson, ESPN team

Baltimore-born director Barry Levinson (“Diner,” “Avalon,” “Liberty Heights”) is among a trio of filmmakers — including Albert Maysles and Dan Klores — creating short sports films for ESPN’s “30 for 30” documentary project.

The initiative, which is tied to ESPN’s 30th anniversary, involves the creation of 30 hourlong sports documentaries that will run on cable starting in October. Other filmmakers contributing to the project include Spike Lee, Barbara Kopple and Mike Tollin, Variety reports.

Mr. Levinson — whose films primarily are set in Baltimore — will explore how NFL owner Robert Irsay secretly spirited the Colts out of his heartbroken hometown in 1984, in a film titled “And the Band Marched On: The Colts Sneak Out of Baltimore.”

Mr. Maysles (“Gimme Shelter”) will contribute “Muhammad and Larry,” which will look at the 1980 bout between the very-much-past-his-prime Muhammad Ali and his former sparring partner, Larry Holmes.

Mr. Klores (“Crazy Love”) will offer “King of the New York Streets,” which will showcase former NBA superstar Reggie Miller’s startling, trash-talk-fueled destruction of the Knicks in the 1995 playoffs.

‘GH’ in high-def

ABC is breathing new life into its flagship soap opera, “General Hospital,” for the May sweeps, Broadcastingcable.com reports. “GH,” the longest-running dramatic serial in the network’s history, will begin broadcasting in the 720-line-progressive high-definition format on April 23.

The soap, which has aired more than 11,500 episodes in its 46 years, is the second ABC daytime show to go HD after its daytime chat fest, “The View,” which made the leap in September 2006. According to B&C, ABC has spent $3 million upgrading “GH’s” Los Angeles studio and control room to HD, which included renting a temporary control-room setup from January to March to keep the show in production while its permanent home was retrofitted.

Besides going to higher resolution, the “GH” set also has a new look — part of a story line that has the hospital reopening after an explosion. ABC was able to repurpose set components from the prime-time spinoff “General Hospital: Night Shift,” which ran for two seasons on the Disney-ABC cable network SOAPnet.

Williams honored

NBC anchorman Brian Williams has been named this year’s recipient of the Walter Cronkite Award.

Mr. Williams will be honored by Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at a luncheon Nov. 18 in Phoenix, Associated Press reports.

Each year, the Cronkite School recognizes a notable media figure for excellence in journalism. Past recipients have included former NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw, former Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham and CNN founder Ted Turner.

On tap tonight:

90210 (9, the CW) Kelly and Ryan (Jennie Garth, Ryan Eggold) look for a distraught Silver (Jessica Stroup).

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports

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