Monday, Sept. 16, 2002 | 8:23 a.m.
Donny Osmond said he was a bit incredulous when the producers of the game show "Pyramid" first approached him about hosting their series.
"My initial reaction was, 'Are you sure you got the right guy?' Because I'm a singer, not a game-show host," Osmond said in a recent phone interview.
But the producers behind the updated version of "Pyramid" remained convinced Osmond was the correct choice.
"They said, 'With your TV queue ... you've been in the business for so long and "Pyramid" is such an institutional game, marrying the two of you together is perfect for us. So let's shoot a pilot.' "
The half-hour "Pyramid," which begins a syndication run today, airs at 10:30 a.m. Mondays through Fridays on KVBC Channel 3 (NBC).
Calling from the "Pyramid" set on a studio in Los Angeles, Osmond said he couldn't be happier about the show's producers pursuing him, or his decision to take their offer.
"I'm having the time of my life," he said.
Osmond's work schedule seems easy: The game show tapes 12 episodes every Monday and Tuesday, which leaves him plenty of time to finish recording his new album.
Plus, "Pyramid" gives him added TV exposure, which he lost with the cancellation of his syndicated talk show "Donny & Marie" two years ago.
Before filming began, he spent time watching the Game Show Network, in particular the earlier incarnation of "Pyramid" from the '70s and '80s, which was hosted by Dick Clark.
Clark even called Osmond to wish the new host well.
"I remember talking to (Clark), saying, 'These are big shoes to fill.' And he said, 'Oh, believe me, you'll have the greatest time. If you just enjoy the game, everything will be just fine.' "
Osmond said the updated version of "Pyramid" is essentially the same game show, only "more difficult, quicker and funnier."
The show involves two contestants who are alternately teamed with two celebrities, all of whom have to guess up to six words in 30 seconds for various prizes.
The winning contestant then repeats the process with one celebrity for a chance to win up to $125,000.
Unlike the original version of "Pyramid," contestants can also win various prizes -- such as vacations, digital cameras and TVs -- on the way to the winner's seat.
Some of the celebrity guests who have appeared on the show include actress Teri Garr and comedian Fred Willard. Former talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell is also planning an appearance, Osmond said.
As for when Clark will visit the show as a celebrity guest, Osmond said he'd already made the former host an offer during an interview on "Extra."
"I looked right in the lens and said, 'Dick, I know you're watching. I dare you. I challenge you to come on,' " Osmond said. "So they went and found him the next day and he accepted."
Osmond said he isn't sure when Clark will be on "Pyramid," but he assured the former host's appearance is not a case of "celebrity stunting."
"During sweeps, shows will bring in all these celebrities to get the ratings up," Osmond said. "Well, that's just part of the nature of this game right from the get-go. It's always a celebrity versus a contestant. So, we don't do 'celebrity stunting.' " I challenge you to come on.' So they went and found him the next day and he accepted."