Wheel of Fortune (1983)

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Wheel of Fortune (1983)
Premiere September 19, 1983
Airs check local listings
Creator Merv Griffin
Host Pat Sajak and
Vanna White
Network Syndication
Style 30-minute game show
Company Merv Griffin Enterprises (1983–1994),
Columbia TriStar Television (1994–2002),
Sony Pictures Television (2002– )
Distributor King World (1983–2007)
CBS Television Distribution (2007– )
Seasons 36
Episodes 7,000 (as of May 10, 2019)
Status Currently airing season 36
Renewed through season 40 (2022-2023)
Origin USA

Wheel of Fortune is the second and current incarnation of the popular game show Wheel of Fortune. This version airs in syndication and is hosted by Pat Sajak, who was also one of the hosts on the original daytime version.

The nighttime Wheel was the first game show in syndication to be stripped as a five-night-a-week series during prime time access* (7 PM and 7:30 PM Eastern). It quickly became the top rated syndicated program on TV and it has held that position since. Sometime later, repeats from previous seasons were offered on Saturday evenings.

Game play was identical to the daytime show (which ended in 1991). Over the last ten years, a new wrinkle was added: the contestant to spin first was decided from who is the first to solve a toss-up puzzle. Also, the prize to be played for in the bonus round was determined by spinning a small wheel with small folded placards hiding the prize. A $1 million wedge was added to the big wheel. Whoever lands on it and is top winner at the end (provided no "Bankrupts" are hit before then) vies for the $1 million in the bonus round. The contestant must land on the $1 million on the small wheel in order to play for it.

Other wrinkles had been the Jackpot round, in which a pot starts at $5000 and increases with the money values the Wheel stops on with the player solving the puzzle winning the jackpot provided he/she land on the Jackpot wedge. The most current is the Express, which upon being landed lets the contestant continue to select consonants for $1000 a pop until the puzzle is solved, with any missed letter causing him/her to bankrupt.

Longtime announcer Charlie O'Donnell died November 1, 2010. Wheel had guest announcers like Jeopardy! announcer Johnny Gilbert and Jim Thornton. Jim Thornton was named Wheel's permanent announcer on June 13, 2011.

NOTE: *Other syndicated game shows were five-day-a-week strips but were not intended for prime time access unless a station scheduled it for that time frame on their own accord.

Contents

Seasons

Season  Premiere Finale #
Syndication
Season One September 19, 1983 June 15, 1984 195
Season Two September 10, 1984 June 7, 1985 195
Season Three September 9, 1985 June 6, 1986 195
Season Four September 8, 1986 June 19, 1987 195
Season Five September 14, 1987 June 10, 1988 195
Season Six September 5, 1988 June 16, 1989 195
Season Seven September 4, 1989 June 1, 1990 195
Season Eight September 3, 1990 June 14, 1991 195
Season Nine September 2, 1991 June 12, 1992 195
Season Ten September 7, 1992 June 18, 1993 195
Season Eleven September 6, 1993 June 17, 1994 195
Season Twelve September 5, 1994 June 23, 1995 195
Season Thirteen September 4, 1995 July 19, 1996 195
Season Fourteen September 2, 1996 June 13, 1997 195
Season Fifteen September 1, 1997 June 12, 1998 195
Season Sixteen September 7, 1998 June 4, 1999 195
Season Seventeen September 6, 1999 June 2, 2000 195
Season Eighteen September 4, 2000 June 1, 2001 195
Season Nineteen September 3, 2001 May 31, 2002 195
Season Twenty September 2, 2002 May 30, 2003 195
Season Twenty-One September 8, 2003 June 4, 2004 195
Season Twenty-Two September 6, 2004 June 3, 2005 195
Season Twenty-Three September 12, 2005 June 9, 2006 195
Season Twenty-Four September 11, 2006 June 8, 2007 195
Season Twenty-Five September 10, 2007 June 6, 2008 195
Season Twenty-Six September 8, 2008 July 17, 2009 195
Season Twenty-Seven September 14, 2009 June 11, 2010 195
Season Twenty-Eight September 13, 2010 June 10, 2011 195
Season Twenty-Nine September 19, 2011 June 15, 2012 195
Season Thirty September 17, 2012 June 14, 2013 195
Season Thirty-One September 16, 2013 June 13, 2014 195
Season Thirty-Two September 15, 2014 June 12, 2015 195
Season Thirty-Three September 14, 2015 June 10, 2016 195
Season Thirty-Four September 12, 2016 195
Season Thirty-Five September 11, 2017
Season Thirty-Six September 10, 2018
Season Thirty-Seven 2019
Season Thirty-Eight 2020
Season Thirty-Nine 2021
Season Forty 2022

In Depth

DVD Releases

There are no DVD releases for this show.

External Sites