Wheel of Fortune


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About

Wheel of Fortune is an American television game show created by Merv Griffin, which premiered in 1975. Contestants compete to solve word puzzles, similar to those used in Hangman, to win cash and prizes determined by spinning a giant carnival wheel. The show first aired as a replacement for the original version of Jeopardy! Griffin created two different pilot episodes, hosted by Chuck Woolery and Edd Byrnes. Griffin conceived a hangman-style game after recalling long car trips as a child, on which he and his sister would play hangman.

The program began airing nationally on January 6, 1975 on NBC, with Woolery and Susan Stafford hosting and Charlie O'Donnell as the program's announcer. In 1980 and 1981, O'Donnell and Woolery departed from the show and were replaced as announcer and host by Jack Clark and Pat Sajak, respectively. In 1982, Vanna White replaced Stafford, who left the show. The nighttime syndicated version of Wheel of Fortune premiered on September 19, 1983. After Clark died in 1988, M.G. Kelly took over briefly as announcer with O'Donnell returning in 1989. After his return O'Donnell remained as announcer until his own death in 2010, after which Jim Thornton replaced him. Sajak continued to host the daytime version until his departure in 1989 when he left to focus on his late night talk show, The Pat Sajak Show. Upon Sajak's departure from the daytime version, he was replaced by Rolf Benirschke, who was then replaced by Bob Goen when the program switched networks from NBC to CBS later that year. The daytime version moved back to NBC in 1991, but was canceled eight months later.

While retaining most of the elements from the daytime version, the syndicated version of Wheel of Fortune has added many new gameplay elements and is the longest-running syndicated game show in United States television history, with over 5,000 episodes aired. In a 2008 article, TV Guide named Wheel of Fortune as the "top-rated syndicated series."

 

Highlights
Pat Sajak on doing the weather for KNBC Los Angeles and impressing Merv Griffin and offering Sajak Wheel of Fortune
05:27
Vanna White on why Merv Griffin hired her - she and Pat were like Ken and Barbie
00:18
Publicist Warren Cowan on working with Merv Griffin's game shows Wheel of Fortune and its international appeal 
01:44
Pat Sajak on production of and memorable moments on Wheel of Fortune
04:06
Who talked about this show

Vin Di Bona

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Vin Di Bona on working at KNXT and stage managing Wheel of Fortune
02:11

Warren Cowan

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Publicist Warren Cowan on working with Merv Griffin's game shows Wheel of Fortune and its international appeal 
01:44

Harry Friedman

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Harry Friedman on how he came to produce Wheel of Fortune
01:11
Harry Friedman on the changes he brought to Wheel of Fortune as producer
01:32
Harry Friedman on his relationship with Wheel of Fortune creator Merv Griffin 
02:30
Harry Friedman on changing the puzzle board for Wheel of Fortune
03:41
Harry Friedman on the budget for Wheel of Fortune
00:43
Harry Friedman on adding elements to the wheel on Wheel of Fortune and the bonus round
02:29
Harry Friedman on the Wheel of Fortune puzzles
01:09
Harry Friedman on the Wheel of Fortune set
01:35
Harry Friedman on the Wheel of Fortune prizes
00:27
Harry Friedman on Pat Sajak as host of Wheel of Fortune
06:27
Harry Friedman on Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune
02:15
Harry Friedman on Vanna White's wardrobe on Wheel of Fortune
01:34
Harry Friedman on the chemistry between Pat Sajak and Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune
01:23
Harry Friedman on Wheel of Fortune announcer Charlie O'Donnell
01:45
Harry Friedman on the contestants of Wheel of Fortune
02:59
Harry Friedman on taking Wheel of Fortune on the road
02:03
Harry Friedman on Wheel of Fortune's "Wheel Mobile" 
01:05
Harry Friedman on Wheel of Fortune's theme weeks
03:04
Harry Friedman on Wheel of Fortune's ratings 
02:06
Harry Friedman on Wheel of Fortune's affiliates 
01:28
Harry Friedman on how emerging technologies have affected Wheel of Fortune
01:57
Harry Friedman on Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! switching to high definition 
03:42
Harry Friedman on the then-future of Wheel of Fortune 
00:37
Harry Friedman on his function on the set of Wheel of Fortune
01:26
Harry Friedman on the practices and procedures of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!  regarding contestants
00:44
Harry Friedman on the linkage of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!
01:40
Harry Friedman on the international appeal of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!
01:24
Harry Friedman on Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!'s distributor King Word/CBS Television Distribution
00:46

Roger King

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Roger King on getting the distribution rights to Wheel of Fortune from Merv Griffin, and selling the show
04:06
Roger King on the success of the nighttime version of Wheel of Fortune, and how he sold the show
02:47
Roger King on selling Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune at the same time, in tandem
00:53

Marty Pasetta

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Marty Pasetta on directing Shopper's Bizarre, an early version of Wheel of Fortune
03:24

Pat Sajak

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Pat Sajak on doing the weather for KNBC Los Angeles and impressing Merv Griffin and offering Sajak Wheel of Fortune
05:27
Pat Sajak on production of and memorable moments on Wheel of Fortune
04:06
Pat Sajak on the night-time syndicated version of Wheel of Fortune
28:39
Pat Sajak on the perception of a game show host and how it affected his try at being a late night host
02:58
Pat Sajak on swapping hosting duties with Jeopardy !'s Alex Trebek
02:31
Pat Sajak on the puzzle board; on traveling with the show and College and Celebrity Week; on changes to the game
23:31

Bob Stewart

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Producer Bob Stewart on his short-lived panel show Love Experts
03:38

Dick Stiles

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Dick Stiles on doing art direction for Wheel of Fortune
02:44
Dick Stiles on the prizes of Wheel of Fortune
01:34
Dick Stiles on working with Merv Griffin on Wheel of Fortune
01:18
Dick Stiles on the Wheel of Fortune puzzle board and wheel
04:02
Dick Stiles on a typical Wheel of Fortune production schedule and on the direction of the show
02:06
Dick Stiles on the hosts of Wheel of Fortune
03:00
Dick Stiles on the biggest challenge of doing art direction for Wheel of Fortune
01:26
Dick Stiles on the popularity of Wheel of Fortune and on being on set during filming
02:16
Dick Stiles on leaving Wheel of Fortune
00:47

Vanna White

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Vanna White on being a fan of Wheel of Fortune
00:29
Vanna White on auditioning for Wheel of Fortune
19:08
Vanna White on her fashions on Wheel of Fortune
02:41
Vanna White on taping Wheel of Fortune in New York and traveling with the show 
01:47
Vanna White on the longevity, staff and production of Wheel of Fortune
09:31
Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune  
11:10
Pat Sajak and Vanna White on the atmosphere on the set of Wheel of Fortune
13:19

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