And CBS' “Big Brother” returned in August, switching to an all-star edition after postponing its June premiere. Following a months-long coronavirus-imposed production hiatus, the venerable syndicated game show will be back on the air with original episodes beginning Monday, Sept. 14.
Among the pandemic-related changes: The show’s signature Wheel has been redesigned to allow for six feet of space between host Pat Speak and each contestant. Wheel resumed production in early August, five months after shooting was suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“I think we have accomplished that in a big way, and our fans can be comfortable knowing that they’re going to tune in to see the Wheel of Fortune they love.” Both shows, which had previously elected to tape without a live audience, announced the news in a series of tweets on Monday.
“The health and well-being of our contestants, staff, and crew are our top priority, and we will continue to monitor the situation as it develops.” “The rest of the season will continue as planned as soon as we're back in the studio,” read a final tweet.
The official Wheel of Fortune Twitter page shared the same update, with the image of a solved puzzle reading, “Stay Healthy Everyone.” Planned to suspend production as of Monday, an ABC spokesperson told NBC last week.
“The health and well-being of our contestants, staff, and crew are our top priority, and we will continue to monitor the situation as it develops.” Don’t worry about going without for the duration of your social distancing, though. Executive producer Mike Richards told Deadline how the long-running game show is adapting to filming during the coronavirus pandemic.
I think we have accomplished that in a big way, and our fans can be comfortable knowing that they’re going to tune in to see the Wheel of Fortune they love.” Taping of the two popular TV game shows, both produced by Sony Entertainment, will continue.
The audience is being kept away out of an abundance of caution as health officials are encouraging the public to conduct social distancing amid the spread of the virus. Greek, the 79-year-old host of Jeopardy, has been fighting stage 4 pancreatic cancer since last year.
The CDC and other health officials said that the elderly and those with weakened immune systems should avoid social contact as COVID-19 spreads throughout the United States. With more than 30 million viewers per week, Wheel of Fortune has been the #1 syndicated game show since its inception.
The series continues to attract a larger audience than many Prime time TV shows. Episodes beyond the previous season are not shown on Saturday or Sunday broadcasts of the syndicated Wheel of Fortune show.
It makes you eligible to win cash or prizes in the daily Spin ID drawing during the show (Monday through Saturday, including reruns). Anna White appears as host of Wheel of Fortune for the first time in show history.
Instead, it was letter turner Anna White filling in for Speak as part of the holiday-themed edition of the game show. Wheel of Fortune showed off a clip of Anna as she was escorted into the studio with Disney friends waving enthusiastically to the audience.
In Wheel’s tweet, they mentioned it was a history-making episode as she was filling in as host for the first time in show history. As a commenter mentioned on Twitter, there were a few occasions when White took over for Speak, but it happened during the episode rather than for a full show.
On another of the occasions, it was White filling in for Pat during the bonus round due to Speak’s laryngitis. Now viewers are getting to see Anna White take a turn as the official game show host.
So far it seems the reactions from viewers have been positive and in support of Anna as Wheel of Fortune substitute host. There was even one who took things to the extreme suggesting they need to ditch Pat Speak as show host and have Anna White take over.
White talked to Good Morning American recently about Speak’s situation and taking over as host of the show. The good news is that the surgery was a success and Speak reported he’s OK. He’s also since returned to his job as host to tape some new episodes, based on Wheel of Fortune’s Instagram post.
Viewers will continue to see Anna White as the host during the show’s episodes for the Secret Santa Holiday Giveaway this week and next. I normally don’t talk about Saturday reruns, but from what I’ve heard, the next two Saturday reruns of WHEEL are going to bring back very bad memories… BOTH OF THOSE ARE THE MILLION DOLLAR LOSSES (JP Genius alerted me that the BAKED ZUCCHINI disaster will air first).