Did Wheel Of Fortune Change Networks

Maria Johnson
• Sunday, 17 October, 2021
• 86 min read

Disney and Fox found themselves wrapped up in another bidding war earlier this year, but this time around it involved vowels, consonants and answers posed in the form of questions. The shows have aired on ABC-owned stations for decades, but the renewal process became more lively for CBS Television Distribution this time around because the Fox Television Stations group mounted a huge rival offer for the early evening stalwarts away in top markets including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

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(Source: courtweek.com)


Sources close to the situation said the eight ABC Los had to pony up sizable increases to keep the shows for the first time in years because there typically have been no rival offers to juice the market. “ Wheel and “Jeopardy” are known to command low six-figure weekly license fees in New York and L.A., the two largest TV markets.

We’re excited they will continue to anchor stations’ lineups, delivering eyeballs and ad dollars to our partners, for many years to come.” Wheel of Fortune, the longest-running syndicated game show in American television, premieres on NBC on January 6, 1975.

The phrases “I'd like to buy a vowel” and “I'd like to solve the puzzle” have entered the American cultural lexicon. White, who operates the board and reveals letters as they are guessed, often contributes her own puzzles to the show.

Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, dies at Sagamore Hill, his estate overlooking New York’s Long Island Sound. Spanish explorers passed through the area that would become New Mexico in the early 16th century, encountering the well-preserved remains of a 13th-century Pueblo civilization.

He began his western voyages in 1822, when he joined the pioneering fur trader William Ashley on a ...read more On January 6, 1975, a crowd of 2,000-plus lines up outside Boston Garden to buy tickets to the rock band Led Zeppelin.

A man hit Mórrígan with a club on the back of her knee, causing the figure skater to cry out in pain and bewilderment. President Franklin D. Roosevelt announces to Congress that he is authorizing the largest armaments' production in the history of the United States.

Committed to war in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, the U.S. had to reassess its military preparedness, especially in light of the ...read more In addition to following local government guidelines and rigorous testing protocol for contestants, talent, staff and crew, the upcoming season of Wheel of Fortune will see the platform surrounding the wheel redesigned, allowing for contestants and host Pat Speak to stand six feet away from each other.

For instance, the American edition of “Love Island” on CBS has moved locations from its Season 1 Fiji villa to a less glamorous quarantine “bubble” at a Las Vegas hotel. And CBS' “Big Brother” returned in August, switching to an all-star edition after postponing its June premiere.

Category:American Networks An incomplete timeline for the daytime Wheel of Fortune, which will likely never be complete for reasons listed below.

As daytime did not use seasons, and since the show debuted in January, this timeline is divided by year. Due to practices of the era and Mere Griffin Productions, most episodes from 1975-85 were destroyed or recorded over; a list of what we know to survive is here.

Further, Game Show Network {henceforth referred to as GUN} has only aired three daytime episodes. At some indeterminate point, a development run through is shot by Mere Griffin Productions.

The run through is hosted by Mere, reading the rules off a set of papers in his hand. The set consists of the Wheel at center stage, with the contestant area to the left and the puzzle board to the right.

The layout consists of various cash amounts from $5 to $500, three Lose A Turn spaces, and one each of Buy A Vowel and Free Spin. The puzzle board consists of three rows of 12 spaces each and letters revealed by pull-cards.

The spaces for unrevealed letters are denoted by a white line on the top or bottom. A curtain or similar material is removed from the board to reveal the puzzle at the start of each round, and incorrect letter calls are denoted by a series of three honks.

As with the Shopper's Bazaar pilot, puzzles are either Person, Place, or Thing. Sometime this month (the UCLA Film & Television Archive lists a date of October 8), the Shopper's Bazaar pilot is taped for NBC by request of Lin Bowen to Mere.

The very first attempt at the format, it is markedly different from the eventual series in numerous ways: The show is hosted by Chuck Foolery, with announcer Mike Lawrence. Two female models are also present (one Caucasian, the other African-American), but they do not appear after the opening segment and are not listed in the credits; the latter is believed to be Harriet, a model who appeared in the earliest nighttime episodes of The New Price Is Right the previous year.

The cue used for commercial outros and the post-Round 4 prize tallies is an instrumental version of “Spinning Wheel by Blood, Sweat & Tears (released in 1969). The Wheel, designed by Spencer Davies and based heavily on those used in various casinos, is vertical and mechanical with 30 wedges.

Landing on Free Spin gives that player a thin white disc with “Free Spin” in black on a yellow background, which may be turned in if that player calls a wrong letter or lands on Lose A Turn. Presumably to better show the general gameplay, the layout used for the opening segment (see below) has no special spaces, and the values range from $50 to $450 in multiples of $50.

The puzzle board is brown, with three rows of 15 spaces each and letters (in the Hopkins font, also used for the logo) revealed by pull-cards, with a staff member clearly visible behind it; a fourth row serves to denote letters that are called but not in the puzzle, referred to here as the “Wrong Letter Board” in lieu of an official name. While Chuck brings this up at the start of each round, the specific category is only given through Your Own Clue.

The set resembles an antique store, with the prizes strewn about along with other items (including picture frames on the back walls) and wood paneling. The contestants, all female, sit at individual chairs behind a short table (a single three-cushion couch during the opening segment).

These ladies have been shopping and selecting gifts from our boutique to play for in our game today.” The contestants are introduced one at a time, and Lawrence gives a brief description of the three prizes she has selected followed by her grand total; following this, Chuck asks her to stop the Wheel, and once it does she pick a consonant for the Round 1 puzzle.

The process repeats with the other two players, with the back of the set splitting apart (and the logo raising up) to reveal Maureen's last choice: a 1974 Pontiac Fire bird. The timer cue is Mere's “A Time For Tony”, cued up at the 1:20 mark (appropriately, a ticking section).

The credit roll ends with the Mere Griffin Productions logo, albeit an entirely new design rather than the one then in use on Jeopardy! a transparent white vertical rectangle with rounded corners, containing a drawing of a griffin over “MERE GRIFFIN productions”, which scrolls up at the end of the credits over the spinning Wheel for the last few seconds.

This version, also used on the subsequent two pilots, becomes the company's main logo in 1975 and remains (with minor adjustments) through November 25, 1983; the griffin itself is retained until June 1994. There are no fee plugs, sponsor lists, eligibility disclaimers, or wardrobe credits.

On the pilot itself (Marilyn/Dawn/Maureen): In a departure from normal practice, the slate (a piece of poster board held by a stagehand in front of the on-set refrigerator/freezer combo) does not use a recording date, only saying Shopper's Bazaar Pilot Show #1” with the show's title in quotation marks. The first wedge landed on is $100, and the first letter revealed is S. The first “dud” is T, which does not appear in any of the puzzles.

Marilyn lands on Free Spin in Round 3, but continually opts to save it. Papers detailing the Bazaar format mention returning champions, although it is not certain whether this element was dropped by the time of taping or simply only applied if the winner lost the Shopper's Special.

When shown to test audiences, the response is that of enthusiasm: they do not understand the gameplay nor why players have to buy vowels, cannot see the puzzle board, and call the game “very slow” and “not challenging”. The viewpoint is shared by Bowen (who called Bazaar “old-fashioned”, particularly in regard to the set) and Mere (who simply said that “Everything about it was wrong.”).

A further problem is that discounting the slate, the pilot runs a staggering 30½ minutes, and there is no indication that the show was intended for anything larger than a standard half-hour time slot. Prior to May 30, 2012, when the opening segment surfaced on YouTube, no footage of Bazaar is known to have been used in any capacity.

Prior to the aforementioned upload, the pilot appears to have been represented by approximately four publicity shots (one in color), including on the show's E! While GUN is known to have a copy and has aired numerous pilots over time, they have not yet shown Bazaar, possibly due to music rights (the aforementioned “Chitty Bang Bang” and/or “Spinning Wheel “).

On July 31, the daily Variety publishes a brief report from Murray Schwartz (then-president of Mere Griffin Productions) that the company will produce “a new game show pilot for NBC”. The United States Patent and Trademark Office lists the Wheel of Fortune trademark (serial number 73656614 and registration number 1491571, filed in April 1987 and registered in June 1988) as having a “first use” date of June 1974 and a “first use of commerce” date of January 6, 1975.

While the latter is accurate, the former appears to suggest that Mere Griffin Productions was already leaning toward changing the show's title, which may be related to the aforementioned run through; alternatively, the “first use” date is a typo and should really be August 1974, which would line up with the aforementioned Variety report. On August 28, the second and third pilots (now called Wheel of Fortune) are taped in Burbank for NBC.

Changes include: EDD Byrnes and Charlie O'Donnell replace Foolery and Lawrence. The Wheel is redesigned by Ed Flesh to be horizontal and spun by the contestants (using the pegs), with much larger wedges (24 in total).

Free Vowel, Your Own Clue, and $0 are retired, while Lose A Turn is pared down to just one wedge and Bankrupt is introduced. The font for the dollar signs, numbers, and letters is changed to Fortune Extra bold (also known as Chesterfield).

The “pointers” (see below) are flimsy, and as a result the Wheel is extremely loose, despite a prop man being underneath (lying on his back with a TV monitor nearby); the prop man nearly faints from this, resulting in the inclusion of air conditioning and a fan. A second Bankrupt and another Lose A Turn are added for Round 4, replacing Free Spin in the process.

The puzzle board is also redesigned by Flesh to be much larger and gray, with 39 trilogy on three rows and a single light border, a prop which slides onstage at the start of each round. Once a puzzle is solved, all unrevealed letters light up and turn around to a portion of “Give It One”.

While the puzzle board is designed to be motorized, this element is not completed by the time of taping. The display shows up to four digits plus a dollar sign, omitting the latter if $10,000 or more is put on account.

These main displays are placed above large arrows which flash for each contestant's turn, and at the end of each arrow is a thin, flat “pointer” used to (ostensibly) slow the Wheel to a stop and denote what space that player has landed on. The arrows are red, yellow, and blue for the first, second, and third players respectively.

Contestants now purchase from a “showcase” of prizes located behind the puzzle board, which moves away, so the player can shop. After solving one of the first three puzzles, players may opt to put those winnings on account immediately or go shopping.

As Charlie describes the shopping prizes, the background music played is “Cinnamon and Clove”, composed by Johnny Manuel and performed by Pat Williams. The Wrong Letter Board and Accounting Department are combined into a single chalkboard with 26 flip-up cards on top.

As Charlie says “all these prizes”, the money graphic (using a tall, thin font) appears. The final segment consists of EDD recapping the scores, announcing the winner, and talking briefly with Susan as an unknown cue plays.

As they sign off, EDD spins the Wheel as it zooms back into view with the two in the center, and as “Give It One” plays from the beginning. The chroma-key shot, which moves over to the prizes, continues through the credits (which are set in the Clarendon typeface) and as the Griffin logo appears.

Losing players receive unstated parting gifts regardless of whether they solve any puzzles. EDD's phrasing suggests that the gifts are added to any prizes that are purchased during the game.

While he is noticeably more sober for Pilot #3, he is confronted after the taping by an upset Susan. While EDD changes suits between the pilots, Susan wears a single powder-blue outfit for both.

There are no fee plugs, sponsor lists, eligibility disclaimers, or wardrobe credits. On Pilot #2 (Marge/Gary/Roseanne): EDD makes faces at the camera at points during the taping, and during Round 1 mistakenly says the total of all the Wheel values is $435 rather than $4,225.

It is likely from their reactions that they were both looking at Gary's arrow, which was on Lose A Turn. The first I in the Round 2 puzzle SIRLOIN STEAK does not light up after Roseanne solves.

“, an ironic statement given the show was using a prop man to stop the Wheel with his feet. Despite Marge being called the returning champion by EDD at the top of the show, no cumulative total is shown or mentioned in the final segment.

On Pilot #3 (Tanya/Frank/Lois): The lighting is a bit darker during the opening, most noticeable on the overhead Wheel shot. EDD makes noises as the Wheel spins, and during Round 1 mistakenly says the total of all the values is $4,335 rather than $4,225.

The display initially shows the proper score of $1,375, but is “corrected” to $1,475 almost immediately afterward. Susan forgets to turn the last A in the Round 1 puzzle TELLY SAVAGES.

During the shopping portion of Round 1, with $725 remaining to spend, EDD suggests Tanya buys a $660 brass bed, presumably because it is the most expensive prize she can afford at this point. Despite Tanya being called the returning champion by EDD at the top of the show, no cumulative total is mentioned in the final segment.

Following the full credit roll, Charlie says Wheel of Fortune is a Mere Griffin production. When shown to test audiences, the response is that the new set is too busy, the sound effects are too noisy, and Byrnes does not fit.

Bowen insists the show be picked up anyway, placing her job on the line: if Wheel fails, she leaves the network; if it succeeds, she gets a raise. By November 18, Bowen's bosses at NBC agree to put Wheel on the daytime schedule.

Early this month, NBC opts to replace EDD with Chuck, making the announcement on the 13th. For at least the week of December 30, NBC airs two promos: one for the new game show lineup starting January 6 (including the debuts of Blank Check and Wheel), and one specifically for the premiere of Wheel, both showing clips of the premiere.

The other values are also moved around a bit, with $225, $325, $375, and $425 being retired, Buy A Vowel now available from Round 1. Possibly for Round 2, Free Spin is removed and a second Bankrupt is added.

The placement of the special spaces does not follow any distinct pattern, and the largest and smallest values are no longer always placed adjacent to a penalty wedge. Contestants who land on Buy A Vowel and do not have $250 lose their turn (a rule that was likely in place since at least the second pilot, but this is not certain).

According to one recollection, a negative score occurred at least once in the game's history, so it is not yet certain whether landing on Buy A Vowel always resulted in a lost turn if the contestant did not have enough money The puzzle board trilogy now turn clockwise instead of counterclockwise, and multiples of a letter light each instance one at a time. Also, the puzzle board, which previously was open behind the trilogy and light border, is modified to add a backing.

The single shopping “showcase” behind the puzzle board is changed to three platforms at the back of center stage. The contestants put the showcases in a 1-2-3 order before the show; if that player solves a puzzle, they spend their money at the showcase they put as #1, with the second and third platforms respectively being used if the same contestant solves the next puzzle.

The platforms are behind a set of panel doors similar to those of Let's Make a Deal, inside a border that resembles the puzzle board (using a 10×5 grid of what appear to be square mirrors). The flimsy “pointers” are replaced by a set of much sturdier ones that are far more effective at stopping the Wheel.

Chuck gives the Wheel a “Final Spin”, and the amount that the red arrow lands on is the value of a letter in this round; if the arrow lands on a non-cash wedge, he spins again until a dollar amount is hit. The player in control when the Final Spin chimes sound gives a letter; if the letter is in the puzzle, s/he has five seconds to solve the puzzle once Susan turns them over and moves out of the way.

If a wrong letter is called or the time limit expires, play passes to the next player. According to multiple recollections, contestants originally are not allowed to call vowels within the first 60 seconds; this time limit was supposedly denoted by the “tacky buzzer” used to indicate time expiring on The Hollywood Squares.

The only sounds used during the Speed-Up are the buzzer (when the five-second time limit expires) and the “only vowels remain” beeps. If its appearance on January 19, 1976, is any indication, it is prefaced by “THE FOLLOWING HAVE PAID AND/OR FURNISHED PRIZES TO NBC FOR PROMOTING THEIR PRODUCTS”, centered, above the spinning Wheel.

On January 6: Bankrupt is hit at least once, a fact the weekly Variety notes in an article on the 15th. At one point, while contestant Gerry is spinning the Wheel, the dollar sign disappears from June's scoreboard.

Contestant June wins at least $3,800, buying a $3,200 mink coat which she wears for the rest of the show. Following Round 3 (or possibly 4), she tells Chuck that “You're the first man who ever gave me a mink coat” while walking over to his area and giving him a kiss on the cheek.

This was most likely due to Susan turning a wrong letter, something she was known to have done frequently in the earliest days. On January 6 or shortly thereafter, Giorgio begins providing Susan's wardrobe.

Initially, there is apparently no rule stating that puzzles must be solved exactly as they appear on the board, which was likely also the case on the pilots. An NBC press photo dated February 5 shows Chuck and Susan at the Rounds 3+ Wheel used on the premiere, with the doors behind them.

Whether the date indicates that these elements were still in place at this point is unknown, as various publicity shots have been recycled and “re-dated” over the years. For the week of March 10, Wheel and NBC's other daytime games (Blank Check, Celebrity Sweepstakes, High Rollers, The Hollywood Squares, and Jackpot) participate in the Shamrock Sweepstakes.

On March 17, the biggest winner of each show from the previous week appears on Celebrity Sweepstakes, as do Chuck and NBC's other hosts (Art James, Jim Mackerel, Alex Greek, Peter Marshall, and Geoff Edwards). The show begins with all twelve onstage, most likely in the six spots normally occupied by the celebrity panel; Sweepstakes regular Carol Wayne (the Lebanon Daily News claims on March 15 that Bob Hope filled this role, but this is somewhat unlikely) draws a name out of a drum, at which point the other players and their hosts are put in an isolation booth.

The remaining host reads a five-part question about Irish-American people (written by Bowen and Jack Samuel's, head of NBC's Compliance & Practices office), to which the player must give all five answers to win $100,000. While the Shamrock Sweepstakes rules allow it to continue into multiple shows as needed, this ends up not being necessary.

Likely by the end of this month (according to one recollection), and definitely by November 3, the prop at center stage is removed at Mere's insistence. If the photos shown on the Milton Bradley games (see “October 1975”) are any indication, the prize platforms are temporarily put behind the puzzle board, as was the case in the 1974 pilots.

Assuming the above was the case, a golden curtain that also stretches between the puzzle board and Wheel debuts at some point afterward (no later than November 3). The curtain, decorated vertically with lights, lowers after Chuck's entrance and raises after each round to reveal the shopping prizes.

Also assuming the above was the case, the set photos used in the Milton Bradley games are taken during this “interim” period and confirm several aspects about the show (all of which are definitely in place by October 31): The Round 1 Wheel layout has changed by now, with the minimum now $100: the tan $75 becomes a second $500, the sole $25 becomes $300 (if it did not increase before the other spaces), the red $50 becomes $150, the yellow $75 becomes $200, and the blue $50 becomes $100. The price tags used in shopping rounds change to shorter black characters on a blue background, encased in white holders.

The main contestant displays become the same color as the arrows (red, yellow, and blue from left to right). Available footage of a 1975 episode of the Belgian version (He Rad Her Fortin) shows a Round 1 Wheel using the January 6 layout with slightly different wedge placement and the values multiplied by 10, with no 250 spaces.

Probably at this point, and definitely by January 19, 1976, the light ring above the players is removed and the Wheel's center no longer changes color. A Fun in the Morning promo airs between about July 4 and September 26, consisting of publicity shots from Celebrity Sweepstakes, Wheel, High Rollers, The Hollywood Squares, The Magnificent Marble Machine, and Jackpot.

The July 15 show (#137, Mike/Laura/Bobbie) is held on audio tape by Archival Television Audio, Inc. By July 15: The intro is slightly altered, but mostly similar to the 1974 pilots: Charlie lists several prizes as the camera shows them, followed by “These are just some many exciting prizes available. Chuck now interviews each player starting with the red position after Susan introduces them.

During shopping rounds, contestants may now place any part of their winnings on a gift certificate in addition to the existing “on account” option; players may also place some money on account and some on a gift certificate. However, from this point until the removal of the shopping rounds, most contestants opt for the gift certificate.

On January 6, this was simply “The prices of some prizes were furnished to the contestants prior to the show.” On July 15: There is a commercial break during Round 1, which appears to have been a rarity during the daytime show's shopping era.

Lin Bowen leaves NBC sometime between the beginning of this month and March 31, 1976 (a Variety article from the latter states that she was present when Fall began, but CBS overtook NBC by the time she left). Contestants still order the prize platforms 1-2-3 before the show, which in turn are tied to each of the first three rounds.

As of September 12, Wheel draws a 31 share on the Nielsen ratings system, 2nd place among all daytime network games (trailing only Celebrity Sweepstakes). As mentioned under “June 1975”, the pictures used on the box and instruction booklet show a set that does not use the doors or curtain; rather, the prizes are behind the puzzle board, which would indicate an “interim” period.

These games confirm several gameplay aspects about the show at the time of their release, including: The categories in use at this point: Event, Fictional Character, Landmark, Person, Phrase, Place, Thing, and Title.

An old version of the show's website stated that Wheel began with six categories, while one recollection says that Phrase did not exist in the earliest months. For this week, Wheel airs for a full hour from 10:30-11:30 AM, resulting in the only known week with three hour-long daytime network games (the others being Squares, celebrating the start of its 10th year, and The Price Is Right, which was a permanent expansion).

The budget is almost certainly increased for this week: the available footage (see below) shows a 1976 Cadillac El Dorado coupe on-set and the Round 3 layout used for at least Round 1, with $1,000 as top value and the (dark orange) Free Spin wedge in place of the Bankrupt near Lose A Turn. By November 3: The opening is slightly altered to remove the chroma-key shots of the prizes and have the lights on.

Chuck now enters from the contestants' right and walks up to his part of the railing. Bankrupt, Lose A Turn, and Free Spin adopt their normal appearances.

It is possible that this change took place before Buy A Vowel was removed, but this cannot currently be confirmed. The November 6 show is partially pre-empted by NBC News coverage of a press conference with U.S. President Gerald Ford.

Wheel does not air on November 27 due to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. On December 1, Wheel again expands to 11:30; as a result, High Rollers moves to Noon and The Magnificent Marble Machine to 12:30.

Changes made for the hour-long format, most of which were likely also used on November 3-7, are believed to include the following: Three contestants (including the returning champion, if applicable) play a three-round game with $500, $1,000, and $1,500 as the top values (a half-template exclusive to Round 3, which introduces $1,500 and $850, is likely introduced at this point). Immediately afterward, a second set of contestants play a three-round game much like the first.

The winner of each game plays a one-round “Head-To-Head All-Cash Showdown”, itself with several unique rules: The puzzle for the round is chosen in front of the puzzle board (displaying WHEEL OF FORTUNE) from one of three bowls marked by category. The Wheel is altered to have a top value of $2,000 and a special wedge which corresponds to a prize.

If a contestant hits Bankrupt while holding the Prize wedge, it is placed back on the Wheel. Per the Toledo Blade, Wheel does not air on December 25 due to Christmas Day Service programming.

The January 9 show is held on audio tape by Archival Television Audio, Inc. On January 19, Wheel returns to a half-hour, now at 11:00 AM; High Rollers moves to 10:30, while The Magnificent Marble Machine (which had been on a two-week hiatus) returns to the schedule at Noon in an all-celebrity format. On January 19, the show holds “NBC's All Star Dream Machine Championship”, a week-long tournament of champions with the nine biggest winners up to that point (five from the hour-long format, the others from before then): Judy Bongarzone (earlier this month, including January 9), Rick Mandy ($22,475 “last month”), Sue Bergen, Rochelle Greenblatt, Richard Hooper ($19,061 in April), Patti Butler ($18,300 in November), Barbara Becker, Ann Goth offer, and Eleanor Master.

During this week: Three players compete on Monday-Wednesday (the names drawn by Chuck from a drum before the show), with the winners then playing a two-day “grand championship” (a prototype of the Friday Finals, and the first known use of such a format). Also, on January 19 (Rick/Patty/Richard), held by the Paley Center for Media: The opening begins with the logo on an overhead shot of the Wheel as a drumroll plays.

A graphic reading “NBC's All Star Dream Machine Championship”, using a white Helvetica font, appears over the Mercedes and zooms in; Chuck's “entrance” is simply a fade to him already standing at his part of the railing. Susan enters from Chuck's right with a normal-sized microphone, after which she mentions that over $189,000 worth of prizes is available this week.

Charlie announces each player's name and hometown as they enter from Chuck's left. Strangely, Charlie introduces them as “Contestant #1/2/3” despite doing so to the blue, yellow, and red players in that order.

Rounds 1 and 2 are Title; the latter, BLUE BIRD OF HAPPINESS, is misspelled (“Bluebird” should be one word). Interestingly, Richard figures out the answer to Round 3 puzzle DICK CLARK before taking a spin, as he calls every consonant in the puzzle, starting with C, and solves without buying a vowel at any point.

The sponsor list begins with “THE FOLLOWING HAVE PAID AND/OR FURNISHED PRIZES TO NBC FOR PROMOTING THEIR PRODUCTS:”, centered, above the spinning Wheel. By January 19: The tall, thin money graphic style seen on at least the 1974 pilots is replaced by a thicker font, similar to if not the same as Tungsten, which remains for the rest of the daytime run.

On at least the 1975 premiere, the shot would zoom in so that the unused trilogy would be cropped out when letters were revealed. The category is now shown to the television audience in large all-caps (in the Helvetica Bold font) below the puzzle, albeit sporadically due to being on art cards.

The price tags used in shopping rounds are changed to dark green characters on a white background with an elegant design surrounding the price, a style which remains for the rest of the shopping era. The Mere Griffin Productions logo adds “COPYRIGHT 1975” below it, with the copyright symbol larger than the rest of the text.

Sometime this year, an episode airs in which contestant Ron Burns purchases a trip to Bermuda which becomes his honeymoon destination. Just over a month later, on May 14, he is promoted to being the network's West Coast Daytime Program Development Director.

The full credit roll is altered to start with her name once the taping catch up. A brief clip of the opening appears during the 1984 NBC special Those Wonderful TV Game Shows.

By May 20: The intro is slightly altered: the money graphic is shown over the set, but the logo is displayed over the spinning Wheel followed by the chroma-key zoom while Charlie introduces Chuck. Full credit rolls are now done over a shot of Chuck, Susan, and the day's winner.

The money graphic becomes green, albeit a darker shade than on the All-Star Dream Machine shows, and the chroma-key shots of the Wheel are removed. The puzzle board's light border still turns on for correct letter calls.

After Lee solves the Round 3 puzzle (NORMAN ROCKWELL) for $800, Chuck has her spin one more time before announcing the winner. Following this spin, Chuck asks an offstage staff member (possibly Nancy) about returning champion Linda's scores.

Mention is made of her single-round record the previous week, and that she currently is second in half-hour total winnings with $23,200. Later in the credits, the curtain raises up to allow Chuck, Susan, and Linda to go to the boat she purchased.

Per the network's standard at the time, any mid-show plugs were cut out and the credit crunch began right after Chuck and Susan signed off (resulting in the show abruptly ending during the sponsor list, despite having a full credit roll). Wheel does not air on November 25 due to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

January 24 is the first known Brides Week, with brides-to-be (grooms-to-be on the 26th) playing for prizes including a $5,000+ wardrobe, wedding cakes, rings, silver, crystal, fine china, and various home furnishings. Summer Bartholomew makes her first known appearance this week, modeling specially-designed bridal gowns which are among the prizes.

A set of 20 color slides (photos) taken during this week's taping is known to exist. Some are from the 26th (including the photo at right), while another appears to be a publicity shot of Chuck, Susan, and Summer; most of the pictures likely represent the week as-aired.

As of January 28, the contestant score displays and arrows still look the same as they did on June 7, 1976. On March 16, Mere takes out a single-page print ad noting that Wheel attained the highest audience share of all daytime network programming for the weeks of February 14 and 21.

Sometime this year, an episode airs in which a female contestant purchases a trip, which results in her getting married and having a daughter. The daughter, Sarah, appears as a contestant during the College Week of May 12, 2003, and relates the aforementioned.

On another episode sometime this year (and likely before mid-October), contestant Gayle Fillmore purchases a few prizes. Chuck's Final Spin lands on Bankrupt; however, the slide whistle does not sound.

By July 5: The contestant displays are extended to show five digits and a dollar sign. The Round 3 layout has changed: The blue $200 next to Lose A Turn becomes a dark-blue $400, while the red $200 between the Bankrupts increases to $375.

The $375 wedge (making its first known appearance since the 1974 pilots) is slightly off-model; the “7” is in an unmatched sans-serif font (most likely Franklin Gothic). The category cards are changed to a thin, monospaced font display in various colors, usually matching Susan's outfit barring neutral colors or multicolored outfits.

Unlike the prior style, which was only shown sporadically due to being on art cards, the new displays are present on all shots of the puzzle board. Likely due to the change from art cards to the monospaced font, the category is now displayed during Speed-Up rounds, albeit sometimes in white rather than the color of Susan's outfit.

The puzzle board's border now stays lit for the entire game, instead of lighting up only on letter reveals. A rule is added requiring players to solve the puzzle exactly as it is shown on the board.

(Although it was very likely added much earlier, this is the first known instance of Chuck pointing out the rule; he does not do so in the surviving 1976 episodes.) At some point this year (known to be sometime after July 5), contestant Evan Gilbert competes for two shows, winning $5,500 in prizes.

By the above episodes: Charlie's opening spiel is slightly extended to mention three prizes as the camera shows closeups of them: “Just look at this studio, filled with , which can be purchased today on Wheel of Fortune ! Likely by this point, rounds that begin as a Speed-Up are played for a gift certificate if time runs very short.

Early this month (taped in mid-August), contestant Tad Dunlap competes for three shows, retiring undefeated. On one of Tad's episodes, for the first time, five full rounds are played without the need for a Final Spin due to him solving the puzzles quickly; at this point, four full rounds was the norm.

Tad is known to have requested copies of his episodes to be taped by a Las Vegas appliance store, but upon returning from the aforementioned trip discovered that the episodes had been taped over on the assumption that he would not be coming for them. Sometime after Tad's shows (and no later than September 7), Susan is absent for at least four weeks due to an accident while rehearsing for the second Circus of the Stars, which airs December 5.

Susan Morrison, a married model living in San Diego, plays on September 13 and 14; among the prizes she wins is a trip to Hawaii. Wheel does not air on November 24 due to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

By January 18: Susan begins entering through the center of the curtain, a tradition that with rare exception continues for the rest of the shopping era. Round 2 is the first known instance outside the Second Edition game of a “plural” category: in this case, People.

Roselyn Industries, specifically including R. R. Adams (company president) and Tom Dove (Vice President of Merchandising), commends the show's staff “on the excellence of their fashion presentation” in a Variety advert on the 2nd. Lose A Turn has a white stripe down the left side and a thick black line down the right.

During Round 3, Chuck mistakes the Final Spin chimes for the “only vowels remain” beeps, and is corrected from offstage. On March 15 (Carol/Beth/Maryann): The category displays are red, matching Susan's outfit.

Just prior to the Round 3 segment, a voice (presumably the director) can be heard saying “3, 2, 1, cue the .” During Round 4, the Triton with the first “E” in the puzzle EASTER PARADE noticeably squeaks as Susan turns it.

Gordon MacRae makes an appearance after the game, presumably because he is a fan of the show, and he was taping a special at the NBC Burbank studios at the time. Gordon spins the Wheel (although the result is not shown or acknowledged), and signs off alongside Chuck and Susan.

Followed by the description of three prizes, and then “Total retail value: over ! The beginning of the sponsor list is slightly altered: “PAID” moves up to the first line, “FURNISHED PRIZES” to the second, “NBC FOR PROMOTING” to the third, and “THEIR PRODUCTS:” to the fourth.

The Mere Griffin Productions graphic is noticeably altered: WHEEL OF FORTUNE Is Produced by” is added above it on two lines, and the logo itself is shrunk down. Veteran game show contestant Scott Hosteler plays on April 6 and 7 (taped March 18).

The old fixed-length name tags continue to appear on an increasingly sporadic basis through the end of the shopping era. On April 6: The category displays are light blue, matching Susan's outfit.

The first commercial outro is a closeup of the Star Bonus token, zooming out to a full shot of the Wheel. Round 4 begins as a Speed-Up, although against normal practice, the Final Spin chimes play just after returning from commercial.

Chuck and Susan do not sign off, and the final segment begins with the fee plugs. On April 7 (Scott/Peggy/Laura): Various shots of Chuck in front of the curtain appear to have been added in post-production due to the Star Bonus, particularly the commercial outro and intro during Round 2.

After the final shopping segment, Chuck mistakenly offers the “on account” option. Afterward, as Chuck mentions that Scott has the Star Bonus, the camera zooms out too far and to the right.

The Star Bonus Round is played, which results in the contestant interviews being edited down considerably. The prizes are a trip to Las Vegas (Easy; $675), a sterling-silver tea set (Medium; $2,303), a diamond pendant (Hard; $4,060), and a Porsche 924 (Difficult; $13,586).

Per later recollections from Scott, he is the second person to play the Star Bonus Round. According to personal recollections, at least two more Star Bonus Rounds are played during the token's life: another Difficult (KNOCK ON WOOD) and a Medium (TOSSED GREEN SALAD), with RS TNE picked for both.

At the end of this month, as mentioned in the October 16 issue of Broadcasting (Page 38), Wheel holds 15th place among all daytime network shows, tied with the second half of The Price Is Right. At this point, it draws a 6.1 on the Nielsen ratings system with a 27 share; among the then-coveted demographic of women 18-49, it is in 22nd place with a 1.15.

The show's first Armed Forces Week is held sometime this month (likely October 16, and before the 23rd in any case). It features representatives from the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines playing, with the three highest-scoring branches returning for the “all-cash playoffs” on Friday.

The curtain has the Great Seal of the United States on the portion directly behind Chuck. An instrumental of one of the branch's official songs plays over the credits instead of “Big Wheels”.

While this would normally suggest it was retired by this point, it is also possible that the token was simply not used for special weeks. On the Tuesday show of this week (Tom {Navy}/Dan {Air Force}/Stan {Army}): When Chuck introduces Susan, the usual cue for her entrance plays for about a second, stops, then starts again.

It takes nine turns to reveal any letters in the Round 1 puzzle JOHN WAYNE. Before signing off, Chuck recaps the branches' totals for the first two days of the week: the Air Force has $12,650, the Army has $2,050, and the Marines and Navy are both at $0.

The prize platforms, which were used on Monday-Thursday, are not present; the curtain remains lowered throughout, only opening for the color guard's entrance and exit during the intro. Wheel does not air on November 23 due to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The photo at right, showing Chuck, Jo Ann, Melissa, Charlie, and Susan in front of the puzzle board (reading HAPPY HOLIDAYS), is the only known remnant of this episode. By March 2 (Angela/Leo/Juanita): Charlie's intro is slightly altered to replace “extravagant” with “luxurious”.

The Wheel is slightly modified: The Star Bonus is retired, an event which very likely happened much earlier. On March 2: The category displays are red, matching Susan's outfit.

For the first known time during this era, the puzzle board's chase light sequence is reversed, going counterclockwise. On March 27 (Gwen/Brian/Anita): The audience can be heard chattering for a few seconds in the opening before “Big Wheels” begins.

In Round 2, Susan turns the V too hard, causing the plastic letter sheet to slide partway off the Triton. Likely due to the longer-than-usual Round 2, Chuck and Susan do not sign off; rather, the final segment begins with the fee plugs.

By March 27, the slide whistle begins to be used if Chuck hits Bankrupt on the Final Spin, essentially a running gag that remains until about mid-1985 or so. Clips of her episodes appear in the 2005 special Wheeling' Into KC (a behind-the-scenes look at the show's visit to Kansas City, Missouri in April 2005), which also includes an interview with her.

Summer returns on May 24 to fill in for Susan, who dislocated her shoulder in a car accident. It is not known if the category existed before this point (it is not present in the Milton Bradley games), had a consistent presence between here and mid-1988, or if it was retired and brought back sometime.

On May 31, the eligibility disclaimer's font is thinner than usual, possibly a result of turning off a “bold” setting on the computer used to create the monospaced displays. By June 1: The dollar sign on the money graphic returns to being above the first number.

On June 1, the category displays are blue, matching Summer's outfit. During this week, a teenage celebrity guest appears at some point during the show: Alison Program on Monday, Todd Bridges and Dana Plato on Tuesday, Kim Richards on Wednesday, and Gil Girard on Thursday.

On September 4 (Marie/Courtesy/Clint): For the only known time in the Foolery era, the category displays are yellow, matching Susan's outfit. When Courtesy solves the Round 2 puzzle INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY, there is a pause before Chuck walks over to congratulate her.

In a rare occurrence, Leroy spends all of his money in the Round 3 shopping segment. While composed by Alan Thick, the tune is very similar to The Grass Roots' 1971 song “Temptation Eyes” (and as such will henceforth be referred to as “the “Temptation Eyes”-based cue” in the absence of an official title).

The eligibility disclaimer removes most of the space after each comma and adds a period to the end. Wheel does not air on October 3 due to NBC News coverage of Pope John Paul II visiting the U.S.

On November 13 (Kathy/Paula/Dave): During one of Kathy's spins in Round 3, the Wheel slips out of her hand, causing her to lose her balance and accidentally fall into the railing. Chuck stops the Wheel, manually resets it to its initial position and has Kathy spin again.

In a rare occurrence, Dave spends all of his money in the Round 4 shopping segment. By November 13, the Wheel is overhauled: The colors are altered, most notably the use of only one shade of blue and orange.

This is believed to be the first appearance of $550 since the 1974 pilots; $650 does not return as a cash value until 2012, at the start of the 30th nighttime season. Wheel does not air on November 22 due to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

A female contestant named Shauna plays on at least November 28 and 29, and is the basis of a documentary by Shauna Dillon (born on the 28th and named after the aforementioned woman) called The Luckiest Shauna ; Dillon is known to have contacted Wheel looking for a copy of the November 28 show, but it does not seem to exist (she was not aware of returning champions until viewing the 1976 and 1978 episodes held by Paley Center). For this month, the puzzle board and contestant area are decorated for Christmas.

This can be heard on December 4 when Susan reveals the D in the Round 3 puzzle RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, and again on the 31st when she turns the same Triton to reveal the E in the Round 3 puzzle TERRY BRADSHAW. On December 4 (Susan/Lea/Ginger): The category displays are light blue, matching Susan's outfit.

The first spin of Round 3 is likely a reshoot, as Chuck overreacts to Ginger's landing on $300. During the Speed-Up (in Round 3), the category display is present on the players' half of the screen, which itself is zoomed too far out.

At the beginning of the subsequent shopping round, an oak-framed bathroom mirror (part of a $302 oak bathroom-accessory set) shows a reflection of the puzzle board being wheeled away. Later, as Charlie describes it, the mirror shows a reflection of the Used Letter Board and an unknown staff member.

Charlie's opening spiel is still the same as it was on March 2 and the money graphic still looks the same as it did on June 1. By December 27: Charlie's intro is slightly altered to again replace “luxurious” with “extravagant”.

By December 28: The dollar sign on the money graphic is moved down, lining up with the bottoms of the numbers. The prize manufacturer tags are now smaller; their font is changed to Cannot Bold.

For the first known time, the post-game chat is not done at or near the Wheel : Chuck and Susan sit at part of the Round 3 prize platform and promote their appearance during the Tournament of Roses pre-trade on January 1. “AFLD Lang Sine” plays from Chuck and Susan's sign-off through the end of the credits.

During Round 1, Chuck forgets on two separate occasions to ask if a contestant wants to use their Free Spin following an incorrect letter call. As Chuck throws to break, a female voice (possibly one of the contestants) is heard saying “That means there's no time for a ”.

As Chuck does the Final Spin right after the show returns from commercial, the voice may have been referring to there being no time for a fourth round. At least some shows still use themed puzzles (in this case: VINTAGE WINE, DRINK TO ME ONLY WITH THINE EYES, and SOBER AS A JUDGE).

On March 25 (Maze/Bob/Kevin): The category displays are blue, matching Susan's outfit. Following Round 4, the camera suddenly shifts to the right as Kevin selects his first prize.

Following the game, Chuck and Susan note that it is the last episode of unit manager Rob Keith, whom they say goodbye to. Rob is not present on the full credit roll and the only person listed as unit manager is Michael Korean.

Very strangely, the eligibility disclaimer misspells “FURNISHED” as “FURNISHED”, and as a result “WITH” is one space further to the left than usual. March 31 is the third Teen Week, with the Super Wheel Bonus Round used.

Likely during the above week, a then-unknown Bob Bergen is a contestant, and among his prizes is a Rolex watch. Only a single picture of his appearance is known to exist, posted by Bergen on his Facebook page in January 2014.

Early in Round 2, the Triton containing the P in STOP LOOK AND LISTEN is accidentally lit after T is called. By May 7: The money graphic is again altered to center the dollar sign, as it was on March 2, 1979.

On June 20: Chuck makes an odd comment to Susan after her entrance, saying she looks like “a little Swedish girl”. Charlie coughs briefly during the second prize plug, which Chuck brings up before Round 2.

Following the prize plugs, Chuck remarks that the Marc Chagall print she bought is better than the other one the show had from him, that being “seventeen lizards sucking on an orange”. After the game, Chuck and Susan discuss the waiting period for prize delivery (90 days).

Also, on June 20, NBC airs a promo detailing the new schedule to begin the following Monday. The promo includes a Wheel clip of a female contestant right after solving Crêpes SUZETTE (Things), and apparently screaming so loud that Chuck is seen with his hand up to his ear.

Following Round 1, Chuck points out that the contestants are standing on boxes behind their podiums. By July 11, the ticket/contestant plug begins to be done over the spinning Wheel, which leads more seamlessly into the sponsor list.

August 1 is taped as the series finale, due to a cancellation order from NBC boss Fred Silverman that is overturned by the time it airs. The episode features an appearance by Chuck's then-wife, Jo Ann Plug.

It is also Charlie's last regular episode until 1989, as he leaves to announce The Toni Tennille Show. On an episode probably from the week of August 4 or 11 (though known not to be the 13th), Chuck urges viewers to call the number of the studio where Wheel tapes, giving it out on-air.

Jeff Goldstein directs, suggesting that he returned to the show part-time when Carson was unavailable. The Mere Griffin Productions graphic omits the WHEEL OF FORTUNE Is Produced by” portion at the top.

The August 13 show is partially pre-empted (on the West Coast, at least) by an NBC News Special Report from the Democratic National Convention. On August 22 (Carole/Mike/Nancy): Mike is originally from South Africa, but living in Canada.

The Wheel does not spin during the credits, and the camera shot is zoomed out farther than usual. Alex Greek fills in for Chuck around this point, most likely the week of August 25.

At least September 15-18 feature NBC soap opera stars: Josh Taylor (Days of Our Lives) appears on the 15th, Ben Thomas (The Doctors) on the 16th, Barbara Tucker (Texas) on the 17th, and Douglass Watson (Another World) on the 18th. Chuck and Susan do not sign off; rather, the final segment begins with the fee plugs.

By October 8, the beginning of the sponsor list is altered again: only the first letter of each word remains upper-case, and “NBC” is replaced by “The Production Company”, resulting in “To” being moved to the second line and “Promoting” to the fourth. Sometime this month (probably the week of October 20), an NBC promo airs detailing the new lineup following Letterman's departure.

November 3-6 (and possibly October 31 as well) is Game Show Hosts Week, with NBC emcees playing for members of the audience, who also determine what prizes to buy in shopping rounds. The host competes against two contestants who play normally, but other than making the curtain entrance with Susan is otherwise a normal player (including participation in drawing numbers before taping to determine position).

Wink Martingale and Jim Perry are among the participants, and it is rumored that Art Fleming also played. Bill Cullen plays on November 5, and based on comments the next day (“He blitzed everybody.

As many shows that had Cullen participating took measures to accommodate his limp, Bill and Susan likely entered from Chuck's left. On November 6, Tom Kennedy plays for Art against Monty and Minnie, winning $1,400.

During the interviews, Chuck moves on to the next player (Monty) before being reminded about the audience member from offstage. A slightly echoed female voice is heard briefly during this, possibly Nancy Jones in her first known on-air appearance.

By November 6, the electric-guitar commercial cue is moved to the mid-show consolation prize plug (although it is barely audible on the 6th). Wheel does not air on November 27 due to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

By December 18, and probably for the entire month, the set is decorated for Christmas in much the same way as 1979, albeit with a wreath on the curtain and thicker foliage behind the contestants. On December 18 (Laura/Joyce/Barbara): Chuck's cord gets caught on the nearby car as he makes his entrance.

After Round 3, the camera fails to switch to the first prize until Jack is halfway through describing it. Vicki's first spin runs into an error which is not explained clearly on-air, primarily since the error and resolution happen while the camera is focused on the puzzle board; the Wheel is reset, and she spins again.

During Vicki's first turn, both she and Bud have an “8” appearing on their On Account displays, for no apparent reason. After Linda buys a Mazda following Round 2, Susan is seen closing the driver's-side door from the inside.

Once Jack gets to the car plug, Susan drives it around to stop in front of the prize displays, honks the horn, and gets out. Bud finishes in second place with a then-high $4,300, and Chuck notes that this would normally be a winning score.

Wheel does not air on January 20 due to coverage of Ronald Reagan's inauguration. An Armed Forces Week is done sometime this year, most likely in a “sweeps” month and definitely by November 30.

At least one episode of this week (not including the Friday show) is known to exist, held by contestant Bill Hammer. On the Friday episode of the above week (Mark {Marines}/Don {Army}/Jay {Air Force}): “Into the Wild Blue Yonder” (the Air Force song/anthem) is played during the opening, fee plugs, and credits.

Jack's intro ends with “And now, here's your host and hostess: Chuck Foolery and Susan Stafford!” The mid-show plug, for an Adam York gift certificate, is the only time Jack speaks during the game.

The Monday following Armed Forces Week begins “Celebrity Night on the Town”, with various daytime stars. Chuck and Susan plug this on the above episode, stating that they will be going to Las Vegas; based on the below Weeks, the Vegas trip likely consisted of location footage with the games played in Burbank.

April 13 is Teen Week: three contestants compete on Monday-Thursday, and the three biggest winners return on Friday to play for savings bonds. Among his prizes is a small gold whistle from Tiffany Jewelers, which he receives in-studio and gives to Dina.

The rest of the gameplay structure may be the same as the aforementioned Armed Forces show, but this is uncertain. After the game, Chuck mentions that about two weeks ago, he had brought up the fact that the show has done over 1,600 episodes.

Susan then hopes the audience's income taxes turned out well and wishes her mother and Scott Page a happy birthday before the two sign-off. May 11 is San Francisco Week, with contestants from that city brought in to compete.

Before Round 2, Chuck plugs the San Antonio contestant tryouts occurring on June 3, with the phone number (213) 520-5555 appearing onscreen (to be called to set up an appointment) in the same monospaced style as the category displays. The May 13 show (Lynn/Cathy/Debbie) is partially pre-empted by NBC News Special Reports on the shooting of Pope John Paul II.

As the available copy of this episode ends just after cutting to the second Special Report, it is unknown whether any of the last segment was aired. On June 17 (Walt/Leona/Joan): Round 2 (WARP IN CINCINNATI) lasts an incredible 6 minutes and 46 seconds (5:42 if the commercial time due to a mid-round break is not counted), with 15 turns lost in total.

The two segments combined run 8 minutes and 36 seconds (7:32 if not counting the commercial time). The Bankrupt slide whistle is accidentally played when the Round 3 puzzle blanks are shown.

As the sponsor list scrolls, Jack mentions that “Because the category was incorrect, the third puzzle was discarded and the program edited.” According to a Teen Week contestant (see below), the players are sent new parting gifts by Wheel in the form of checks from the replacement sponsors, “who hoped we'd use the money to buy some of their product”.

If surrounding information is any indication, the week of July 6 also consists of repeats. Wheel does not air on July 29 due to coverage of the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles.

The week includes footage of Chuck and Susan at the Washington Park Rose Test Gardens, Portland's downtown mall, various fountains, the Columbia River Gorge, and the salmon fishing grounds near Astoria. On an episode during Portland Week (Linda/Frank/Patsy): The category displays are purple, somewhat matching Susan's outfit.

During a later round, Linda opts to solve the puzzle AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER before Frank tells her to spin again. As of the above week: The curtain remains visible during all non-shopping portions of the show, except the credits.

Per the Vanderbilt archive, Wheel (along with the rest of NBC's programming) may have been preempted on October 6 by coverage on the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, which began at 8:40 AM Eastern. Wheel does not air on November 26 due to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

During Round 2, two vowel calls (O and E) and their reveals on the board are done in complete silence, with no applause at any point. An instrumental version of “Frosty the Snowman” plays during the Round 3 prize descriptions.

Over just waiting to be won today as we present Christmas in New York on Wheel of Fortune ! The Wheel logo is not used, instead showing Susan walking in a light New York shower.

The curtain does not come down after Chuck's entrance on at least the 25th; rather, Susan walks out from next to the puzzle board as the turntable spins. On at least the 25th, “HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS AND INTERVIEW FACILITIES FURNISHED BY HOTEL PARKER MERIDIAN NEW YORK” appears between the fee plugs and sponsor list, using the monospaced font on five lines over the spinning Wheel ; on at least this occasion, “ACCOMMODATIONS” is misspelled.

It also has a larger, ribbed, golden frame shaped like a sideways 3, with chase lights that move counterclockwise on the left side and clockwise on the right. The three prize platforms are replaced by a single, large, three-sided turntable with two spiral-esque pillars flanking it and light-up white trees (which become green and brown depending on the time of year) to the sides of those.

The turntable spins during the opening and credits, and rotates to each prize showcase depending on the round. As the sunbursts are little more than colored filters, they continue to show money put on account or total champion winnings with the same limitations.

Chuck's Final Spin lands on Bankrupt, to which he responds by mentioning that this is his last week. By December 25 (Claudia/Betty/Sonny): The “Temptation Eyes”-based cue is once again used for all commercial breaks, plus the mid-show plug for the airline which flew the players to California.

On this day: Susan's entrance includes her blowing kisses to Chuck. During Round 2, Chuck quips that one contestant (possibly Betty) is “the only person I've ever known to hit seventeen times consecutively”.

After recapping the scores and announcing the winner, Chuck thanks Susan for being a confidant over the previous years; he then thanks Jeff Goldstein, Dave Willie, John Rhine hart, Nancy Jones, Charlie O'Donnell, Jack Clark, Mere Griffin, Murray Schwartz, and NBC. As the sponsor list scrolls, Jack mentions that due to a technical difficulty, “a third puzzle was discarded and the program edited”.

By this point, it only comes down for the hostess' entrance and remains out of sight for the rest of the show. Despite winning Round 2 with $2,650, Jim opts not to buy the $2,195 hot tub, instead purchasing the other 10 prizes in that showcase with the remaining $849 put on a gift certificate.

The resulting prize copy runs a solid two minutes, and Pat remarks afterward about Jim not buying the hot tub. On at least this episode, the Bonus Round is played in front of the yellow sunburst backdrop.

While rare, there are a few instances until about 1989 where the bonus puzzle ends up being the longest one of the game. He is then told by Nancy Jones that the player has in fact lost their turn.

The March 3 episode is submitted for the Daytime Emmy Awards in regard to a category applying to then-director Dick Carson. The March 30 episode is pre-empted by coverage of Space Shuttle Columbia's landing.

Comments from the next day's episode indicate that Marilyn won the Bonus Round. By March 31 (Sherry/Derailed/Chris), the opening is slightly altered: the money graphic becomes white, and the logo now slides off to the right as Pat is introduced.

Sometime this month, contestant Debt Mu chow competes for three shows, winning $15,000 in prizes including 300 square feet of floor tile. According to a fan recollection, possibly during the Summer months, a champion plays for a washer and dryer as her Bonus Round prize for two days in a row, but fails to solve the puzzle each time.

On the third day, the contestant wins a round and buys the washer and dryer. On June 18, 21, and 22, contestant Don Min yard wins a total of $11,671, including a trip to Jamaica.

On June 18: At the start of the Bonus Round, an amount of $5,714 is displayed on the red sunburst backdrop. For only the third known time, a contestant calls R, S, T, L, N, and E in the Bonus Round (although not in that order in this case).

By September 1 (Pat/Nancy/Neal): The opening is slightly altered: Jack now only mentions three prizes, and the money graphic now “flips” toward the camera. The credits are slightly changed to show the Wheel spinning below Pat, Susan, and the day's champion.

When Nancy lands on Bankrupt in Round 4, the buzzer sounds just before the slide whistle. Round 4 begins as usual and has a Final Spin, with a shopping segment.

Just before the first spin, Pat holds up a cue card with a 4 drawn on the back and says “This is the number I drew, and that made me a loser.” During the credits, Susan briefly holds up the card and appears to make a comment toward Pat.

Bill purchases 11 prizes after Round 2; with $1,103 remaining and nothing left to spend it on, he puts it on a gift certificate. The resulting prize copy runs for two minutes and ten seconds.

Bill sweeps the game and wins a bedroom set in the Bonus Round. The cue used for the bedroom set, “Hip Check”, is somewhat more commonly known as the theme of fellow NBC game show Blank Check, which debuted the same day as Wheel but ran just 26 weeks.

Susan forgets to turn the T in the bonus puzzle GILBERT AND SULLIVAN, and is reminded from offstage. Considering the unusual outfits she wears on the 2nd and 3rd plus Pat's comments on the latter, this association was probably short-lived.

On an episode from after the brown-leaf trees are introduced (Deanna/Chuck/Nancy): The category displays are white, although Susan is wearing blue. On the episode immediately following the above (Darlene/Chuck/Diana): During the contestant interviews, Pat notes Chuck's one-day total of $16,849, and says “it's been a long time since we've given away that much in one day”.

During the shopping portion of Round 1, a popping sound can be heard when Pat is speaking. Likely connected to the above, during the throw to commercial after Round 1, Pat has to use Chuck's microphone, as his own has stopped working.

October 22 is Susan's last episode, as she leaves to pursue charity work. On this day: To allocate time for Susan's farewell, all the puzzles are two or three words long.

Susan's final bonus puzzle is PINCH OF SALT (Thing), played for a trip to the Bahamas. During the final segment, Susan is presented with a bouquet of flowers by Nancy Jones and most of the crew says goodbye to her.

Vicki McCarty and Anna White (and possibly Summer as well) take turns as guest co-host between November 1 and December 10. Wheel does not air on November 25 due to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

By December 13 (#2016; Robin/Louis/Linda): The money graphic and Wheel logo begin to be displayed in different colors. The Final Spin directing returns to normal, although the red arrow is again not flashing.

The camera mistakenly holds on a still shot of a curio cabinet after Round 2 while Jack describes it. Amazingly, neither Bankrupt nor Lose A Turn is hit and no wrong letters are called; the Bonus Round is lost, however.

During the credits, Jack plugs the show's upcoming time slot change on January 3. December 13 is the second of only three daytime episodes to be aired by GUN; the network reran it in 2007 as part of a special marathon following Mere's death.

Per the network's standard at the time, any mid-show plugs were cut out and the credit crunch began right after Pat signed off. For this week, the set is decorated for Christmas (including a large tree behind Pat) despite beginning two days after it.

On December 29 (Chris/Evangelina/Jonathan): Very strangely, the money graphic (and Jack's associated spiel) is $26,000, well below the norm at this point. During the credits, Jack plugs the show's upcoming time slot change on January 3.

By December 29: “Big Wheels” is again used for all commercial breaks (except after Round 2 on this episode, as it fades to black before any music can begin). On an episode sometime between the return of the green-leaf trees and August 5, Pat reads a letter during the final segment from a viewer who gave birth while watching Wheel, solving the puzzle DOBERMAN PINSCHER very shortly before the child was born (11:11, putting that episode no earlier than January 3).

Just before Juanita then solves the puzzle for $50, a stagehand can be heard telling Pat and the contestants that only vowels remain. After the Bonus Round (which is not won), Pat shows the player a fake hamburger “garnished” with two real $100 bills.

The “Temptation Eyes”-based cue returns for at least one commercial break (in this case, after the Bonus Round). By May 6: The turntable is altered to add flower-esque emblems to the curved top-left and top-right portions of all three sides.

A bumper is added at about the middle of each episode, showing the turntable rotating into place for the next round with a Wheel of Fortune logo slightly above the center of the screen. On an episode sometime this month, possibly a Tuesday and definitely before May 23: The Wheel's spikes are re-welded with a new method that makes the spins much quieter than they were previously (referred to by Pat the next day as “the 10,000-spin checkup”).

Before Round 2, the puzzle chime accidentally sounds while Pat talks about the aforementioned Wheel update. Anna merely stands in front of it, apparently waiting for it to light up, then looks to her right and turns the Triton anyway.

The Vacation Bonanza Contest (the first known home viewer sweepstakes) is held from about May 16 until sometime afterward. On August 8, Alan Thicke's music package is replaced with a new one composed by Griffin and Mort Lindsey, including a new theme tune called “Changing Keys”.

On the show, it is used in the following spots: Originally, the song begins around the 0:56 mark during the opening. The song's bridge (starting around 1:03) plays when Anna walks out, although the nighttime version replaces this with “I'm a Wheel Watcher” on October 5, 1987.

Very likely at the same time “Changing Keys” is introduced, the intro is changed to start with an overhead shot of the spinning Wheel, with the logo shrinking into its center accompanied by a pre-recorded Wheel ! In late September, the money graphic and subsequent logo begin using white outlines; previously, they were black.

On October 31 (Tina/Janet/Tim): During Round 1, Pat forgets to ask Tim if he wants to use his Free Spin. Jack's prize description after Round 3 ends abruptly following the last item, with the “s” in “dollars” being cut off.

Against normal practice, the Round 3 puzzle WEDDING RING uses only one line; this is even more unusual due to the below. Following the Bonus Round, Pat and Anna plug the Home Puzzle Contest.

An unarmed outtake from this segment appears at the end of the ceremonial 4,000th nighttime show in 2003. As of October 31, the mid-show bumper logo still looks the same as it was on May 6, and is still shown slightly above the center of the screen.

The winners receive a microwave oven with accessories, a set of kitchen appliances, or a “video package” including a television and a videotape recorder. November 7 is likely the first Couples Week, with husband/wife teams ranging from engaged to married for 40 years.

The opening shot of the puzzle board has COUPLES WEEK in the middle two lines. By November 9, the mid-show bumper logo is enlarged and moved to the top of the screen.

By November 9, Giorgio of Beverly Hills begins providing Anna's wardrobe. Wheel does not air on November 24 due to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Around this point, the puzzle board's chase light sequence is occasionally reversed: the left side now goes clockwise and the right counterclockwise. Before Round 2, the applause machine sounds at its loudest setting while Pat mentions the presence of two apostrophes in the puzzle.

During Round 2, two players in a row call repeated letters; against precedent, the buzzer sounds on both. Drew Minsky is a contestant sometime this year (before the sunburst backdrops change), although he does not solve any puzzles.

The walls change according to the time of year (using snowflakes and lights in Winter), while the trees continue to appear occasionally. Before Round 2, Pat brings up a question from Ray, who thought Pat was in the film “Raiders from Outer Space” (which seems to have actually been an episode of the 1960s anthology series The Time Tunnel).

By about this point, the ticket/contestant plug is slightly redone: it now uses a slightly different gold font, the sole lower-case letter (an O) becomes upper-case, the zip code is moved up to the third line, and the fourth line is now used for a phone number (“(213) 520-5555”). Whether it still appears over the Wheel is unknown, as the only known source (a nighttime episode) has a car win and hence the plug and sponsor list are displayed over that instead.

As of March 21, Wheel draws an 8.1 on the Nielsen ratings system with a 31 share, a 6-share increase since the beginning of 1983. On a Thursday episode between April 12 and May 24 (Star/Mickie/Bill): During his interview, Bill accidentally calls Pat “Jack”.

It takes six turns to reveal any letters in the Round 3 puzzle CARDBOARD BOX. By the above episode: The beginning of the sponsor list returns to having the first letter of each word capitalized.

During Round 2, the contestants are shown turning their backs before Pat throws to the mid-round commercial break. When Pat is recapping the final scores at the end of the game, the champion's backdrop display is noticeably dimmer than usual.

Sometime in this month or August, there is a week with U.S. Olympic athletes playing for charity. The original version continues to be played during the mid-show prize plugs through the end of June 1989.

Celia/Joseph/Gloria airs on a Monday sometime between the introduction of the 1984 “Changing Keys” and that of the second sunburst backdrops. On this episode: Pat mentions that Celia purchased a car the previous Thursday, then won a second in the Bonus Round the next day.

By September 17: The squared-off edges of the contestant backdrops become pointed; the outer edge is now dark brown, while the area immediately surrounding the player's color is changed to light brown. On September 17 (Janine/Set/Peter): The category strip is white in the Bonus Round, but blue for the rest of the show.

On September 18 (Carol/Peter/Nikki): The category displays are white, although Anna is wearing red. The Bonus Round puzzle BROKENHEARTED is an extremely rare instance of a one-word Phrase.

Wheel does not air on November 22 due to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The opening is slightly altered to have BATTLE OF THE SEXES on the first three lines of the puzzle board.

On the Thursday show of the above week (Jeanne/Stephanie/Terri): The category displays are purple, matching Anna's outfit. The commercial outro of Round 1 is the 1983 “Changing Keys”, which is also used for the mid-show Service Merchandise plug.

The players are shown turning their backs as Pat throws to commercial during Round 2. Anna turns the second R in the Round 3 puzzle FAST-FOOD RESTAURANT too far, causing the sheet to partly slide out of the Triton.

When it changes to the board (right after Anna turns the first F), the shot is not centered and does not show the category. The camera then shows Jeanne and her score as Pat begins the Final Spin, which quickly changes to the normal shot of him doing so.

During the credits, Jack notes that “Due to a technical difficulty, a spin in the third round was recreated and the program edited.” This refers to the aforementioned spin, given the odd directing work during that portion of the show.

Connie sweeps the game and wins a Mazda in the Bonus Round; the make of the car is never mentioned in the opening or in Jack's prize copy. The monospaced category displays become herons in a medium form of Helvetica, often in burnt orange.

The Bonus Round totals, eligibility disclaimer, wardrobe plugs, and credits also begin using this same variation of Helvetica (itself wider than the version in use since at least 1976). Slightly later, the regular animated logo (with red, blue, green, and yellow sections) debuts.

By February 8 (Warren/Sol/Linda): The category herons and Bonus Round totals are upgraded to a bolder form of Helvetica with no shadow and a white outline around the bottom of each character. On at least this episode, the graphics for the eligibility disclaimer, wardrobe plugs, and full credit roll are pink; previously, they were white.

The mid-show bumper begins spelling out the show's title one letter at a time horizontally. Sometime this month, most likely the week of February 18, the show celebrates its 10th Anniversary with a week-long home-viewer contest.

By March 29 (Linda/Mary Ann/Larry): The category herons are altered again to have the white outline around the entirety of each character, a style which remains for the rest of the run. The graphics for the eligibility disclaimer, wardrobe plugs, and full credit roll become blue.

Sometime between the introduction of the third Helvetica herons and that of the third sunburst backdrops, a then-unknown Jean-Paul Manor is a contestant (as “J.P.”) During Teen Week and wins $9,020: $2,650 in the front game and a $6,370 trip to Tahiti in the Bonus Round. On an episode sometime between the introduction of the third Helvetica herons and the Wheel's color scheme overhaul in September 1986, a then-relatively unknown Douglas Puffer is a contestant.

During the final segment, Pat and Anna make reference to the April Fool's joke they played two weeks earlier, saying they were “getting a lot of presents in the mail” and reiterating that their statement was in fact an April Fool's joke. Chuck sweeps the game and wins a trip to Lake Tahoe in the Bonus Round.

As of May 2, the Bankrupt slide whistle is still heard if Pat hits it on the Final Spin. Pamela sweeps the game and wins a Pontiac Sun bird station wagon in the Bonus Round.

After the Bonus Round, as Pamela doesn't have anyone there with her, Pat joins her in the car, leading Anna to sign off by herself. By the above episode, the ticket/contestant plug is overhauled: at the top is now “SEND POSTCARDS TO”, with “TO” on its own line.

The segment between the third and fourth commercial breaks does not have any gameplay, but rather just recapping the scores and announcing the winner. By September 9, the Enterprises' logo is altered slightly: the font color is now pacific blue, rather than the silver used previously.

On September 23 (James/Karla/Yvonne): Pat forgets to announce the top dollar value for Round 2. Wheel does not air on November 28 due to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

On December 25, Jack appears onstage at the end of the show with Pat and Anna to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. As this week only has four episodes (see below), the opening sequence shows just 11 contestants (with two likely being standby players).

On January 2 (Joseph/Nikki/Eric): Joseph solves the Speed-Up puzzle BOY GEORGE with only the B and R showing. On an episode from sometime this month (Nick/Rebecca/Corky), known to be the day after the above: Nick mentions his wife is expecting a baby “at the end of February”.

On January 28, after airing on the East Coast, Wheel is pre-empted in all other time zones due to coverage of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. On February 3 or 10, the Winter decorations are again removed from the walls (assuming they were added in the first place).

On February 14 (Randy & Melissa/Matt & Lori/Morton & Patti): During the final segment, Anna gives Pat a Valentine's Day heart. During the fee plugs, Pat turns most of the trilogy in the bonus puzzle NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS to their green-glitter sides.

Round 2, TO COIN A PHRASE, is a very rare instance of the category also being part of the answer. The original Round 2 is thrown out due to a letter being accidentally revealed, as stated by Jack during his sign-off.

The bonus puzzle RIO GRANDE is both a redundant answer, and inexplicably categorized as Thing instead of Place. On a Monday episode from sometime around May or early June (Naomi/Dennis/Faye), known to have been taped around April 21-23 and aired right after a College Week: After the second turn of Round 1, Pat notes that the puzzle (PAJAMA PARTY) is a Title but could also be considered an Event.

This is only the third known instance of the host stating that a puzzle falls under more than one category, although only “Title” is displayed on the Charon. For the first known time, a Wheel home game is offered as a prize: specifically, the Second Edition as part of a $300 collection of Pressman titles.

Following Round 4, after Dennis' totals are shown, Naomi's display briefly shows $6 before being erased. Susan Stafford returns for this week, filling in for Anna (who is absent due to a then-recent plane crash which killed her fiancée, John Gibson).

On June 23, Anna tells Pat at the end of the show that she went on a vacation, after which she gives him several gifts that she found for him. Wheel does not air on July 4 due to the celebration of the Statue of Liberty's renovation.

On an episode during the Summer: The yellow contestant acquires five Free Spins and uses all five in Round 2. Round 3 starts as a Speed-Up and, thanks to a $2,000 Final Spin, the blue contestant ends up winning despite having not touched the Wheel at all.

Around this point, Pat generally stops saying “For , this ” when a contestant asks to solve a puzzle. These changes also result in the Wheel wedges being recolored, most noticeably replacing most of the tan and gold with pink and purple, and the Wheel's center changes from dark green to lime green (the same shade as the Prize wedges on the nighttime show at this point).

September 15 is believed to be the debut of the Jackpot wedge, which begins at $1,000 and increases by $1,000 each day until claimed. This may be the first time cash is offered on the daytime version as a regular element since the hour-long shows ended in January 1976.

If the Jackpot is not won at $1,000, Jack's opening spiel is altered to begin with “Look at this studio, filled with glamorous prizes! The Jackpot amount is promoted at the start of Round 3, accompanied by various graphics, drawings, or props.

The wedge is not used during “special” weeks (Teen, College, Battle of the Sexes, etc. From this point until its retirement, at least some dates that mention a Jackpot win without an amount are guesses.

The Encyclopedia of TV Game Shows: Volume 2 includes a photo of Pat and Anna at the puzzle board, which reads WHEEL OF FORTUNE 'S 3000TH SHOW (with the numbers in a different font than the letters). On October 10 (Paula/Sheri/Bill): All four puzzles are Phrase, resulting in the second of two known instances of only one category being used in a game.

Fifteen wrong letters are called in the Round 3 puzzle SQUEAKING BY (including seven in a row), a likely record. During the Speed-Up segment of Round 3, Bill tries to call a letter before Sheri's time has run out.

Following Round 3, Pat inadvertently says the Jackpot will be $4,000 “tomorrow”, but quickly corrects himself to say “Monday” (as October 10, 1986, was a Friday). Sometime between then and November 13, they are altered to streamline the “jagged” edges; the resulting appearance closely resembles a sunflower.

On a Monday episode from the Fall (Dean/Kathy/Karen), after the third sunburst backdrops are introduced and the walls are replaced: Only one prize is bought after Round 1: a $350 collection of Pressman board games, including Deluxe Wheel of Fortune. An episode sometime in late October or early November (after the aforementioned set changes) has a Jackpot win.

On November 13 (Mike/Jill/Dawn): In Round 1, Mike accidentally calls a vowel instead of a consonant after a spin. The players are shown turning their backs as Pat throws to commercial during Round 2.

The returning champion, who is not one of the tied contestants, is told that the next day's game will be a “continuation of second appearance”. On December 11, contestant Stanton Keenan retires with $49,633, solving all but one main-game puzzle and winning all three Bonus Rounds.

The book Wheel of Fortune by David R. Sam's and Robert L. Shook refers to this as the daytime record as of August 1, 1987, noting that Judy Bongarzone's $64,461 total was achieved partly through playing in NBC's All Star Dream Machine Championship (and hence, not under the normal five/three-day limit). As it is also the week of Christmas, a large bow is present on the puzzle board's frame and each of the pillars flanking the turntable.

The December 22 shot begins with a closeup of this text before zooming out, suggesting that this is an early appearance of said credit. The December 23 show (Jim/Tracey/Carol) is mostly pre-empted on the East Coast by an NBC News report (the Voyager successfully returning to its base after a nine-day nonstop flight around the world), rejoining just before Jack begins the Round 3 prize descriptions.

Among the known events: During the Bonus Round, Tracey's call of M is misheard as N, and the N is briefly put on the Charon. Afterward, one of Tracey's relatives accidentally gets herself caught on the player's microphone.

The opening logo-on- Wheel shot accidentally appears very briefly before the camera switches to the Enterprises logo. On December 24 (Kathy/Leslie/Victor): The opening Wheel shot suddenly jumps backward when the transition appears.

After Pat and Anna's sign-off, the puzzle board is shown with the words MERRY CHRISTMAS in the middle two lines. The December 26 show appears to have been pre-empted by most of the network in favor of either sports programming or, on at least one affiliate (WIA in Atlanta, Georgia), a soap opera.

The soap is likely the series finale of Search for Tomorrow, which had been airing at 12:30 since it moved from CBS in March 1982. On December 26, according to Pat's comments, the game is played for savings bonds, with no shopping.

For the entirety of this month, Wheel and NBC's other game shows (Blockbusters, male of the Century, Scrabble, Super Password, and Wordplay) participate in the “Crazy February” Sweepstakes; on Wheel, certain episodes have a special puzzle for home viewers to solve by sending their guesses via mail. The intro is the same as in 1984, with the genders' positions swapped and the puzzle board reading BATTLE OF THE SEXES on the top three lines; there are eight women and seven men.

During the final segment, Pat and Anna wish the viewers a happy Valentine's Day before signing off. On at least February 13, and probably for the entire week, the mid-show bumper is a shot of the BATTLE OF THE SEXES board and players.

Before the Round 2 outro, Pat mentions that the Jackpot (then at $18,000) is at the highest value it has been at since being introduced. On March 16, contestant Clay sweeps the game and wins the Bonus Round.

On March 17: Due to it being St. Patrick's Day, Pat wears a frog hat from shortly after Anna's entrance through the end of the show. After the ceramic Dalmatian is bought, Jack refers to it during his prize descriptions as the show's mascot.

During the opening after the money graphic and show logo displays and prior to Pat's entrance, Anna can be seen briefly ducking behind the car and subsequently moving into position behind the curtain to make her entrance. On March 30: It takes six turns to reveal any letters in the Round 1 puzzle HO CHI MIND.

The puzzle is then mispronounced by Jim with only the O unrevealed, after which Randy solves for the $200 house minimum. The total amount of prizes purchased (three, one in each round) is also very likely a record low.

Before introducing him, Pat notes that Jack had been in an offstage room for years and the new setup had debuted “only recently”. On April 1 (Steven/Gail/Missy): The blanks of the Round 3 puzzle are not shown until after Missy begins her first spin.

The footage of the trailer the winning contestant plays for is either prerecorded or followed by an edit, as it is followed by a fade to the normal “dimming lights” puzzle board shot with Anna next to the trilogy despite the fact she had just been modeling the trailer. During the final segment, Pat and Anna talk about the April Fool's joke they played two years earlier.

During Round 2, the contestants are shown turning their backs before Pat throws to the mid-round commercial. The audience cheers loudly when Chad buys the ceramic Dalmatian after Round 2, which Jack refers to as “our favorite mascot” during his prize descriptions.

After the game, Pat and Anna make jokes about the 15 pound chocolate bunny offered to all that week's contestants, with Anna biting its ear and Pat biting its tail and saying “we'll see you tomorrow for more food!” On April 27 (Pete/Carolyn/Elaine): Pete sweeps the game and wins a Pontiac in the Bonus Round.

As of April 27, full credit rolls still use entirely blue text. After the ceramic Dalmatian is bought following Round 1, Jack refers to it during his prize descriptions as “our favorite mascot”.

On June 15 (Rod/Mary Kay/Angie): After Pat mentions the top value for Round 1, he says “I'm supposed to read the rules here, but I'd appreciate it if you just do it in the privacy of your own home because I don't feel like it.” On an episode believed to be from around this point (Ray/Keri/Mary): Ray puts $149 on account following Round 1.

Ray sweeps the game, but due to the availability of footage, it is not known whether he wins the Bonus Round. When Diana hits Bankrupt on the first spin of Round 1, the slide whistle does not sound.

In a rare occurrence, Diana spends all of her money in the Round 1 shopping segment. Pat and Anna do not sign off; rather, the final segment begins with the fee plugs.

Wheel does not air on November 26 due to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. November 27 and 30 are the second known instance of two consecutive Jackpot wins, this time by the same contestant.

Pat states that the November 27 Jackpot was $22,000, which is the highest known total ever achieved by it. By November 30, full credit rolls now have headers in blue and names in yellow.

Sometime this month, contestant Robert First loses $10,800 by adding “the” in front of ATLANTA FALCONS. During this week: As in 1986, the opening shows all 15 participants standing or sitting at the puzzle board.

The mid-show bumper logo is a shot of the week's players waving in front of the puzzle board. On at least the 21st and 25th, “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” plays from Pat and Anna's sign-off through the end of the credits.

After Jack does the Service Merchandise catalog plug, Pat recaps the scores and announces the winner before throwing to commercial again. Beginning December 28, the fee plugs are eliminated on all NBC game shows.

On Wheel, departing contestants now receive a substantial prize, announced before the beginning of Round 3 or 4. The Jackpot cutaway graphic is an image of a full cookie jar, with a kid greedily staring into it.

The money graphic is red with a white outline and is stationary, matching the one seen in the opening. Pat and Anna do not sign off; rather, the final segment begins with the sponsor list.

Likely at the same time, Pat announces his eventual departure from the daytime show. Pat enters carrying the frog hat he wore for St. Patrick's Day 1987.

Scott does his shopping during the break, with Jack announcing his prizes at the top of Act 4. As a result of the round beginning after the plugs, the puzzle is introduced normally, with the Final Spin chimes sounding after Pat mentions the category.

In the final segment, Pat wishes a happy 35th Anniversary to NBC affiliate DW-TV in Springfield, Massachusetts, and Anna wears the frog hat. By March 17, the beginning of the sponsor list changes to “THE FOLLOWING HAVE FURNISHED PRIZES FOR PROMOTING THEIR PRODUCTS”.

Scott solves the Bonus Round puzzle WHITE SALE before the timer beeps can begin to sound. The prize for departing contestants is plugged at the start of the final segment, which is done in front of the puzzle board, where Scott is sitting in the Jeep Cherokee he won in the Bonus Round.

After mentioning the top value for Round 1, Pat quickly mumbles his way through the rest of the “try not to hit Bankrupt” spiel. Following Round 2, Jack spends his $500 by buying a $100 serving bowl, and, due to their being no other available prizes valued at $400 or less, places his remaining $400 on a gift certificate.

At the start of Round 3, Pat has to ask a staff member what the category for the puzzle is (Person). Though no mention is made on the air about it, Scott sets a new daytime winnings record with his three-day total of $49,992.

In the final segment, Pat and Anna wish a happy 35th Anniversary to NBC affiliate FIX in Wichita Falls, Texas. On all three of the above episodes, the Jackpot cutaway graphic is designed to look like the Yellow Brick Road from The Wizard of Oz, with paper cut-outs representing Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion “walking” on the Road.

Around this point, contestant Debra Stoker plays for two or three shows, winning $36,829 (including a Jeep, sailboat, small motorboat, artwork, sportswear, TV, VCR, jukebox, and sporting equipment). Much later, at the end of August 1989, the Associated Press reports that while some of her prizes arrived respectably (including the Jeep, traded in for a van), the $4,200 jukebox and $10,000 boat were both delivered in very poor condition.

On a Monday episode around this point (Bill/Loraine/Joyce), known to be with Johnny announcing: There is a $7,000 Jackpot win. By September 9, a “registered trademark” (®) symbol is added to the show's logo, just below the N. Same Name debuts around this point.

On October 3, the Bonus Round rules are changed to give RST LNE automatically and ask the contestant for three more consonants and a vowel; also, the time limit is reduced to 10 seconds. October 24 is Trick or Treat Week, held across all of NBC's daytime games.

By October 26, the slide whistle no longer sounds if the Final Spin lands on Bankrupt. Wheel does not air on November 24-25 due to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and special showings of NBC's Saturday-morning cartoons, respectively.

The puzzle board uses its original chase light sequence for the last known time on the daytime show. On December 21, the show is preempted for NBC News coverage of the Pan-Am flight bombing in Locker, Scotland.

On December 30, Pat announces that he will be leaving the daytime show the following week. On January 6: Contestant Patti leaves with $48,507 despite not making it to the Bonus Round on her third appearance.

Several comments during the show mention “tomorrow”, due to the episode originally being scheduled for January 5. Several comments during the show mention “Friday” and “Monday”, due to the episode originally being scheduled for January 6.

January 9 is the third of only three daytime episodes to be aired by GUN; the network reran it in 2007 as part of a special marathon following Mere's death. Per the network's standard at the time, any mid-show plugs were cut out and the credit crunch was used after the sign-offs.

Beginning on January 11, the consolation prize (only mentioned as being given to one contestant) is described after the last commercial break. On January 12 (Kevin/Robin/Rhonda), Rolf accidentally declares Robin the day's winner instead of Rhonda, but the mistake is quickly corrected.

The confusion likely happened because Rolf accidentally read Robin's two-day total as her score for just this episode. On a set of episodes believed to have aired during late January, a contestant wins $65,271, the largest of the daytime run.

According to a comment left by the contestant on this Wiki, a Bonus Round is discarded and replaced during one of these episodes due to Rolf accidentally accepting an incorrect answer. Lois sweeps the game and wins a Toyota Terkel in the Bonus Round.

One of the contestants, Jade, then points out that Rolf is looking at the blue arrow and has actually hit Bankrupt. On March 24, Rolf and Anna wish everyone at home a Happy Easter.

According to one recollection, an episode sometime during Rolf's tenure has the first known instance of a contestant incorrectly solving a fully-revealed puzzle. On May 22, due to declining ratings and an inability to come to a license fee agreement with Mere (and despite Wheel having a three-year studio-use contract signed in 1987), NBC announces the show's cancellation and replacement by reruns of The Golden Girls.

On April 18, 1991, he releases the half-hour short The Soldier of Fortune about his “actual appearance and subsequent humiliation on , where he is generally considered to be the worst contestant in the history of the show”, which wins 29 film festivals. Given the running time and the length of an episode minus commercials, it is possible that Soldier simply consists of his episode in full of the remaining time devoted to Burrows' comments and/or the aftermath.

The episode numbering in place since 1975 debut is discarded in favor of a three-digit counter prefaced by “#C”. The “wrong letter” buzzer, Bankrupt slide whistle, “only vowels remain” beeps, Final Spin bells, puzzle reveal chimes, and Bonus Round timer beeps are all changed; the “wrong letter” buzzer was previously used as a “time's up” buzzer on Bumper Stampers.

“Changing Keys” is rearranged to have the melody on saxophone and jazz guitar, backed by organ and percussion. This and all subsequent versions of “Changing Keys” end on a single note instead of the puzzle-solve cue, although that is also reorchestrated to match.

Also, at least one spiral pillar is retained, placed to the left and back of the contestant area. The sunburst contestant backdrops are upgraded to chevrons that continue to show total champion winnings with the same limitations.

The new daytime Round 1 template has a yellow Free Spin wedge instead of a peach one. The Bonus Round now offers subcompact cars, a cash prize of $5,000, and other prizes generally valued at less than $10,000; the $5,000 is displayed on a green disc suspended from the ceiling, which rotates counterclockwise, and its font (save for the dollar sign) is Clarendon-like and similar to its nighttime front-game counterpart.

While nighttime changes Bonus Round prize selection to a random draw from the W-H-E-E-L envelopes on September 4, daytime allows contestants to pick their bonus prize until the end (although picking the cash is not as common). If the $5,000 is played for, the sign lowers and Charlie announces one of several rotating lines related to it.

As Charlie says “plus thousands of dollars in cash”, the money graphic appears at the bottom of the screen (albeit unannounced, unlike the previous daytime run and the nighttime run); during the week of July 17, it alternates between $41,000 (Monday, Tuesday, and Friday) and $42,000 (Wednesday and Thursday). In addition to the money graphic, all other colored herons, including the overhead shot logo, now have a thinner white shadow.

And “The following suppliers of products or services have furnished them free or at less than retail.” Additionally, the show's logo, as seen at the start of full credit rolls, is now pink.

On July 17 (Fay/Rick/Lou): After Bob's entrance, he mentions that “It is great to be here at our new home at CBS. Lou buys a repeated E in Round 3, but it is not acknowledged as such until Anna accidentally walks to the Triton where the E has already been revealed.

During the post-game chat, Anna and Bob mention the switch to play-for-cash and hold up two of the new Free Spin discs. Various elements suggest that Pat's appearance was during the break between the Bonus Round and closing chat.

On July 18: Charlie's intro changes slightly: the prize descriptions are now “Including our all-new $5,000 cash bonus, a gorgeous handwoven oriental rug, and a fabulous sapphire and diamond ring, plus thousands of dollars in cash...” The two-digit values with added diamonds. This yellow $300 wedge is the same off-model variant (with a larger dollar sign and smaller 3) used at this point to cover Free Spin in later nighttime rounds.

One of the Round 4 prizes is also won, and its wedge strangely remains on that player's arrow for the rest of the show. As the show goes to break after Round 4, the camera cuts from the contestant area to a small zoom-in on the $5,000 sign.

The zeroes, likely recycled from the “3,000th show” promotional shot, are wider and rounder than the regular O's. During the post-game chat, Bob and Anna talk about more differences from the nighttime show, including the reduction of vowel cost to $200.

Bob quips that they “made it through the show without Speak having to come in and bother us”. Before coming back from the final break, CBS airs a promo for the show.

Nighttime does not appear to have used yellow until at least 1994, albeit with black outlines instead of the usual white. The lights on the $5,000 sign are off during the entire show, except during the Bonus Round when the champion decides to play for the cash.

The aforementioned CBS This Morning interview shows clips of a Monday episode, most likely July 24 or 31 givens the timeframe. The phrasing suggests that MARTHA GRAHAM was a puzzle that day, possibly in the Bonus Round.

The famous Wheel is spinning your way with lots of cash and an assortment of sumptuous prizes! As of August 4, Wheel draws a 2.8 on the Nielsen ratings system with a 12 share, only slightly higher than the average of Now You See It.

For the first known time in the Gone era, the Bonus Round is played for something other than the cash or a car: specifically, an East Coast tour. By August 24, Fred Cayman of Beverly Hills begins providing Anna's wardrobe.

On September 18 (Dave/Sandra/RIC): The category herons are red, possibly a random choice due to Anna's dress (a flowery print). Several times during the show, Bob forgets to ask RIC if he wants to use his Free Spin.

The winner's Bonus Round letter choices begin to be displayed in black, a color typically not used by the category herons. Wheel does not air on November 23-24 due to the All-American Thanksgiving Day Parade and special showings of CBS' Saturday-morning programming, respectively.

By December 15, large “spiked” balls are added to the Bonus Round chevron backdrops until about mid-January, a tradition that remains for the rest of the run. During these clips, Bob and Anna namedrop Chuck, Susan, Summer, Pat, Alex, and Rolf as having contributed to this number.

If a champion wins a car and the post-game chat and credits take place there (instead of near the Wheel), the turntables are not active. Sometime this year, CBS airs a promo of Bob in the show's office, using his last name in several puns.

January 4 is the last time Nancy Jones is listed first on full credit rolls. Beginning the following week, Mere's credit of Executive Producer is added to the list, above Nancy.

Jeff incorrectly solves the Round 3 puzzle STRAIGHT TO THE HEART OF THE PROBLEM by replacing the first THE with A, but this is not noticed. It is believed that this week has cast members from The Young and the Restless (Jess Walton/Doug Davidson/Laura lee Bell), The Bold and the Beautiful (Daniel Vicar/Lauren Follow/John Cook), Guiding Light (Kimberley Sims/James Goodwin/Jay Hammer), and As the World Turns (Michael Swan/Margaret Reed/Gregory Beecroft).

Based on this and a print ad, it likely used the Friday Finals format with each soap getting its own episode. An article from March 7, 1990, notes that Hammer donated his winnings to his alma mater: the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.

Assuming that the daytime show offered fur coats after the move to CBS, they are dropped from the prize rotation late this month at the insistence of PETA. July 2 is Armed Forces Week, where contestants are called from the audience to play (the first three by Bob, all subsequent names by Anna) from a fishbowl sitting on the host's railing.

During this week: Several gameplay elements are slightly altered: The players do not draw numbers to determine position, instead taking the spots from left to right in the order they were called. The set is decorated: an American flag is present behind the host's area, a large Armed Forces emblem is attached to the top-center of the puzzle board, and various Armed Forces-related symbols and flags are placed around the audience area.

Around this point (known to not be July 5 or 23), a contestant solves NICK NOTE STARRING IN Q&A with only one letter (most likely the N's) revealed. 10 wrong letters are called in this round, including the first five turns, and no vowels are bought.

During the final segment, Bob mentions that a staff member named Karen is leaving at the end of this week. The staffer in question is shown briefly, but the only Karen listed in the full credit roll is Karen Griffith, who did not leave the show and became co-producer in Season 14; this would suggest that she only left daytime, and then only for a brief period, as she is listed in the full credit roll of January 11, 1991.

Kristin solves the Round 3 puzzle ADD SUBTRACT MULTIPLY AND DIVIDE with only the D's, T's, and N showing. During the final segment, Bob shows a picture of himself and Carol Millie (then-hostess of the British version).

Johnny Gilbert announces for the week of October 15, the only known instance of a sub-announcer during the Gone era. A Chicago Tribune article from March 17, 1991, mentions a play-by-phone contest being held for 21 days this month.

The article notes that “a record 4.7 million people played, as well as watched, Wheel of Fortune in a one-shot promotion”. Wheel does not air on November 22-23 due to the All-American Thanksgiving Day Parade and special showings of CBS' Saturday-morning programming, respectively.

December 25 is Christmas-themed, with a decorated set: lights that flash during the open and close, miniature golden bows on the puzzle board, and a large golden bow on the $9,995 Geo Metro onstage that also has gift boxes on each side. After the Bonus Round, Anna gives Bob a piece of crochet with his last name inscribed in capital letters.

After the CBS Television City Charon is shown, the Enterprises' logo is revealed via a Triton effect just as Charlie's spiel begins. For the last time, Wheel does not air on January 1 due to the Tournament of Roses parade.

He laughs and mentions this, afterward quipping that “I feel like Pedro Guerrero all of a sudden.” In Round 5, Jim tries to buy a vowel after claiming a Prize wedge, but Bob stops him as he has no money.

She is allowed to complete her turn, after which the bells sound again and Bob does the Final Spin. For the last time, the credits include “Recorded at CBS Television City in Hollywood, California”.

After the credits finish scrolling, the picture zooms back to reveal a gray background, at which point it flips over to reveal the Mere Griffin Enterprises logo just as Charlie's spiel begins. On January 14, the show moves back to NBC's daytime schedule, replacing Let's Make A Deal, but continues to tape at Television City.

The opening is slightly altered to superimpose the logo over a shot of the day's contestants. The only end-of-show plug that continues is promotion of Wheel merchandise (all based on the nighttime show).

During any sweepstakes episodes (see below), the credits begin with a disclaimer about the sweepstakes (phone number, mail-in address, and addresses for both rules and winner's lists) followed by either an aforementioned merchandise plug or the credits. If a fee plug occurs after the third segment, the graphic flips up for the camera at the beginning and then flips over at the end (similar to a book page) to a shot of the audience; during this shot, a stacked non-logo puzzle board-style Wheel of Fortune text on a rolling Rounds 1-2 template with Free Spin disc and Prize wedge (also seen on some nighttime Walt Disney World shows) scrolls across the bottom of the screen.

The sponsor list is back as one, and, as per NBC's game show tradition, the disclaimer is changed to “The following companies have paid a fee and/or furnished merchandise to the production company for promoting their products.” On January 14: Bob notes that he and the staff are “pleased as punch to be back home on NBC”.

In a fairly unusual occurrence, the Prize wedges remaining on the Wheel are removed before Round 5 so Bob can make the Final Spin. After the closing plug (for Pressman's second Travel Edition), the sponsor list is shown as the camera zooms out from the center of the spinning Wheel, almost to the point where it can be seen in its entirety (a shot very similar to the classic host and hostess sign-off in the 1970s-80s).

On an episode sometime between January 16 and early February (Edward/Diana/Patrick), Patrick calls a letter on a Prize wedge and asks to solve immediately afterward. Bob reminds him to pick up the Prize wedge; Patrick does, after which he solves the puzzle.

By the above episode, the prize value Charon begins flashing if a contestant claims it. February 25-March 25 is the Cash pot Sweepstakes, where home viewers enter to solve each day's Cash pot puzzle: a partially-filled puzzle is shown after Round 1 with category as the Bonus Round timer plays, followed by the double-buzz; viewers then have until 10:00 AM Eastern the following day to call 900-436-5000 ($2.00 per minute, average call 2 minutes) to solve the puzzle, using their touch-tone phone keys to fill in the letters; viewers may enter twice per puzzle, but busy signals do not count toward this.

The $1,000 award, $25,000 total, and phone number use the “classic” money graphic font that had been dropped from daytime in July 1989. Viewers must allow 6-8 weeks for the Thomas J. Lipton product coupons to be mailed.

Upon coming back from the final break, Charlie gives the answer to the previous episode's Cash pot puzzle. The puzzle board's trilogy are all showing their green-glitter side; the set is quiet and only Bob is present, reminding viewers about the sweepstakes before he signs off.

By March 11 (Jennifer/Era/Whitney), the opening is slightly altered to remove the superimposed Wheel logo from the shot of the day's contestants. For the week of March 18 (the final Cash pot week), the number of winners per day is doubled to 10; as a result, the total cash payout is doubled to $50,000 (also signified by the aforementioned money graphic).

On March 21 (Rosie/Dave/Mary): Round 1 (AWAKENINGS) is a rare instance of a one-word puzzle in the main game. However, during the commercial break, the third contestant's (Rosie's) guess of Kansas is determined to be acceptable, and she is given the $250 bonus before the start of Round 3.

Bob then reads off some sweepstakes winners and reminds the viewers about the day's puzzle before he and Anna sign off. Possibly after the Cash pot Sweepstakes, the show holds a Phone Wheel of Fortune game through March 31.

The camera zooms into the green center as the Phone Wheel of Fortune logo appears, similar to the opening transition used from the 1974 pilots through at least May 20, 1976. On an episode from the week of March 25 (Rick/Cindy/Maureen): The category herons are blue, although Anna is wearing red.

On the episode immediately following the above (Neil/Maureen/Bob): At the top of the show, Gone mentions “it's Easter Week here on Wheel of Fortune “, in reference to Anna's Easter-themed dress. Each mother receives a basket of chocolates from Patron Chocolate, which is plugged by Charlie at the beginning of the final segment.

On May 6 (Jean & Stephanie/Josh & Joanne/Brendan & Arlene): Bob does not do the opening spin, although that may be because of the number of players being interviewed. During the final segment, the chevron lights do not flash, the car turntable is not active as Bob and Anna are with the winners, and the Wheel's automation starts about a couple of seconds after the sponsor list appears.

During the closing disclaimer, the day's champion can be seen walking in to join Bob and Anna. The latter is the last known use of the “classic” money graphic, which interestingly has a large shadow effect.

On May 27 (Suzanne/Steve/Nanette): In honor of Memorial Day, Anna wears Stars and Stripes clothing. The remaining Prize wedges are not removed before the Final Spin, but are absent from the Wheel during the credits.

For the fourth and final known time, Augustus provides Bob's wardrobe. June 3-July 1 is the Summer Vacation Bonanza Sweepstakes, played much like the Cash pot and Phone Wheel of Fortune.

Each puzzle awards a vacation and five $1,000 cash prizes, with destinations including the Bahamas, Hawaii, Mexico, and Walt Disney World (Orlando, Florida); each vacation includes airfare and $500 spending cash. Some other notes about the Sweepstakes: All callers receive Summer Bonanza coupons, with discounts for various hotels.

On June 21 (Gotta/Cheyenne/Ed): The Round 2 puzzle FIRST FOUR BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT is the only known instance of Clue requiring multiple correct answers (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Viewers can call 1-900-370-5123 anytime during the week and play a game over the phone much like the above contests.

All callers receive $10 worth of national brand coupons, and each call is put into a sweepstakes drawing (held January 31, 1992) for an all-expense-paid trip for two to Mere's Paradise Island resort in the Bahamas. It is possible, but by no means certain, that some changes made for Seasons 8-9 are implemented in July or August.

On August 9 (Staci/Shawn/Sharon): The Bonus Round chevron backdrops are not present, their place taken by low-level clouds. Bob mentions that the finalists each won a car in their respective Bonus Round.

The Round 1 prize is a $1,000 Service Merchandise gift certificate for sporting goods, whose wedge says “SHOP”. Shawn's letters (displayed in black) fill in the bonus puzzle SNACK BAR completely.

Before the credits, the Wheel can be heard slowly starting its automation; towards the end, there is a wide shot of the set. Repeats air from September 2-20, including at least one show from the Summer Vacation Bonanza Sweepstakes (which is not edited to remove references to the contest).

While Wheel 2000 aired in daytime on network television (more specifically, Saturday mornings on CBS), it is considered a derivative of the nighttime show.

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