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Play solo or with friends and show off your skills in the original word game. As a result, in addition to its generic design, the set also uses many alternate designs, which are unique to specific weekly sets of themed programs.
The most recent set design was conceived by production designer Renee Hoss-Johnson, with later modifications by Jody Vaclav. The first pilot used a vertically mounted wheel which was often difficult to see on-screen.
Originally made mostly of paint and cardboard,  the modern wheel mechanism is framed on a steel tube surrounded with Plexiglas and more than lighting instruments, and is held by a stainless steel shaft with roller bearings.
The show's original puzzle board had three rows of 13 manually operated trilons , for a total of 39 spaces.
On December 21, , a larger board with 48 trilons in four rows 11, 13, 13 and 11 trilons was adopted. This board was surrounded by a double-arched border of lights which flashed at the beginning and end of the round.
Each trilon had three sides: On February 24, , the show introduced a computerized puzzle board composed of 52 touch-activated monitors in four rows 12 on the top and bottom rows, 14 in the middle two.
Although not typically seen by viewers, the set also includes a used letter board that shows contestants which letters are remaining in play, a scoreboard that is visible from the contestants' perspective, and a countdown clock.
Alan Thicke composed the show's original theme, which was titled "Big Wheels". In , it was replaced by Griffin's own composition, "Changing Keys",  to allow him to derive royalties from that composition's use on both the network and syndicated versions.
Steve Kaplan became music director starting with the premiere of the 15th syndicated season in , and continued to serve as such until he was killed when the Cessna C Golden Eagle he was piloting crashed into a home in Claremont, California , in December In addition to "Changing Keys", Griffin also composed various incidental music cues for the syndicated version which were used for announcements of prizes in the show's early years.
Among them were "Frisco Disco" earlier the closing theme for a revival of Jeopardy! Anyone at least 18 years old has the potential to become a contestant through Wheel of Fortune ' s audition process.
Also ineligible to apply as contestants are individuals who have appeared on a different game show within the previous year, three other game shows within the past ten years, or on any version of Wheel of Fortune itself.
Throughout the year, the show uses a custom-designed Winnebago recreational vehicle called the "Wheelmobile" to travel across the United States, holding open auditions at various public venues.
Participants are provided with entry forms which are then drawn randomly. Individuals whose names are drawn appear on stage, five at a time, and are interviewed by traveling host Marty Lublin.
The group of five then plays a mock version of the speed-up round, and five more names are selected after a puzzle is solved.
Everyone who is called onstage receives a themed prize, usually determined by the spin of a miniature wheel. Auditions typically last two days, with three one-hour segments per day.
Alternatively, a participant may submit an audition form with a self-shot video through the show's website to enter an audition.
Contestants not appearing on stage at Wheelmobile events have their applications retained and get drawn at random to fill second-level audition vacancies.
At the second audition, potential contestants play more mock games featuring a miniature wheel and puzzle board, followed by a puzzle test with some letters revealed.
The contestants have five minutes to solve as many puzzles as they can by writing in the correct letters.
The people who pass continue the audition, playing more mock games which are followed by interviews. Wheel of Fortune premiered on January 6, , at Lin Bolen , then the head of daytime programming, purchased the show from Griffin to compensate him for canceling the original Jeopardy!
The original Wheel aired on NBC, in varying time slots between Throughout that version's run, episodes were generally 30 minutes in length, except for six weeks of shows aired between December and January which were 60 minutes in length.
NBC announced the cancellation of the show in August , but it stayed on the air following a decision to cut the duration of The David Letterman Show from 90 to 60 minutes.
King World chairmen Roger , Michael, and Robert King could initially find only 50 stations that were willing to carry the show, and since they could not find affiliates for the syndicated Wheel in New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago, Philadelphia was the largest market in which the show could succeed in its early days.
Only nine stations carried the show from its beginning,  but by midseason it was airing on all 50 of the stations that were initially willing to carry it, and by the beginning of the show was available to 99 percent of television households.
Soon, Wheel succeeded Family Feud as the highest-rated syndicated show,  and at the beginning of the —85 season, Griffin followed up on the show's success by launching a syndicated revival of Jeopardy!
At this point, Wheel had the highest ratings of any syndicated television series in history,  and at the peak of the show's popularity, over 40 million people were watching five nights per week.
The series, along with companion series Jeopardy! The popularity of Wheel of Fortune has led it to become a worldwide franchise , with over forty known adaptations in international markets outside the United States.
It was hosted by David Sidoni, with Tanika Ray providing voice and motion capture for a virtual reality hostess named "Cyber Lucy".
For example, the show's child contestants competed for points and prizes instead of cash, with the eventual winner playing for a grand prize in the bonus round.
Wheel of Fortune has long been one of the highest-rated programs on U. It was the highest-rated show in all of syndication before it was dethroned by Two and a Half Men in the 28th season — In a issue, TV Guide ranked Wheel number 25 among the 50 Greatest Game Shows of All Time,  and in , the magazine ranked it number 2 in its list of the 60 greatest game shows ever, second only to Jeopardy!
One of the catchphrases uttered by contestants, "I'd like to buy a vowel" , was considered for Favorite Game Show Catch Phrase, but lost to "Come on down!
The sound effect heard at the start of a new regular gameplay round won the award for Favorite Game Show Sound Effect. The sound heard when the wheel lands on Bankrupt was also nominated.
Despite having been retired from the show for nearly a decade by that point, "Changing Keys" was nominated for Best Game Show Theme Song.
However, it lost to its fellow Griffin composition, "Think! A hall of fame honoring Wheel of Fortune is part of the Sony Pictures Studios tour, and was introduced on the episode aired May 10, Numerous board games based on Wheel of Fortune have been released by different toy companies.
The games are all similar, incorporating a wheel, puzzle display board, play money and various accessories like Free Spin tokens.
Milton Bradley released the first board game in Two editions were released, with the only differences being the box art and the included books of puzzles.
Additionally, several video games based on the show have been released for personal computers , the Internet , and various gaming consoles spanning multiple hardware generations.
Most games released in the 20th century were published by GameTek , which produced a dozen Wheel games on various platforms, starting with a Nintendo Entertainment System game released in and continuing until the company closed in after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Wheel has also been licensed to International Game Technology for use in its slot machines. The games are all loosely based on the show, with contestants given the chance to spin the wheel to win a jackpot prize.
Since , over slot games based on the show have been created, both for real-world casinos and those on the Internet. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 6 November For the unrelated American game show of the same name, see Wheel of Fortune game show.
If it's in the puzzle, you have three seconds to solve it. Vowels are worth nothing, consonants are worth June 14, — via HighBeam Research.
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