The Wheel Spins as Usual for Viewers Though There Have Been Changes

Behind the Scenes


Culver City, CA (September 9, 2020) – When Wheel of Fortune fans tune in to the show’s 38th season premiere on September 14, they’ll notice an upgrade to the Wheel and the same great game! But there have been some big changes behind the scenes of America’s Game®.


Veteran game show producer Mike Richards took over as Executive Producer during the hiatus and has spearheaded the effort to get the venerable game show back on the air. In the studio, the production follows local government guidelines and has rigorous testing protocols in place to keep contestants, talent, staff and crew safe during the pandemic.


Our challenge was not unique, to get back up and running in a way that is safe for everyone involved while making subtle improvements to make America’s Game® even better,” said Richards. “I think we have accomplished that in a big way, and our fans can be comfortable knowing that they’re going to tune in to see the Wheel of Fortune they love.”


To keep contestants and talent safe while taping the shows, the Wheel was slightly redesigned to extend the platform surrounding the Wheel to allow for 6 feet of space between Pat Sajak and each of the contestants. This was also an opportunity to install an all new curved monitor that surrounds the Wheel. In addition, each contestant is given their own spinning cap, which Sajak has dubbed, “The White Thing.” The cap fits over each spoke on the Wheel so contestants can spin without personally touching the Wheel.


The game itself has not changed, except the minimum amount that can be won on the Bonus Wheel is $38,000, to celebrate the show’s 38th season.


On Wheel of Fortune’s social media channels, there will be a challenge for the most observant Wheel Watchers. Something happens within the first two weeks of shows that has never happened before in the history of the show. Fans will have to tune in and play along to find out what.


To access photos from the new season, please follow this link:

Photo Credit: Carol Kaelson

About “Wheel of Fortune”

Reaching more than 25 million weekly viewers, Wheel of Fortune reaches more viewers than any other program on television. Trademarked as America’s Game™, it has earned seven Emmy Awards including a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show. Wheel of Fortune is produced by Sony Pictures Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company. It is distributed domestically by CBS Television Distribution and internationally by CBS Studios International, both units of CBS Corp.


Contact Information:

Krista Ostensen Osche

Executive Director of Communications

Wheel of Fortune