‘Wheel of Fortune’: How the Long-Running Game Show Is Updating Set for Upcoming Season

by Craig Garrett

Wheel of Fortune is heading into its 40th season, and a long-standing element of the show is reportedly getting a major makeover. Like all long-running TV shows, Wheel of Fortune has had to evolve over the years. For game shows specifically, this can mean anything from changes in set design to amendments in competition rules. WoF first aired in the mid-’70s and has definitely seen a few updates since then – though mostly just cosmetic ones. The most iconic feature of the show – the puzzle board handled by Vanna White – has stayed mostly consistent throughout its run. But it looks like even that is due for an upgrade soon

Buzzer Blog reports that the iconic puzzle board will now be an LED display. The Buzzer Blog recently took a tour of the Sony Pictures Studios, but they were apparently unable to find the puzzle board. However, other visitors said they saw an LED display, and audience reports showed that Pat Sajak and Vanna White were discussing the Lidar technology later. It’s tough to imagine Vanna White turning the letters on anything but the classic puzzle board. However, the new technology appears to be quite amazing, and a nice facelift for Wheel of Fortune.

According to reports, Lidar technology tracks where Vanna White presses on the screen as she reveals letters– likely making the game more efficient. Though it’s understandable that Wheel of Fortune producers would want to change with the times and make their show run smoother, one can’t help but wonder if this new development will level things up or just give an advantage to those who don’t need it.

The new Wheel of Fortune LED puzzle board is a big change-up

It’ll be interesting to see how fans of the show react to the new board. Wheel of Fortune is an institution, and along with Jeopardy!, the cornerstone of gameshows. When Season 39 premiered, some long-time viewers weren’t pleased with all the new music being played. So when Season 40 starts and they see the new board, it’s safe to say there will be some strong opinions flying around.

However, Vanna White should be up to the challenge to operate the new LED board. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that she pulled hosting duties on Wheel of Fortune. In 2019 host Pat Sajak was out on a walk when he had stomach pains. He was admitted to the hospital two hours later, where he underwent emergency abdominal surgery for a clogged intestine.

“It was horrible, just horrible,” Vanna White told Good Morning America at the time.”We’ve been together 37 years, and it’s not the same. We are a team. It just felt weird with him not being here on the set.” Though Sajak made a full recovery, producers asked White to fill in as host. “And my first thought was, ‘There’s no way.’ I don’t pay attention to Pat,” she joked.

However, she willed herself to step up to the task. “I was petrified, terrified. But I did it.” Vanna White ended up filling in for Sajak for three weeks. “Those three weeks without him were very hard. I really missed him,” she said.”I just can’t imagine doing this show without him, you know? And I hope he feels the same with me.”