Wheel of Fortune is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. And to celebrate, the famous puzzle board got a “facelift.”
Today, Good Morning America highlighted the Pat Sajak and Vana White-led series in a special segment and explained just how the board has changed over the decades to become the sleek NASA-inspired interface that will be gracing the screen next season.
When Vanna, the long-standing hostess, first joined the gameshow, technology was lightyears behind today’s standards. And the board reflected that. Each square was an actual TV monitor. And she had to manually reveal the letters by spinning the monitors. But over the years, Wheel of Fortune stayed with the times and continuously updated its set.
Today, Vana is operating a sleek flat screen board that uses technology used on the Mars rover called Lidar, or Light Detection and Ranging, which uses light in the form of pulsed lasers to interact with its surroundings and measure distances.
“I just run my hand over it,” told Veronica Miracle. “I don’t even have to touch it.”
‘Wheel of Fortune’ Fans Are Not Loving the New Look
The GMA segment came a week after fans got their first glimpse of the updated puzzle board. And So far, the new look isn’t getting a lot of love.
On September 1st, Wheel of Fortune’s social correspondent, Maggie Sajak, filmed a video to get the audience ready for Season 40. And in it, she gave a peek at the board, which read “we’re back.”
Despite the obvious excitement from the cast and crew to head into a milestone year, people couldn’t stop thinking about the new set. And Buzzer Blog’s official Twitter account was the first to finally mention what everyone was thinking.
“OK honest opinion and I know it’s petty so I apologize,” it wrote. “Am I alone in thinking it looks…cheap? Having a flat screen with no depth and or activity feels odd. It could be just this photo [above]. But it just feels a bit odd and cold.”
“I’d like it better if it didn’t look like the old puzzle board, Just clear all the unwanted titles and have cool motion graphics or something,” one person answered.
Dozens of fans agreed with the reply. And while they didn’t have too many opinions on what Wheel of Fortune should’ve done differently, they all wished the show had opted to add more character to the iconic board.
But some people said that we should all wait to see it in action. Maybe once it makes its proper debut, fans will see some more charm.
“I’ll reserve final judgment on it when I see it on TV,” another person wrote. “First thought is that they don’t have the font quite right and it looks JUST a little too much like a fan game. It looks smaller here than on the PVMs.”