‘Wheel of Fortune’: How Long Does It Take to Film One Episode?

by Halle Ames

An episode of Wheel of Fortune runs for thirty minutes on TV, but how long does it take to film one of these short episodes?

You can’t rush perfection. It’s as simple as that.

Early in the Wheel of Fortune’s beginning, it was taking the production team roughly double the time to film an episode than its airtime.

In an article from Paley Matters in 2017, the report highlights how the producer was becoming impatient with the Wheel of Fortune’s slow letter board.

“When he first started working on the show in 1995, producer Harry Friedman was annoyed that it took almost an hour to tape a show that ran for thirty minutes. This was due to the letter board having to be reset manually after every puzzle. This process took about ten minutes to reset.”

Wheel of Fortune Gets Some Much-Needed Upgrades

To help things move along quicker, the Wheel of Fortune decided to update its technology.

“Eventually, in February 1997, a new electronic letter board was introduced with touch screens. From then on, each episode took thirty minutes to tape.”

Technology isn’t the only aspect of the hit game show that has changed over the years. The backdrop has displayed an array of different colors since 1983.

“Since the show began, there have been many changes made to the studio set. From 1983 to 1989, the show used a red, yellow, and blue backdrop. When the show moved to CBS, golden spikes were added to the backdrop, and a second score display was added. In 1997, the original red, yellow, and blue backdrops were removed in favor of a display based on the theme of that week’s set of tapings. A year later, a video wall replaced the themed displays, and it has remained that way since.”

Additionally, the location has changed three times since airing in 1983. Wheel of Fortune started off with its NBC Studio in Burbank, California.

After only six years, the show was taken over by CBS and thus prompting another move. This time Wheel of Fortune found its home in Los Angeles.

By 1995 the hit show was back under NBC’s network. With this trade-off, the show made its last move to Sony Pictures Studio in Culver City, California. It has been in Culver City ever since.

With 30 seasons and over 5,000 episodes under Wheel of Fortune‘s belt, we can confidently say that the family favorite isn’t going anywhere anytime soon!