It’s hard to believe that it took more than 45 years for “Wheel of Fortune” to move from syndication to primetime. But it finally did so with its inaugural season of “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” at the beginning of 2021. Now, the long-running show with a celebrity twist is gearing up for its second season. And the list of stars to be featured has finally been made available.
“Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” is set to return on September 26. Per TV Line, it promises to deliver on the star power with roughly 40 names announced thus far. Of course, the show will be hosted once again by “Wheel of Fortune” icons Pat Sajak and Vanna White.
Perhaps one of the most exciting celebrity names to appear on the show this season is “Seinfeld” staple, George Costanza actor Jason Alexander. Rounding out the list are folks from all sorts of backgrounds. Some of the celebrity athletes will include NFL player Von Miller and NBA star Karl-Anthony Towns.
In terms of actors, the list is a who’s who of legends. Season 2 of “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” will include Vivica A. Fox, Anthony Michael Hall, and “Black-ish” star Anthony Anderson, among others.
Fans of “Wheel of Fortune” need not worry as the format for the celebrity version will remain essentially the same as the regular show. The key difference is that the prizes earned by the celebrities will all be donated to charity. Further, Pat Sajak insisted that the tone of the celebrity version is a little lighter in nature.
Why Did it Take So Long for ‘Celebrity Wheel of Fortune’ to Come About?
“Jeopardy!” fans are intimately familiar with the concept of a game show dominated by celebrity personalities. After all, the first “Celebrity Jeopardy!” episode aired in the early 1990s. So what took “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” so long to follow suit?
Pat Sajak talked to Entertainment Weekly about the timing of the new show ahead of its debut in January.
“Part of it is, we’ve always been careful about not getting the show overexposed. We’ve been on a very long time, and I don’t know how much ‘Wheel’ is too much, but you don’t want to water the product down too much. And this seemed like the time to do it because of what’s going on in the world,” Sajak said.
It seems the timing was one of the biggest factors. During the height of the pandemic, networks struggled to produce content with all of the uncertainty.
“‘Wheel of Fortune’ is kind of a sign of normalcy for people; they were very glad to have us back on the air. So this seemed like a good time to expand into prime time a little bit, at least one time, and extend that normalcy. And also, the networks frankly need programming. A lot of stuff can’t shoot the way [we] do, so the timing worked out. It was good for everybody,” Sajak continued in the interview.