At this point, game show fans are certainly used to extreme changes and updates over on “Jeopardy!” Since “Wheel of Fortune” is also a Sony program, there are some changes in store for the puzzle show as well.
Mike Richards stepped down from his role as the new host of “Jeopardy!” only nine days after getting the title. Then, he was fired as the executive producer of both “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune.”
That left some of the executives over at “Wheel of Fortune” puzzled as to how to fill in the gaps. For a show with few visible changes, there are a few adjustments in the works for the upcoming season.
Changes for ‘Wheel of Fortune’ During New Season
In the process, the show has secured Pat Sajak for a new deal on the show. He will be serving as a consulting producer, in addition to his hosting duties. Sajak has been the host of the program since 1981 and was joined by Vanna White the next year. The two have been inseparable and iconic in their decades-long role as hosts.
According to Today, the contract renewals have secured both Sajak and White as the hosts of the show through the 2023-2024 TV season. That is the bare minimum, seeing as both could choose to renew their contracts at this point once again.
Both have stated that they don’t plan on leaving the show soon and would want to leave at the same time.
Another change will be the announcer, Jim Thornton, who has been with the show for a decade, will now have a more visible role. He will be stationed at a podium on the stage visible to the audience. This is where he will introduce Sajak and White to the studio stage.
The iconic theme song might stand out this time around too. There will be a modernized arrangement of “Changing Keys,” the theme song that has been used on “Wheel of Fortune” since 1983. It was created by the show’s creator, Merv Griffin.
Pat Sajak and Maggie Sajak Roles
Also, the show is getting a new family addition. Maggie Sajak, Pat Sajak’s 26-year-old daughter, will be the social correspondent for the show. This means she will share exclusive videos online of anything from behind-the-scenes clips to interviews alongside the two hosts, staff members, and contestants.
She will be working on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.
While Pat Sajak is getting a more hands-on role behind the scenes of the program, there’s another area where he’s being told to take a step back. Sajak always did the Final Spin on the show.
Whichever contestant is in control of the wheel at the time will instead have the power to spin. This spin determines how much each consonant is worth during the fast-paced round.
It seems like “Wheel of Fortune” is very much trying to latch onto tradition on the program. This means making sure Sajak and White stick around and making the announcer, another staple, more prominent.
It’s a good direction to go, seeing as change has not been 100% working out over on “Jeopardy!”