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Wheel of Fortune 

Hosted by Pat Sajak, this game show features 3 contestants who try to solve a puzzle by spinning the wheel and guessing letters in a word or phrase.


Merv Griffin
3,964 ( 477)


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Monday, February 17



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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 9 wins & 73 nominations. See more awards »


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Series cast summary:
Pat Sajak ...  Himself - Host / ... 6,973 episodes, 1983-2020
Vanna White ...  Herself - Hostess / ... 6,965 episodes, 1983-2020
Charlie O'Donnell Charlie O'Donnell ...  Himself - Announcer 4,215 episodes, 1988-2010


Contestants guess hidden phrases by guessing letters one at a time. Contestants win money or prizes, as determined by a spin of the wheel, for each correct consonant they guess. But they have to pay to see what vowels are in a puzzle. The contestant that has amassed the most winnings at the end of a game goes on to play the bonus round, in which the player can win even more -- prizes frequently seen in the bonus round include automobiles, vacations and more cash. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Family | Game-Show



Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Sony Pictures Television





Release Date:

19 September 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wheel of Fortune See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(1983 - )

Sound Mix:

Stereo (1983-)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In an interview, Vanna White was asked how she got the job. She says that she was one of roughly 200 women to audition and she was the last one. She was only required to do what she does in the show which is to walk gracefully from one side of the room to the other and simply turn the letters without making a mistake. She performed it flawlessly and was hired. But she believes that the real reason she got the job was because she was the last woman to audition and the producers were simply tired and ready for the audition process to be over. See more »


[Closing announcement early to summer 1995]
Announcer: Created by Merv Griffin.
[copyright screen appears/drumroll plays]
Announcer: "Wheel of Fortune" is produced by Columbia/Tristar Television. Distributed by KingWorld.
See more »


Referenced in Concussion (2015) See more »


Happy Wheels
(2006 - )
Composed by John Hoke & Frankie Blue
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User Reviews

Giving Game Shows A Positive Spin
15 August 2014 | by redryan64See all my reviews

AS IT IS in our local (Chicago) market, it appears that "THE WHEEL" (as it is widely known) fits very well into the early evening time-slot. That would be the half hour or hour between the end of the evening news and the beginning of prime time programing.

THIS MAKES IT both a link and a barrier at the very same time; a programing dichotomy that few shows could do so well.

BOTH IN THE concept and execution, THE WHEEL strikes a moderate approach. It offers us a question/puzzle to solve; yet it steers clear of any semblance of real difficulty. Although the daily three contestants compete for both Ca$h and Prize$ that may have considerable value, no one ever seems to take it to heart.

ONE VERY IMPORTANT factor in maintaining such a sort of "Nature's Balance" of the Entertainment World is the kind treatment and good humor of the hosting twosome. This is largely due to the unique personality and outstanding sense of humor of MC/Host, Pat Sajak. His extremely quick wit never fails to elicit the laughs from the in studio crowd & home viewers; yet he never makes guests the brunt of the joke.

AS FOR THE value of Vanna White and her function, it could be said that her original function has been automated out of existence. For so many years, the very attractive Ms. White was in charge of "turning the letters" in order to reveal the word puzzle parts. Now it is accomplished electronically by a technician in the control room.

HOWEVER, WE DO concede that Vanna's presence is far more reaching as she always adds to the daily conversation, does in-between announcements and is the representative of the feminine point of view in all matters. In short, for many reasons, she is definitely a keeper.

THE GREATEST CROSS section of viewing audiences regularly tune into WHEEL OF FORTUNE. And we have no reason to think that this trend will not continue. Ergo, we firmly believe that we will have it around for some years to come.

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