Wheel of Fortune kicked off its 39th season on Monday, introducing a few changes to the show that viewers definitely noticed. The updates include a colorful new set, more screen time for the show’s announcer, Jim Thornton, updated music and some tweaks to the gameplay.
“Can you believe this is Season 39? It's incredible,” host Pat Sajak said to kick off the show. “You'll notice some changes in the studio. I thought I caught a glimpse of that Thornton guy on the way out. A few little tweaks in the game, but it's still Wheel of Fortune. We're going to have a great time. Let's get to it.”
The changes come after the departure of executive producer Mike Richards, who left amid controversy last month. They also come after the announcement that part of the contract renewal for Sajak and Vanna White that keeps them on the show through 2024, includes the stipulation that Sajak will now serve as a consulting producer on the show. And one of his first orders of business was taking the final spin away from himself, and giving it to the contestants.
“The final spin goes to whoever has control of the wheel,” Sajak explained during the episode.
Viewers watching at home had plenty to say about the new changes and took to social media with their thoughts, ranging from loving it all to not loving any of it.
And while not everyone is a fan of the changes for Season 39, we can think of one person who definitely is: Monday’s big winner, Allison, a teacher from California who took home over $81,000 in cash and prizes.
Wheel of Fortune airs weeknights, check your local listings.
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