It's only natural that long-running TV shows evolve as time goes on. When it comes to game shows, some change their sets or sometimes even amend rules within the competition. The long-running game show Wheel of Fortune has been on since the mid-1970s and has seen a few changes in its time. Though the iconic puzzle board that's handled by Vanna White has mostly stayed the same throughout the years, it would seem that the WoF staple is getting an upgrade (and hopefully it won't bother Pat Sajak too much.)
The upcoming season of Wheel of Fortune will be looking a bit different, as the puzzle board will be a full LED display. A writer for Buzzer Blog recently took a tour of Sony Pictures Studio in LA, where the puzzle board was apparently nowhere in sight. Subsequent visitors, however, claimed to have seen the aforementioned LED display and audience reports later indicated that Pat Sajak and Vanna White were discussing the Lidar (light detection and ranging) technology that's being used for it.
This is a major change to say the least, especially when you consider just how iconic the puzzle board is. However, the new tech does seem to be quite impressive.
Per Buzzer Blog, Lidar technology is able to track where Vanna White presses on the screen, likely making it more efficient to reveal letters. One would think that the producers made the decision to change things in order to keep with the times and allow the game to run more smoothly. It should definitely amp things up a bit though that probably won’t help Wheel of Fortune contestants who screw up easy puzzles. It should be interesting to see how the LED board works out and whether it truly adds something interesting to the game.
Fan reactions to the new board are going to be very interesting. When Season 39 premiered last year, some people were not happy to hear new music on the long-running game show. So you can bet that they'll have some strong thoughts on the board when Season 40 premieres.
Wheel of Fortune has certainly cemented its place in pop culture during its decade-long career as have the people involved in the show. Pat Sajak celebrated his milestone 40th anniversary last year and, on top of that, Sajak reached another wild milestone earlier this year. I'm sure that he and Vanna White will have no problem adjusting to the new board and, hopefully, fans won't have too many things to say about it when they tune in.
Wheel of Fortune Season 40 premieres on Monday, September 12 (check your local listings for times), while the third season of Celebrity Wheel of Fortune premieres on Sunday, September 25 at 8 p.m. on ABC. Check out CinemaBlend’s 2022 TV schedule to keep up with big dates for other game shows.
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