Wheel Of Fortune Fans Have Spoken, And They're Less Than Happy With The New Puzzleboard

To the thrills and delight of millions of TV viewers who haven’t yet given up on broadcast TV, everyone’s favorite game shows are back with new seasons in syndication. In particular, Wheel of Fortune kicked off its 40th season on September 12, with additions such as the XL wheel wedge, a new social correspondent in past guest-presenter Maggie Sajak, and that technologically advanced new puzzleboard. And while fans are 100% pumped to have the comfort of Pat Sajak and Vanna White back on the small screen, it appears as if next to no one is happy about the puzzleboard changing up, and that’s understating things.

When Wheel of Fortune’s Season 40 premiere was said and done, fans had lots to say on social media, with some of the conversation geared toward a debate over whether eventual winner Adriana broke the rules by restarting an answer in an early round. (She didn’t, since she technically hadn’t finished her misspoken guess before correcting herself.) But another section of the fandom was full of gripes about the new board, with this tweet serving as a nice, blanketed response to the visual overhaul.

Wheel of Fortune’s letter board is now essentially one large LED screen, as opposed to the 52-monitor set-up used in the years after the physical turning-letters board was taken out of contention. Instead of being a touchscreen, the Lidar-assisted display’s letters are activated when Vanna waves a hand in front of them, thanks to a pair of tracking lasers. But for all that it’s an advancement on paper, viewers are not very happy with the new addition in action. 

Here are a few more hot takes that prove just how strongly opinionated people are about a thing they love so dearly. 

  • What's with the new puzzle board? The font and color are not right, and it's harder to read. Talk about a waste of money! Why "fix" what isn't broken. This also applies to the annoying newer theme music. (@IllinoisBrandon)
  • Wheel of Fortune changed their font and I can’t handle it. (@McIversThe)
  • Fix the annoying brightness you changed everything to! I shouldn't have to adjust my TV brightness and contrast just to watch wheel! (@Demon_Volvagia)
  • Wheel of fortune team changed the font for the score boards and idk why it’s bothering me so much (@_heyitskaty16_)

To be sure, fans going off about the new puzzleboard is a reprieve from how things went in Season 39, which featured multiple instances of Pat Sajak being criticized for how he treated contestants (as well as for his lack of pop culture recognition), and for some questionable rulings from the judges. Now, I’m sure everybody will get back to doing that in time, but for now, bashing that gameboard is where it’s at.  

  • #WheelOfFortune's new board is AWFUL! Very off-putting. Hurt my eyes and my soul. (@MetsFanInPhilly)
  • Old person tweet time. They changed board on #WheelofFortune to a full LED screen, and it looks so off it's off-putting. The white doesn't look white, it looks yellowish @TheVannaWhite (@flc)
  • The new Wheel of Fortune board is too bright and cartoony. Fix it, universe. #WheelOfFortune (@dizzysyd)
  • Anyone else think the 40th board looks like someone over sharpened the image @WheelofFortune (@dmanthoughts)

In closing out the board hate, let’s take on one last complaint, which touches upon an issue that came up in others’ posts, namely that the new board makes Vanna do a whole lot of walking for a task that could be handled from offstage with a remote or a mouse click. 

To end things on a slightly more positive note, more people than I would have expected were vocal about how happy they were to see Pat Sajak being able to shake contestants’ hands without an emphasis on social distancing at the time of filming. In the end, human interaction wins over all. 

Wheel of Fortune airs weeknights in syndication, so check your local listings to see when and where it plays in your area. And head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see all the other big shows on the way. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.