new crossword puzzle round, with interlocking words running across and down.
Very early returns look reasonably encouraging. Even the heavily traditionalist Buy a Vowel board didn't run away screaming, and a few posters actually liked the new round. I'm sure there will be grumbles and rumbles, but this gimmick (borrowed from the Spanish version of the show) may be here to stay.
My cynical self thinks that Wheel may not have tried something so unusual if Steve Harvey hadn't muscled his way to the top of the syndie ratings. Sure, it's a completely unfair comparison between the single-run Wheel and the multiple-run (up to four times daily) Feud. But the weekly numbers still say Steve is number one, and the Wheel folks can't like the sight.
Even the most tried-and-true formats can use a little refreshing now and then. Nice to see that Wheel isn't stuck in a time capsule.