Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Across and down

The screenshot looks a little off-kilter, despite Vanna's reassuring presence. Wheel of Fortune is switching up the puzzle board for the first time, well, ever. They're trying a 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.


  1. Very nice post, Casey! This is very interesting mentioning the Family Feud competition with Wheel

  2. This looks like a little like Chain Reaction the way the puzzle is set up.

  3. Couldn't agree more, Casey. When you've been on 40 years, you need to come up with new ideas. You know as well as I do that the simple "spin, solve and win" with basic puzzles, a manual puzzle board, and eggcrate displays for the score won't hold up in 2016.

  4. I always have had this idea for WOF that why doesn't the show start every contestant with a wild card and that contestant can use the card anyway he/she wants and that means to reverse a bankrupt/lose a turn or any other bad turn item and the wild card can do as usual be used to ask for another letter if let's say the top dollar was spun . The advantage is if you end up with 2 wild cards at the bonus round you should be able to choose (even now) ANY letter you want including any additional vowel. Hence it's called a WILD CARD and WOF production ought to treat the WILD CARD to be wild. Even now if a contestant spins a bankrupt and has already in his/her possession a WILD CARD this card should not be lost and be able to rescind a just spun bankrupt/lose a turn and even allow if a contestant gave a letter not on the board should be able to use his/her WILD CARD to rescind the wrong letter guess for another turn.