“Wheel of Fortune” is the latest daytime game show to land a primetime spinoff. (Pun intended.) ABC has given a series order to “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune,” which will add a new version of the long-running series to the Alphabet net’s ever-growing gamer roster.
Also making the move to primetime will be “Wheel of Fortune’s” long-running stars, Pat Sajak and Vanna White. Celebrity contestants will spin the wheel and solve the show’s word puzzles, just like in the syndicated version. But they’ll be playing for a chance to win up to $1 million for a charity of their choice.
The ABC Owned Television Stations group has aired syndicated game shows “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy” in prime access for decades (since 1990-91 season on WABC-TV New York and since 1992-93 on KABC-TV Los Angeles), and recently renewed the shows through the 2022-23 television season at a hefty increase.
The greenlight follows this winter’s hugely successful “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” primetime event, hosted by the late Alex Trebek, on ABC. Just last week, ABC announced the pickup of “The Chase,” a U.S. version of the hit British quiz show, which will feature “Jeopardy” GOATs James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.
Other daytime gamers that have received primetime makeovers on ABC in recent years include “The $100,000 Pyramid,” “Card Sharks,” “Celebrity Family Feud,” “Match Game” and “Press Your Luck.”
“Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” is produced by Sony Pictures Television, with Mike Richards (“Wheel of Fortune,” “Jeopardy,” “The Price is Right”) as executive producer.
In syndication, “Wheel of Fortune” is now in its 38th season and boasts a nightly average of around 8 million viewers. The show surpassed 7,000 episodes in 2019, and Sajak has beoame the longest-running host of any game show. CBS TV Distribution distributes the syndicated version.