WHEEL OF FORTUNE CELEBRATES 5,000 EPISODES ON FEBRUARY 27
Culver City, CA (February 17, 2009) -- Wheel of Fortune, an iconic part of American culture for 26 years, hits a new milestone on February 27, 2009 when it celebrates 5,000 shows, an achievement few shows have accomplished.
Today, Wheel of Fortune is one the most successful syndicated programs in television history, garnering over 34 million viewers a week. Over the course of 5,000 episodes, Wheel of Fortune has welcomed more than 15,000 contestants, awarded nearly $200 million in cash and prizes and traveled and taped on location 56 times in front of live audiences totaling more than 350,000 fans.
"This may be the show that's never canceled," said Pat Sajak. "We intended to do a little game and have a little fun, but we have become a part of people's lives."
While the setting may have changed over the years, morphing into today's high-tech HD set, the core of the show remains the same, which is exactly what viewers will see during the 5,000th episode. Each night viewers tune in to hear Pat Sajak's witty remarks, see what Vanna White is wearing and watch contestants' sometimes outrageous antics when they celebrate their big money wins. Some have been known to jump into Pat's arms, kiss his shoes and even sneak a hug from Vanna.
"Our goal is always to keep the shows as fresh and exciting as possible while staying true to the original concept," said Harry Friedman, executive producer of Wheel of Fortune.
Since the show debuted in syndication in1983, over 200 other game shows have come and gone, while Wheel of Fortune still retains its #1 ranking in the ratings. Wheel of Fortune is produced by Sony Pictures Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company. It is distributed domestically by CBS Television Distribution and internationally by CBS Paramount International Television, both units of CBS Corp.