"WHEEL OF FORTUNE" KICKS OFF 34th SEASON WITH "TEACHER'S WEEK"
America's Game(TM) Incorporates New Puzzle Round into Regular Game Play, Raises Minimum Bonus Round Prizes and Brings Back "Secret Santa Sweepstakes"
Culver City, CA (September 12, 2016) - Tonight, Wheel of Fortune, kicks off its 34th season with "Teacher's Week." All the contestants on America's Game will be teachers spinning the Wheel and solving puzzles for cash and prizes.
The season will also mark the regular appearance of the show's newest addition, the "Crossword Puzzle Round." During these rounds, words will appear intertwined horizontally and vertically across the iconic puzzleboard. At the beginning of the round, host Pat Sajak will present a "clue," rather than a category, that ties all the words together in some way. Contestants will play the game normally until they solve the puzzle by reading all of the words in any order.
"We know our viewers love word games, especially crossword puzzles, so we're adding this new twist on playing Wheel of Fortune without changing the basic game," said Executive Producer Harry Friedman. "We tested it at the end of last season and the fans let us know that they would love to see this as a regular feature."
In celebration of Season 34, the bonus round wheel now gives contestants a chance at a minimum of $34,000 in cash or a new car.
Fans can also look forward to the show's fifth annual "Secret Santa Sweepstakes." This year, Wheel of Fortune has partnered with Sears for the popular sweepstakes where Wheel Watchers Club members can win everything a contestant wins, up to the million dollar grand prize. Over the first four years of the sweepstakes, Wheel of Fortune has awarded nearly $1.5 million in cash and prizes to viewers through the Secret Santa promotion.
Sears will also be lending some support to Wheel of Fortune's "Veterans Week," where the contestants will be veterans from all branches of the military. "Veterans Week" continues the show's longtime tradition of honoring the armed forces.
Season 34 will also see the return of popular Wheel of Fortune partnerships with top brands including one of the world's most iconic, Disney. The partnership, in its fifth year, has expanded to encompass three weeks of shows throughout the season. Viewers will be treated to all the fun these two brands have to offer including sweepstakes with fabulous prizes to Disney destinations, visits from favorite Disney characters and other surprises.
About "Wheel of Fortune"
Reaching nearly 27 million weekly viewers, Wheel of Fortune is the most watched* program on television. Trademarked as America's Game(TM), it has earned seven Emmy Awards including a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show. 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 Studios International, both units of CBS Corp.
*Nielsen NPower, Q2, 2016 (3/28-6/26/2016); Live+7 avg weekly reach; P2+ (000); 6+ min qualifier