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Go back to Season 10, or forward to Season 12?

A timeline for Season 11 of Wheel of Fortune, which aired in first-run from September 6, 1993 through June 17, 1994. Please note that this page is somewhat incomplete, as Game Show Network has never aired any episodes from this season.

Season ChangesEdit

  • Except for the removal of the "10th Anniversary" graphic and the addition of a closed-captioning bug, the opening animation is unchanged from last season. The higher-level shot of the set introduced in early 1993 is also retained.
  • Charlie's opening narration is slightly changed to begin with "From Hollywood, it's America's Game! A show the whole family can enjoy!" The rest is the same as it was on September 21, 1992.
  • For this season only, the 1989 "Changing Keys" is used on road shows as the opening and closing themes, and the 1992 version continues to be used as a bumper.
  • This is the final season produced by Merv Griffin Enterprises.
  • It is rumored that on an episode sometime this season, a contestant fails to solve a fully-revealed bonus puzzle due to being unable to properly pronounce it.
  • On an episode sometime this season, the Surprise is a $10,000+ travel trailer.
  • On another episode sometime this season (known to have been rerun in July 1995), AX is a bonus puzzle. This is certainly the shortest puzzle ever used on the show. Interestingly, this puzzle would also be used in the Sega CD adaption of the show.
  • On several episodes between now and June 1995, more than one "bonus" is available in the main game.

September 1993Edit

  • September 6 is Teen Week, with the 1989 "Changing Keys" used during the credits.
  • On September 21:
    • A very unusual prize is offered in Round 2: a certified authentic autograph of Florence Nightingale with an engraving of her, valued at $1,250.
    • Following the Bonus Round, Vanna offers Pat some tomatoes and bread from her then-husband, George San Pietro.
    • A repeat of this episode from about 1995 uses the "Created by Merv Griffin" credit (no chyron, just Charlie's voice), then segues into the Columbia TriStar Television spiel used since February 1995.

October 1993Edit

  • On October 4:
    • Round 3 is the first known appearance of a "new" Red-Letter Puzzle.
    • When the Super NES and Sega Genesis video games for Jeopardy! and Wheel are plugged by Charlie, the Jeopardy! game for Sega's Game Gear can be seen as well.
  • On October 5:
    • The opening uses a star wipe from the logo to studio.
    • Vanna wears a shirt and pants.
    • Round 2 is the first known appearance of Where Are We? Oddly, the High Rollers chimes are not used on this episode, but the puzzle-solve cue still sounds when the contestant identifies the place.
    • Rounds 3 and 4 are played entirely by the contestants who began them.
    • Round 4 (DARRYL STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM SUNDAE) is the last known instance of a puzzle in Round 4+ using all four rows of the board. Interestingly, four-row puzzles are also used in Rounds 1 and 3, resulting in the most known instances of four-row puzzles in a single game.
    • There is a tie after Round 5. Afterward, Pat asks Nancy Jones how to break the tie, and she explains. Unlike in 1987, the tiebreaker round is played immediately, and the rest of the game proceeds as normal. Pat's comments seem to indicate that this is also the first tie since then.
    • Round 4 and the Bonus Round are Phrase.
    • Pat starts doing the tiebreaker Final Spin while the category is revealed. Also, the right-letter dings are accidentally used on the first turn.
    • Neither Bankrupt nor Lose A Turn is hit.
    • Contestant Jim fills in the bonus puzzle TOP-NOTCH completely.
    • Perhaps due to the tiebreaker, Pat and Vanna only say goodbye at the end.
  • Sometime this month, contestant Angela Thompson-Murphy retires with $60,693. She later appears on "Some of The Greats!" in February 1995.
  • All five Bonus Rounds are won the week of October 18.
  • October 25 is a New York-themed week taped at Studio 33.

November 1993Edit

  • Sometime this month, contestant Maria Mason (notable for picking Pat up) retires with $76,421. She later appears on "Some of The Greats!" in February 1995.
  • November 1 is Cruise Week. During this week, footage is shown of the Red Letter Sweepstakes winners on the aforementioned cruise.
  • On November 12:
    • In honor of the show's 2,000th nighttime episode, the hosts of the Hungarian version congratulate Pat after Round 2, and the hosts of the Greek version congratulate him after Round 3.
    • There are two sets of repeated categories: Rounds 1, 2, and 5 are Phrase, Round 3 is People, and the Bonus Round is Person.
    • The Bonus Round cars are on rugs rather than turntables.
    • At the end of the episode, footage is shown of Vanna, Merv, and the King brothers at a press conference.
  • November 15 is the second My Favorite Teacher Week.
  • From around this point until the end of the season, Vanna starts wearing suits at least some of the time while pregnant with her son, Nicholas.

December 1993Edit

  • Sometime this month, there is a rare instance of a bonus puzzle without RSTLNE in it: DUCK.
  • December 20 is Family Week, taped at Walt Disney World with the same rules as the December 1992 tournament. On all of the Walt Disney episodes:
    • Some footage includes Pat and Vanna doing some activities while at Walt Disney World; these would also be included in the 1994 shows later in the season.
    • Mannheim Steamroller's rendition of "Deck the Halls" plays during the intro in place of "Changing Keys".
    • Charlie's intro is "Join us for Family Week, as we celebrate the holidays at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida! 'Tis the season for sparkling lights, merriment and good cheer, Christmas caroling, fireworks, parades, and memorable moments! And now, your host and hostess: Pat Sajak and Vanna White!" Falling snowflakes are used as a "wiping" graphic.
    • As Charlie mentions each element in his intro, a scene from Walt Disney World is seen: a zoom-out to a huge Christmas tree with miniature multicolored lights; Lesly (in her first known appearance), Pat, and Vanna dancing with some reindeer in front of the Magic Kingdom (and the Sleeping Beauty/Cinderella castle); Mickey, Minnie, and Donald waving in front of a festively decorated Christmas cottage/house; a fireworks show at Pleasure Island as Pat and Lesly are leaving; a parade with large toy soldiers, giant alphabet blocks, dancing Christmas trees, and gingerbread men cookies; and Goofy having a good time with some kids.
    • The puzzle board has a wreath at the top and a tall toy soldier on each side.
    • Unlike most other road shows at this point, the 1992 "Changing Keys" is played as the bumper and closing theme.
    • The chyrons are displayed in red and green for the holidays.
    • The closing credits feature the 1992 logo scrolling up first before the actual credits start scrolling, all done over footage of various Christmas events at Walt Disney World that Pat, Vanna, and Lesly take part in. The credits themselves are in a white font similar to Helvetica; the positions are in a thin font, while the names are in a bold font.
    • Charlie's closing disclaimer is appended with "Production facilities provided by Disney/MGM Studios", which is accompanied with the Disney-MGM Studios logo.
  • On December 24:
    • "Nightwalk" plays while Charlie describes the Round 2 prize.
    • Both Prize values are in Helvetica, the Round 4 one using a taller variant than usual.
    • Round 1 and the Bonus Round are Thing, while Rounds 2 and 3 are Phrase.
    • Strangely, Round 2 is the only round in which any vowels are bought.
    • The Bonus Round cars, which are won, are topped with golden bows. The cars are a Chevrolet Lumina coupe and Cavalier convertible worth $40,190.
    • After the credits end, Pat and Vanna are in front of a large Christmas tree with presents underneath, as they wish everyone a Merry Christmas: Pat saying "Merry Christmas…" and Vanna completing it with "…from Wheel of Fortune!"
  • Reruns air during the week of December 27.

January 1994Edit

  • Sometime this month (known to be before the 18th, with the second episode being a Friday), Raymond Taylor retires with $81,665. He later appears on "Some of The Greats!" in February 1995. Taylor becomes notorious for his eccentric behavior, which is compiled into a popular YouTube video (albeit only spanning his first two shows); he eventually ends up receiving a ban from the show's studios after repeatedly trespassing.
  • On January 24:
    • Rounds 4, 5, and the Bonus Round are Thing.
    • Contestant Lisa retires with $90,326.
  • On January 25:
    • Round 2 is the first known appearance of the "three question marks" Fill In the Blank category. Until at least March 1995, several of these puzzles use four question marks. Until about December 1994, both Fill In the Blank categories are used.
    • There are two sets of duplicate categories: Person in Rounds 1 and 3, Phrase in Round 4 and the Bonus Round.
    • Pat's Final Spin lands on Bankrupt three times. His fourth attempt is $1,500.
    • Contestant Robert wins a historic document signed by Abraham Lincoln in the Bonus Round.
  • On January 28:
    • Contestant Phil retires with $81,357.
    • In the closing segment, a commercial is shown for the show's newsletter, Off Camera.
  • During the weeks of January 31-February 14, only one round is played in the first segment, with $3,500 as top dollar in Round 2 and $5,000 in Round 3. This is done on the week of January 31 so that the Gold Letter Sweepstakes can be promoted, and on the next two weeks to accommodate for the sweepstakes itself.

February 1994Edit

  • The weeks of February 7 and 14 are the Gold Letter Sweepstakes. Each game has one puzzle with gold letters that, when unscrambled, spell the last name of an Academy Award winner. The grand prize is a Cadillac; other prizes include a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood, a Hammerman gold and emerald pendant, and a Daniel Mink watch.
  • On February 7:
    • Rounds 1, 3, and 4 are Phrase.
    • Contestant Jeannette fills in the bonus puzzle CABARET completely.
  • On February 10:
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $10,000 annuity, which is not won.
    • Against normal practice, Round 2 is a shorter puzzle (RUSH LIMBAUGH).
    • Rounds 1 and 3 are Phrase, while Round 5 and the Bonus Round are Thing.
  • On February 16, the bonus puzzle HONEYMOON is categorized as Title instead of Event, most likely in reference to the 1959 film.
  • On February 18, the Round 2 Prize is an $11,635 trip to Australia, which is won.
  • The weeks of February 21 and 28 are taped at the James L. Knight Center in Miami.
  • On February 21, 22, and 23, contestant Alison Doherty wins $77,109, despite not making it to the Bonus Round on her third appearance. She later appears on "Some of The Greats!" in February 1995.

March 1994Edit

  • On March 2 and 3, a Red-Letter puzzle is used in the Speed-Up for only the first two of five known times.
  • On March 3 and 4, two contestants in a row win the maingame with $11,500.
  • On March 11 (taped February 10):
    • Round 3 (NICKNAME FOR A LONDON POLICEMAN) is a rare instance of a Clue puzzle having more than one right answer (bobby or peeler).
    • The Round 4 Prize is a shopping spree at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota and A&S Plaza (now Manhattan Mall) in Manhattan, valued at $8,100.
    • Six rounds are played.
    • Contestant Robin leaves with a two-day total of $43,749. She later appears on "Some of The Greats!" in February 1995.
    • The bonus puzzle, AVOCADO, is a tie for the longest known bonus puzzle without RSTLNE in it. It is not solved.
    • The time's-up buzzer in the Bonus Round "stutters", creating a short third buzz before the usual sound.
  • On March 15, the Gold Letter Sweepstakes winners are announced.
  • On March 18, Rounds 1, 2, and 5 are Phrase.
  • On March 25, the 1989 "Changing Keys" plays during the credits.
  • Reruns air during the week of March 28.

April 1994Edit

  • The weeks of April 4-18 are taped at Walt Disney World.
    • The intro of the Disney World shows is similar to the 4th intro of the Season 8 shows, with the alteration of the last few lines to include "Fun, fantasy, and fireworks! With lots of cash and fabulous prizes just waiting to be won!" The 1992 logo then flies up and settles at the center of the screen before the star wipe to the studio. In addition, the closing variation of the 1989 theme is used as an intro.
      • On some episodes, the bold-font 1989 logo (without the Wheel for the O in "OF") appears with Tinker Bell waving a wand to make the star wipe into the studio at the end of the intro, reminiscent of the show's last visits before Season 10.
    • The ending credits feature Pat and Vanna doing some activities while at Walt Disney World (examples include Vanna posing for the camera, Vanna buying popcorn, and Pat driving a motorboat), in addition to the usual Walt Disney World footage.
    • As was the case in December (and will be the case in May), Charlie's closing disclaimer is appended with "Production facilities provided by Disney/MGM Studios", which is accompanied with the Disney-MGM Studios logo.
  • From this point through February 1995, road shows begin using Helvetica chyrons, albeit somewhat less bold than the 1985-93 chyrons.
  • April 4 is Teen Week.
  • On April 7:
    • Nobody correctly identifies the missing word in Round 1's Fill In the Blank puzzle ? SESAME ? HOUSE ? FORUM (Open).
    • Rounds 2 and 3 are Phrase, and Round 5 and the Bonus Round are Thing.
  • On April 12:
    • Three males play.
    • Round 3 is the second known instance of an "old-style" Fill In the Blank having its question mark in the middle (THE ? ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC).
    • The Round 4 puzzle TWO OUT OF THREE AIN'T BAD is categorized as Slang instead of Title.
  • On April 13, contestant Eric retires undefeated.
  • On April 14:
    • Nobody gives a correct response to the question asked by the Clue puzzle CHEESE IN A GREEK SALAD (Feta).
    • A contestant solves the bonus puzzle SKIS despite getting no help from her extra letters.
  • On April 18, a contestant solves the bonus puzzle KEYHOLE despite getting no help from his extra letters.
  • On April 19, an $11,091 boat is won in the Bonus Round. This is the least expensive known Bonus Round prize to be offered after the retirement of shopping.
  • On April 21:
    • Round 4 is the third known instance of a Red-Letter Puzzle in a Speed-Up.
    • A contestant fails to solve the bonus puzzle NIFTY with only the F missing.
  • On April 22:
    • For the first known time, the chyrons are yellow with a black outline.
    • The contestant "window" in the Bonus Round does not appear until about two seconds after the timer starts.
  • On April 25, the Round 1 puzzle FIRE AND BRIMSTONE SERMON is solved by a contestant who happens to be a minister.
  • On April 26, the bonus puzzle TONIGHT is inexplicably categorized as Thing instead of Event.
  • On April 28, contestant Lynda retires with $81,832.
  • Between about January 28 and April 29, there are several instances of Round 4 being the longest puzzle, which is normally a very rare occurrence.

May 1994Edit

  • The weeks of May 2 and 16 are taped at Walt Disney World.
  • May 2 is Music Stars Week, which has singers competing for charity under the Friday Finals, with a trophy for the week's top winner. The intro starts out with the chant as the show's logo forms, and the chant finishes just as the logo fills with light and star-wipes to the studio. The opening variation of the 1989 theme is used for the only time since its final use at the end of Season 9.
    • The logo for the week features a yellow two-row logo above the words "MUSIC STARS WEEK", with "WEEK" in a small pink rectangle below "STARS"; and features small thumbnails of the 10 participants in a box shape around the words. Charlie's intro for this week is "It's time to rock around the Wheel with these superstars of the musical world! In alphabetical order: James Brown, Lee Greenwood, Marilyn Horne, Gladys Knight, Tone Lōc, Little Richard, David Sanborn, Tanya Tucker, Tammy Wynette, and 'Weird Al' Yankovic! Now your host and hostess: Pat Sajak and Vanna White!"
    • In order of appearance, the guests are: Greenwood, Tone Lōc, and Sanborn on Monday; Yankovic, Wynette, and Knight on Tuesday; Sanborn again with Little Richard and Tucker on Wednesday; and Knight again with Brown and Horne on Thursday. Oddly, the Friday Finals consist of Greenwood, James Brown and Little Richard playing as a team, and Yankovic. Given that Sanborn and Knight play twice, it is likely that two other singers were originally planned but had to cancel at the last second. Al reveals in a 2014 interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers that James had extreme difficulty understanding the game's rules during rehearsals, suggesting why he may have been paired with another celebrity on the Friday Finals.
    • As Pat and Vanna introduce each star, a clip plays of one of their most famous songs.
    • Oddly, May 3 uses the conventional four-round structure, while all other games this week use the $1,000/$3,500/$5,000 three-round structure.
    • During this week, the letter choices in the Bonus Round are green.
    • As is the case in December and April, Charlie's closing disclaimer is appended with "Production facilities provided by Disney/MGM Studios", which is accompanied with the Disney-MGM Studios logo.
  • On May 2, there is a rare instance of a "bonus" category (specifically, Where Are We?) being used in a Speed-Up.
  • On May 3:
    • Al promotes his album Alapalooza after Round 1, and part of the music video for "Bedrock Anthem" is shown on a video screen at center stage.
    • Before Round 4, a clip of Gladys Knight singing "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" with Vince Gill is shown.
    • Al has only $2,800 before the Bonus Round.
    • After Al wins the Bonus Round, he jumps on Pat and gives him a bear hug. This is replayed in slow motion during the interviews on the 6th.
  • On May 6:
    • After solving the Round 1 puzzle, Al says "I'd like to buy the TV set for $500!", to which Pat replies "No, no. That's the old show, the old show. The ceramic duck is gone!"
    • After Lee wins Round 2, a clip of his "God Bless the USA" music video is shown before going to break.
    • Although a repeated T is called in Round 3, it is not acknowledged as such.
    • None of the puzzles have a T in them.
    • Marilyn reappears to help Lee Greenwood in the Bonus Round.
    • Lee and Marilyn fail to solve the bonus puzzle HUMOR, after which Pat inadvertently gives away the answer by saying that Marilyn showed "a little operatic humor" by guessing "bummer" after the buzzer. He then brings in Al, Little Richard, and James to help them end the week on a win. He asks them to provide more letters, but Al just says the answer. Pat starts to throw to commercial, but is told (presumably by Nancy) that the $25,000 will be split among the five stars' charities.
  • During the week of May 9, the Bonus Round prizes comprise four trips, three with vehicles included: a Texas trip with a Corvette, a Mexico trip with a van, a Canadian trip with a motorhome, and an Amazon cruise, plus the $25,000. Four are won.
  • On May 9, none of the three contestants can identify the person described by the Clue puzzle GERALD FORD'S VICE PRESIDENT (Nelson Rockefeller).
  • On May 10, contestant Bruce wins a 3-day total of $113,780 despite not making it to the Bonus Round on his third appearance.
  • On May 11:
    • All of the puzzles are unusually short, with Rounds 2, 4, and 6 each being only two words, and Round 5 only one; even more strangely, Round 1 is the longest puzzle (at only 20 letters).
    • Round 3, PITCHED A NO-HITTER, is categorized as Event instead of Phrase.
    • There are two duplicate categories: Rounds 2 and 6 are Person, while Round 5 is Thing and the Bonus Round is Things.
    • Six rounds are played.
    • Round 6 is CHARLIE O'DONNELL, and Charlie appears on-camera after it is solved.
  • On May 12:
    • Rounds 1 and 3 are Clue, the third known instance of a "bonus" category being repeated.
    • There is a rare instance of a bonus puzzle without RSTLNE in it. The puzzle, YO-YO, is solved.
    • Contestant Rick retires with $107,336.
  • On May 13, a Red-Letter Puzzle is used in the Speed-Up for the fourth known time.
  • May 16 is College Tournament Week.
  • On May 16, the Round 2 Prize is a document signed by Charles Darwin.
  • On May 17, nobody gives a correct response to the question asked by the Clue puzzle SOONERS' STATE (Oklahoma).
  • On May 18:
    • Rounds 1 and 4 are Before & After.
    • The Round 2 puzzle MTV'S BEAVIS & BUTT-HEAD is the only known puzzle on the trilon board to have an apostrophe, ampersand, and hyphen; contestant Jane solves it with only the T's and S's revealed.
    • None of the three contestants can identify the person described by the Clue puzzle PRESIDENT ELECTED TO FOUR TERMS (Franklin Roosevelt).
    • Neither Thing nor Phrase is used.
  • By May 20, Where Are We? sometimes uses four clues instead of three.
  • On May 24:
    • Contestant Eileen retires with $123,223. She sweeps the game and wins $25,000 in the Bonus Round.
    • The bonus puzzle TODAY is inexplicably categorized as Thing instead of Event.
  • On May 25, all three Prize wedges are won by all three players. Interestingly, all the prizes are trips; notably, the Round 4 one is a $10,150 trip to Poland.
  • On May 26, neither Thing nor Phrase is used.

June 1994Edit

  • On June 3, the bonus puzzle BALL & CHAIN is the first known instance of an ampersand in the Bonus Round.
  • On June 6:
    • Contestant Kelly solves the Round 4 puzzle DR QUINN MEDICINE WOMAN with only the N's revealed.
    • Round 3 and the Bonus Round are Thing, while Round 5 is Things.
  • On June 7, Kelly retires with $141,198.
  • On June 8, nobody correctly identifies the missing word in the Fill In the Blank puzzle ? STATION ? WAGON ? WOMAN ? DOG (Police).
  • On June 9, neither Thing nor Phrase is used.
  • On June 10, the Round 4 puzzle CALL NINE ONE ONE has only three unique consonants.
  • Between June 9 and 13, Thing is not used for three consecutive episodes.
  • On June 15, contestant Jay sweeps the game and wins a trip to Boston and a boat in the Bonus Round.
  • On June 17:
    • Pat announces that it is the end of the season, and that there will be encore presentations during the Summer.
    • The Merv Griffin Enterprises logo and spiel are used for the final time, including repeats; however, weekend repeats of the show use the Columbia TriStar Television logo and spiel adopted the following season.

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