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A timeline for Season 22 of Wheel of Fortune, which aired in first-run from September 6, 2004 through June 3, 2005.

Season ChangesEdit

  • This season is the last to begin on Labor Day.
  • This season's opening sequence begins with a "swishing" sound added, at which point the title is displayed in outlined orange neon Arial Black lettering on two bars, with a light that flashes many different colors; the title is written in lowercase on one bar and uppercase on the other. As the introductory fanfare starts, a very low-pitched whoosh plays as the two bars combine to form the edge of a Wheel graphic with many different colors of lights reflecting off its wedges, on a starry dark blue background where bright blue streaks of light appear at random intervals. The Wheel graphic then tilts to form the O in "OF", and the rest of the letters (all silver) spin into place. After the audience chants, the camera zooms onto the Wheel graphic, and a white light comes out of the hole replacing the proper center and reveals the show's set.
    • The Wheel graphic is extremely inaccurate in numerous ways. It has 30 wedges (all cash), which are as follows: four red wedges (one of which is $350); two orange wedges (both using the same shade of that color, even though the then-current Wheel layout used two different shades of orange); four yellow wedges (two of which are $1,500); five green wedges ($500, $600, $700, $800, and $2,000); five blue wedges and two light blue ones (the then-current Wheel layout did not have blue on any standard cash wedges); and three purple wedges and four pink ones (which are in darker shades of those colors than on the actual Wheel). The inclusion of $1,500 and $2,000 is odd, as the former had been retired in 1996 and the latter has never been used on the nighttime show.
    • For Seasons 22-23, the animation transitioning to and from the Prize Puzzle plug footage is changed to feature the Wheel graphic from the Season 22 title sequence zooming towards the camera from the top-right corner, tilting to the left, as it reveals the footage of the prize.
    • For some reason, this opening sequence is sweetened with pre-recorded applause over the introductory fanfare and the "Wheel! Of! Fortune!" chant.
  • The show begins "sweetening" audience applause with a pre-recorded applause track at certain points during the show, such as the intro and Bonus Round wins. This same track can also be heard in at least the last few episodes of Hollywood Squares.
  • The Wheel is changed slightly:

    A second-era Mystery Wedge.

    • A second Gift Tag is added, on the pink $300 next to the red $900.
    • The face value of the Mystery Wedges is increased from $500 to $1,000. Their color scheme is also changed: the wedges are now blue, with a black circle around an orange-yellow question mark, and dark blue number. Meanwhile, the text used for the Bankrupt on the reverse changes color from orange-yellow to dark blue. Also, the prize offered is sometimes $10,000 cash instead of a prize worth roughly $10,000.
  • The Toss-Up wipe keeps the same overall shape, but now uses Futura Extra Bold with golden lettering, and the pieces of the wipe "fly" into place quickly. Also, the circle changes to blue.
  • The maingame category strips are still white on dark blue, but darker than those in Season 21, and the edges of the blue field are more pronounced. The category name remains in Alternate Gothic, but the text is slightly taller and bolder. Also, the strips now reveal with a white "spark" effect. However, the Bonus Round category strips remain unchanged from Season 21.
  • The prize values and post-Bonus Round totals switch from Gill Sans (which they had used since Season 19) to Futura Extra Bold, with silver lettering, and the outlines are changed from white to black and become thinner than they were previously. The prize values are revealed by a white-gold comet which travels from the right side of the screen, and the post-Bonus Round totals turn into place with the same cyan light background that had been used since Season 19.
  • A small graphic now informs home viewers if there are no more vowels left in the puzzle. The first one features "NO MORE VOWELS" written in black Futura Condensed Extra Bold Oblique text on a yellow rectangle, which "pops" out of the category strip and makes a popping noise.
  • The Jackpot graphic at the beginning of the round is changed to a red outlined triangle with a yellow star and silver "JACKPOT" text in Futura Extra Bold. Also, the graphic showing the wedge "positioning" itself onto the Wheel is changed to have more of a CGI look to it, with a more pronounced gold border and a curved "JACKPOT" name in silver Futura Heavy text on a gold strip; this graphic features a larger gold star than the actual wedge, and also lacks the triangle.
  • The Jackpot display is changed to match the new graphic, except that the triangle appears there in silver, and the "JACKPOT" name is in yellow Futura Bold text on a silver rectangle; additionally, the rectangle showing the amount is changed to yellow-bordered silver, while the amount itself remains red.
  • The fireworks graphic for a Jackpot win is changed to a group of multi-colored fireworks which explode at the top of the screen.
  • The Mystery Round animation changes to the words "Mystery Round" written in Futura Bold on the same blue "starry sky" backdrop used for the main title animation and host chat, with spinning blue $1,000 wedges on either side and a blue question mark in the center of the screen.
  • The Final Spin now has a graphic wipe. The first one is similar to the first part of the Season 22 main title animation, in that it uses orange neon lettering with a light flashing many different colors and has the words "FINAL SPIN" written in lowercase on one bar and uppercase on the other; however, instead of using Arial Black, the Final Spin wipe has the lettering in Futura Extra Bold.
  • Likely by this point, "null" cycles are now edited out of Speed-Ups. They are typically masked by a jump cut to Pat.
  • The Bonus Wheel is redone in neon colors to match the set, and the solid-color wedges are changed to stars. The animations displayed before and after the second-to-last commercial break are updated to reflect the new design, and the colors for the envelopes flying out of the wheel in the post-commercial Bonus Wheel animation change as well - to orange for $25,000, teal for $30,000, blue for $35,000, purple for $40,000, yellow for $45,000, and red for $50,000.
  • A sound now plays when the Bonus Round puzzle is revealed.
    Season 22 Bonus Wheel
  • The number graphics for the Bonus Round envelope amounts, which appear after their respective cash values have been won, are switched to Impact. Their colors are changed to green for the $100,000 prize and blue for all the others, but they still use gold on their borders. The $100,000 graphic, also seen after the post-commercial Bonus Wheel animation, now also has a fireworks background.
  • The Pat & Vanna talk backdrop is changed to the same blue "starry sky" used for the main title card.
  • This season's Toss-Up wipe, prize values and post-Bonus Round totals, "no more vowels" graphic, Jackpot graphics, Final Spin graphic wipe, and host chat backdrop all carry over into Season 23.

September 2004Edit

  • September 6 is American Adventures. During this week:
    • The "swishing" sound is not present in the intro.
    • There is a cylindrical prop with the Season 17 logo positioned to the viewer's right of the blue contestant. On the season premiere, Pat jokingly refers to it as a soft drink machine. This prop is only present during this week.
    • The Prize Puzzle still does not have a graphic wipe, and the bug is still the same as in Season 21.
    • The Mystery Prize offers a year's worth of travel courtesy of Southwest Airlines, for $10,000.
  • On September 6:
    • A LivePlay logo appears during the intro, representing compatibility with a Tiger Electronics interactive home game which is ultimately never released.
    • Fun & Games debuts, interestingly as the $2,000 Toss-Up.
    • A "good" turn is accidentally edited out of Round 1. With one Gift Tag and the Free Spin, contestant Lindsey spins and calls an incorrect C; after she hands in the Free Spin, the P is showing in the puzzle LATHER RINSE REPEAT, despite not being present before she called the C. Also, she is holding both Gift Tags at the end of the round, although one of them is never seen being hit. It is not known why this was done, as the first three rounds did not run abnormally long.
  • On September 8, Best Seller debuts in Round 5.
  • On September 9, in a rather unusual move, the first Prize Puzzle of the season is a Before & After of LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL WITH BUTTER, which awards a trip to New Orleans.
  • On September 10, a contestant solves the bonus puzzle GUITAR PICK with only the T, A, and R showing.
  • For the week of September 13, the Mystery prize is a $10,000 Sony gift card.
  • By the week of September 13, a wipe is added for the Prize Puzzle. The first one features three-dimensional silver letters on a "starry sky" blue background, just like the main title card, but the "PRIZE PUZZLE" name, written in center-aligned Futura Heavy, has gold edges on the lettering, and the letters quickly rise onto the screen from the bottom right-hand corner, one at a time, instead of spinning into place; also, the background has exploding fireworks in various colors (red, green, cyan, and white). The Prize Puzzle bug is updated to have the new text of the "PRIZE PUZZLE" name in light cyan lettering with light reflecting off it in many pastel colors; the new bug sometimes shifts to an alternate bug reading "Have Your SPIN ID Ready", where the "SPIN ID" text is represented by a miniature puzzle board similar to that found in the SPIN ID reveal plugs but with the same light background behind it, and the rest of the phrase is written in two curved, all-caps Futura Bold text elements, one above the mini-board and one below it. Like all the graphics listed in the "Season Changes" section above, this first Prize Puzzle wipe and its accompanying bugs remain in use throughout Season 23.
  • On September 13:
    • For the only known time since early Season 20, Same Name is used in Round 4.
    • There is a rare instance of a contestant referring to a previous episode's puzzle: after failing to solve her bonus puzzle, she says "I couldn't get HIPBONE either" (in reference to the February 17, 2004 show).
  • On September 15, the A in the bonus puzzle WAX FRUIT takes an extremely long time to reveal after Vanna touches it.
  • On September 20, a contestant solves the bonus puzzle MATH WHIZ with only the M and T showing.

October 2004Edit

  • On October 4, after the Round 3 puzzle FICTIONAL KING WITH THE GOLDEN TOUCH (Who Is It?), the "bonus" is thrown out when an audience member shouts out the answer of King Midas.
  • On October 5, the Round 3 puzzle SWIMMING AGAINST THE TIDE WITH BLEACH is only the second known Prize Puzzle to be categorized as Before & After.
  • On October 6, Fun & Games appears in the Bonus Round for the first time.
  • On October 7, there is a $6,400 Jackpot win.
  • October 11 is Going In Style Week. During this week, the Season 20 title card (without the "20th Anniversary" byline) is used on some monitors offstage.
  • On October 12:
    • The $1,000 Toss-Up is only the second known instance of Occupations.
    • All three contestants hit $2,500 consecutively in Round 1, the first two calling incorrect letters.
    • Pat accidentally begins to throw to commercial after Round 1.
    • Contestant Carolyn solves the bonus puzzle WISHY-WASHY with only the I and S's showing.
    • During the closing, a montage of Vanna's outfits from various shows over the years is shown. Many of the outfit clips used in the montage were previously shown in the ceremonial 3,000th and 4,000th episodes; in addition, the rock-based music cue used resembles the music of the Robert Palmer song "Simply Irresistible", which played over the montage of Vanna's outfits in the 3,000th episode.
  • On October 16, for the second known time, Living Thing(s) is used twice: in Round 4 and the Bonus Round.
  • On October 18, a contestant sweeps the game but loses $25,000 in the Bonus Round.
  • October 25 is the last Halloween Week until Season 26.
  • On October 25, there is a $100,000 loss.
  • On October 27, for only the second known time, a contestant is asked to be more specific when answering a bonus question. After the Round 2 Slogan puzzle THE SOUP THAT EATS LIKE A MEAL, the contestant guesses Campbell's; upon being asked to be more specific, they do not provide the right answer of Campbell's Chunky.
  • On October 29:
    • Nobody solves the $1,000 Toss-Up, RIGHT OFF THE BAT. The first contestant to ring in gives an incorrect answer with only the R missing, so neither of the other contestants get an opportunity to ring in.
    • There is an $8,550 Jackpot win.
    • Before Round 3, Pat acknowledges a group of Marines in the audience, who are then shown on-camera.
    • The bonus puzzle ALMOND JOY is very misleadingly categorized as Around the House, perhaps due to being a Halloween episode. This may have been one of the reasons behind renaming On the Menu to Food & Drink in Season 24.
    • In keeping with the Halloween theme of the episode, a special effect makes Pat and Vanna "disappear" during their closing chat.

November 2004Edit

  • On November 1, for the third of only three known times, a Before & After puzzle is used as a Prize Puzzle: specifically, IT'S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD SERIES OF POKER, which offers a trip to Las Vegas.
  • On November 4:
    • There is a Jackpot win.
    • Round 3 is a very non-sequitur puzzle of FLAMINGOS KOALAS & GIANT PANDAS, three animals which are not only extremely unrelated, but also native to completely different continents.
  • On November 5, during the Bonus Round Pat accidentally asks the winning contestant if he has any friends or family members in the audience, even though he was told during the commercial break that the contestant did not. Pat then blames his gaffe on "that damn ventriloquist" who was one of the other contestants.
  • The weeks of November 8 and 15 are taped at the Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) Center in Philadelphia; November 15 is Family Week. During these weeks:
    • The Prize Puzzles inexplicably use the original Prize Puzzle bug; however, the wipe is still used, and the bug still shifts to "Have Your SPIN ID Ready".
    • The Bonus Round graphics use a different disappearing effect, in which they fade out through gray with stars accompanying them. They use this effect on all later road shows of the season, and during the first six weeks of Season 23.
  • On November 16:
    • Though the Round 1 puzzle is Living Things and is announced by Pat as such, the category strip accidentally says Living Thing for the entire round.
    • Rounds 1 and 3 are played entirely by the teams that began them.
    • The $3,000 Toss-Up and Bonus Round are Title.
  • On November 17:
    • All three teams are composed of identical twins.
    • Song Lyrics makes its first of only two known appearances in the Bonus Round.
  • On November 22:
    • The Round 1 puzzle SURF'S & THUMBS UP is an extremely rare instance of a puzzle with only one vowel.
    • After the Round 3 Headline puzzle U.S. SWIMMER MICHAEL PHELPS RULES THE POOL AT OLYMPICS, Pat asks where the 2004 Summer Olympics were held (Athens).
  • On November 23, the bonus puzzle FENWAY PARK is the fourth known and last appearance of Landmark in the Bonus Round.
  • Between November 19 and 23, three contestants in a row call their vowels out of order in the Bonus Round.

December 2004Edit

  • On December 2, after Round 1 is solved, the answer reveals like an unsolved bonus puzzle: the remaining letters appear one at a time, and the board's frame does not flash.
  • On December 13, the winning contestant leaves with only $6,550.
  • On December 14, a contestant fills in the bonus puzzle KEEPSAKE completely. The second K fails to reveal for several seconds after Vanna touches it.
  • On December 16, there is a $9,950 Jackpot win.
  • On December 20:
    • There is a Jackpot win.
    • Round 2's puzzle LIKE A BOWLFUL OF JELLY is a tie for the longest known puzzle with none of the five most common consonants.
    • The $3,000 Toss-Up JINGLE-BELL ROCK is improperly hyphenated.
    • Six rounds are played.
  • On December 22, a contestant solves the $3,000 Toss-Up FA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA with only the fifth A showing.
  • On December 28, the Round 2 puzzle EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION is the first known use of a colon.

January 2005Edit

  • January 3 is NFL Week, with introductions from former Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown.
  • During the week of January 3, in an extremely unusual and possibly unique move, all of the bonus puzzles are themed to the week.
  • By the week of January 3, the standard disappearing effect for the Bonus Round graphics is changed so that they "crush" themselves out of sight.
  • Between January 7 and 14, the $25,000 bonus prize is hit six times in a row.
  • On January 17, there is a $100,000 loss.
  • On January 20, there is a $100,000 loss, resulting in the first instance of that envelope being hit twice in a week.
  • All five Bonus Rounds are lost on the week of January 17, part of a seven-loss streak that extends to the 25th.
  • On January 26:
    • When contestant Sylvia hits Lose A Turn in Round 2, the camera cuts away before it can fully zoom out to show the Lose A Turn graphic.
    • Later in Round 2, contestant Raymond uses the Free Spin after a Lose A Turn only to land on Bankrupt.
    • The Final Spin wipe appears later than usual. As a result, there is no wide shot of the spin.
  • On January 27, the Round 2 puzzle NEWLYWEDS: NICK AND JESSICA is only the second known use of a colon.
  • On January 28, the $3,000 Toss-Up CSI: MIAMI is only the third known use of a colon. Pat gives a joking overreaction to its presence. Interestingly, despite three being used in the course of only a month, they are not used again until September 2006.
  • January 31 is Teen Best Friends Week, from Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. During this week, the intro is "From Philadelphia, it's Teen Best Friends Week on...", followed by all of that week's players doing the "Wheel! Of! Fortune!" chant from center stage.

February 2005Edit

  • On February 1:
    • The Prize is a pair of electric vehicles from
    • Although a repeated M is called in Round 2, it is not acknowledged as such.
  • For no particular reason, the last three episodes of Teen Best Friends Week air out of order: the shows originally scheduled for February 2-4 air on the 4th, 2nd, and 3rd respectively.
  • On February 3, there is a $100,000 win, the first since May 21, 2003 and the only one of this season.
  • The weeks of February 7-21 are taped at the Las Vegas Hilton. On the Vegas episodes:
    • The set features a black backdrop and is decorated with Vegas-esque lights, poker chip and dice props, and cards.
    • The frames of the puzzle board are pink, and the board itself is equipped with neon lighting fixtures at the top and sides.
    • The video screen graphic shows the wordmark on a starry blue background, with no Wheel.
    • The video wall is replaced with an oversized replica of a slot machine, with video screens for the slots. They spin and beep at the beginning of each round, rotating among 7's, BARs, and cherries. They also show the cash amount during Toss-Up rounds, "Final Spin" during Speed-Up rounds, and "Jackpot" if the Jackpot is won. They also spin during commercial breaks and the credits.
    • During the staff roll sequence, all credits from Executive Producer to Art Director are displayed on promotional signs atop taxis.
  • By February 7, the Mystery Round intro is changed to "Tonight's Mystery Round features this [prize]―[amount]!" over footage of the prize.
  • February 7 is Sweethearts Week.
  • On February 8, the Round 3 puzzle BILLY CRYSTAL & MEG RYAN AS HARRY AND SALLY is the first of two known instances of Stars & Roles.
  • February 14-25 is the You Could Be on Wheel of Fortune Sweepstakes, where home viewers may submit each day's bonus puzzle on the show's website. The grand prize is a VIP trip to Los Angeles hosted by the show's staff, with a chance to audition.
  • February 14 is Las Vegas Week.
  • On February 15, the Round 1 puzzle OCEAN'S ELEVEN & OCEAN'S TWELVE is a very rare instance of Titles.
  • On February 18:
    • A contestant sets a new one-round record of $54,000 in the Speed-Up.
    • The second-place contestant has $27,910.
    • There is a $100,000 loss; the contestant would have set a one-day record of $160,150 had she solved.
  • February 21 is Big Money Week.
  • On February 23:
    • Contestant Jess gives two wrong answers to the Round 3 puzzle MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION RENEWAL CARDS.
    • The second-place contestant has $27,016.
  • On February 24, the $1,000 Toss-Up A DIAMOND IS FOREVER is the third of four known instances of Slogan being used as a Toss-Up. This is also the only known instance of the bonus question not being used despite the product's name (De Beers) not being in the puzzle.
  • On February 25, Vanna wears a shirt and pants.
  • All five Bonus Rounds are lost on the week of February 21.

March 2005Edit

  • On March 2, a Same Name (in Round 2) spells out AND.
  • On March 7:
    • Six rounds are played.
    • Contestant Jonathan solves the bonus puzzle GRAVY BOAT despite getting no help from his extra letters.
  • Between February 21 and March 7, ten out of eleven Bonus Rounds are played for $25,000.
  • On March 10, a contestant solves the bonus puzzle KAYAKING with only the I, N, and G showing.
  • On March 21, the $1,000 Toss-Up CALGON TAKE ME AWAY is both the fifth known instance of a Slogan puzzle with the product's name in the answer and the fourth of four known instances of that category being used as a Toss-Up.
  • By the week of March 21 (World Class Spas Week), a rules summary for the Wheel Watchers Club is added at the end of the show, after the disclaimers but before Vanna's wardrobe credit.
  • On March 23, contestant Lea calls M P D A in the Bonus Round, which is shown correctly on the chyron, but the board operator mishears the P and lights up the B in the puzzle SUBWAY by mistake. She solves, and in the post-game chat, Pat says that they will let her keep the $25,000.
  • On March 25, the Round 3 puzzle BRITAIN'S PRINCE CHARLES ANNOUNCES ENGAGEMENT is inexplicably categorized as Event instead of Headline.

April 2005Edit

  • During the week of April 4, the Bonus Round graphics drop down from the screen.
  • On April 4, there is a $100,000 loss.
  • On April 6, the bonus puzzle THE BEACH BOYS is inexplicably categorized as Show Biz instead of Proper Name.
  • April 11 is the last Big Money Week until Season 28, and the last time it is used more than once in a season.
  • On April 11, nobody solves the $2,000 Toss-Up, WILD DINGO. The second wrong answer comes with only the second D missing, so the third contestant does not have a chance to ring in.
  • On April 12, nobody solves the $1,000 Toss-Up, TAKE IT TO THE BANK.
  • On April 15:
    • As contestant Larry is in a wheelchair, he has his brother Dave spin the Wheel for him.
    • After Todd lands on the orange $900, that amount is not added to the Jackpot.
    • The second-place contestant Kimberly has $23,800, of which $18,000 comes from the Speed-Up.
    • Todd solves the bonus puzzle BAKE-OFF with only the A and E showing.
  • On April 19, contestant Amy sweeps the game and wins $25,000 in the Bonus Round.
  • On April 28, the Round 2 puzzle WRITER'S & H&R BLOCK is the only known Same Name to use more than one ampersand.

May 2005Edit

  • The weeks of May 2-16 are taped at Bartle Hall in Kansas City, Missouri.
  • May 2 is Mom & Me Week.
  • On May 2, there is a Jackpot win.
  • On May 6, a team solves the Speed-Up puzzle NON-STICK FRYING PAN with only the N's revealed.
  • May 16 is College Week.
  • May 23 is the last Wheel Goes to the Movies Week, although movie-themed weeks continue to air: Season 23 has Hollywood Walk of Fame in January, and Seasons 24-26 have Holiday Movie Magic sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • On May 23, after the Quotation puzzle I'LL GET YOU MY PRETTY AND YOUR LITTLE DOG TOO!, Pat asks for the source of the quotation (The Wizard of Oz). This is the last time until November 8, 2011 that a "normal" category has an extra question (coincidentally, the exact same puzzle was used, albeit being categorized as Movie Quote).
  • On May 25, Round 4 is a very rare occurrence of Titles (HBO SHOWTIME & CINEMAX).
  • On May 26, a cycle of turns is edited out of the Jackpot round despite not being "null"; the cycle includes an incorrect A from contestant Karen, whose scoreboard reads $150 immediately after a $400 spin. This affects her final score, as she solves the puzzle and wins the game.
  • On May 27, the bonus puzzle FAWN is the only known four-letter bonus puzzle since BALI in November 2001.
  • On May 30, there is a $100,000 loss.

June 2005Edit

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