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Go back to Season 6, or forward to Season 8?

A timeline for Season 7 of Wheel of Fortune, which aired in first-run from September 4, 1989 through June 15, 1990.

Season ChangesEdit

  • The nighttime show moves from Studio 4 at NBC Studios in Burbank to CBS Television City's Studio 33 (now the Bob Barker Studio, longtime home of The Price Is Right), used by the daytime version since July 17. Unlike the daytime show, nighttime credit rolls do not mention being "Recorded at CBS Television City in Hollywood, California".
  • Several cosmetic changes introduced on the daytime show in July-August carry over to nighttime, including:
    • An updated sound effects package which comprises the current puzzle chime, "wrong letter" buzzer, Bankrupt slide whistle, "only vowels remain" beeps, Final Spin bells, and a double-buzz for the time's-up buzzer in the Bonus Round (where previously, an elongation of the "wrong letter" buzzer was used). The Bonus Round timer is also changed to a different style of beep, which is used through Season 17. In addition, the CBS applause machine used on their other game shows carries over.
    • A second rearrangement of "Changing Keys", whose melody is now played on saxophone and jazz guitar, and backed by organ and percussion. Two versions are recorded: an opening theme that starts in the middle of the bridge, and a closing theme that starts with a series of rapid drumbeats and a faster-tempo version of the bridge. Although the theme now ends on a single note, the three-note "puzzle solved" fanfare is rearranged to match. Even after "Changing Keys" is redone in 1992, the 1989 version continues to be used on select episodes until 1994.
    • The white shadow on the chyrons is now thinner.
    • The second design of the Free Spin disc, which is now green with the word "SPIN" in white sandwiched between two yellow "Free"s in script.
    • The parallelogram contestant nametags, in gray with the name in black letters. Unlike the previous nametags, they are not cut to size depending on the length of the name.
  • The host/contestant area is changed to a solid brown design.
  • The contestant backdrops are updated to a chevron shape. The midsection of the backdrop shows a contestant's cumulative score if s/he has been on for more than one day.
  • The nighttime version adopts a three-day returning champion rule, just like the daytime version.
  • Some Person and People puzzles begin including descriptive phrases (e.g., COUNTRY SINGER JOHNNY CASH instead of just JOHNNY CASH), a tradition that continues into the present day with most Proper Name puzzles.
  • The Round 2 Prize is moved to the other blue $150 (between the pink $250 and red $400).
  • The prize value graphic, although in the same font, now has a thick white outline around the characters instead of a drop shadow.
    W-H-E-E-LenvelopeHolder1990
  • The contestant's Bonus Round prize is now determined by picking from one of five envelopes, placed in a holder that spells out W-H-E-E-L in gold letters on green sparkling stars. Each letter is atop a thin metal pole, with the five poles forming a "fan" shape, all placed on a 12-wedge Wheel podium like the one seen here. Any prize that is won is taken out of rotation for the rest of the week. The change to envelopes was presumably because almost every contestant chose to play for the $25,000 (or occasionally the car).
  • If the $25,000 is won, the sign now lowers after the envelope is opened, and Charlie announces one of several rotating lines related to the prize.
  • Bonus Rounds almost entirely stop using more than two lines of the puzzle board. Previously, an answer that was three words or longer might be on three lines, even if it could fit easily on two.
  • The lights no longer dim during the Bonus Round, and the timpani roll is removed.
  • The intro is changed. During the "Wheel! Of! Fortune!" chant, the contestants run onstage. Charlie's spiel is now "From our studios in Hollywood, It's America's most watched game show! The famous Wheel is spinning your way with lots of cash and an assortment of fabulous and exciting prizes! Over [amount], just waiting to be won tonight/this week (Mondays)/given away so far this week (Fridays)! And now, here are your host and hostess: Pat Sajak and Vanna White!"
    • The intro graphic starts with several colored rings curling into place to form the frame of the Wheel, followed by the wedges falling down to form the Wheel itself. Once the Wheel graphic is fully formed, it tilts to form the "O" in "OF" (and fades as it does so), with the rest of the show's name spelled out in gold letters. The camera pans from the Wheel to the board as the logo appears, cuts to the audience as the logo reverses its animation and the Wheel graphic reappears and its wedges fly back out of the graphic, then cuts again to center stage while Charlie reads the cash value of the prizes, which drops off the screen as he introduces Pat and Vanna. As with most of the other "falling wedges" graphics used in later seasons, this one is extremely inaccurate; it has only 20 wedges, and it lacks Bankrupt and Lose A Turn while featuring $850 (not used since 1979), an "off-model" yellow $750 in a font similar to Times New Roman, and the nonexistent (outside of rug and turntable layouts) $950.
  • The center rug sees some minor changes: the $750 becomes $150, while the yellow $300 becomes $800 and swaps places with Lose A Turn. As a result, it goes from this to this. This carries over into the 1992 set (with a golden border attached) and lasts until the end of Season 11.
  • Because Pat and Vanna now walk out together, "I'm a Wheel Watcher" is no longer used.
  • "The following companies have furnished prizes or paid a fee for their promotion on the program." is the preface for the sponsor list from this point forward.
  • The King World logo becomes teal.
  • This season is the first of only three following Season 6 which does not have a College Week.
  • Around this point, Charlie starts announcing more deeply and softly than he did previously; this remains until about 2001.

September 1989Edit

35005000

That's not right.

  • On September 4:
    • Inexplicably, the Round 3 template is kept for Round 4, with $5,000 over the red $300 (normally the location of $3,500 in Round 3).
    • The bonus puzzle, BINGO, is the first known five-letter bonus puzzle. This starts a trend towards much shorter bonus puzzles, which is gradually reversed through the 2000s.
    • After the contestant fails to solve the bonus puzzle, Pat places the unopened envelope back in the holder. From September 5 onward, he always opens the bonus envelope at the end of the round.
  • On September 5:
    • Round 2 is the first nighttime instance of Same Name using an ampersand.
    • In Round 4, contestant Rob accidentally calls A after picking up that round's Prize.
  • On September 7:
    • In Round 2, Pat accidentally says that the puzzle does not have an A while Vanna turns it, but quickly corrects himself.
    • Pat is briefly visible in the contestant window in the Bonus Round, due to its camera being zoomed out too far.
    • The bonus puzzle uses a zero for an O. This anomaly, which started on daytime shortly before this season began, continues through the 29th. The zeroes can be easily discerned, as they are wider and rounder than the O's.
    • There are two sets of repeated categories: Thing in Rounds 1 and 4, Phrase in Round 2 and the Bonus Round.
  • On September 8:
    • No Wheel prize is added for Round 4, even though it does not begin as a Speed-Up.
    • Contestant John becomes the first nighttime player to retire undefeated, with $66,350. His final Bonus Round is the first known instance of a contestant choosing U there.
  • On September 11:
    • Contestant Bob accidentally buys a repeated A in Round 1 after all the vowels in the puzzle have been revealed, although Pat never informs the contestants of this. This does not affect the outcome as he wins regardless.
    • Bob's letters fill in the bonus puzzle MARMALADE completely.
  • Sometime during the week of September 11, the aforementioned shirts are plugged for the first time.
  • On September 18 (recorded August 12):
    • The bottom-most tier of lights around the Wheel is not working.
    • The bonus puzzle SLAPHAPPY is an extremely rare instance of a one-word Phrase.
  • On September 19:
    • Rounds 2, 3, and the Bonus Round are Phrase.
    • Rounds 2 and 3 use zeroes for O's.
  • On September 20:
    • The money graphic in the opening appears at the middle of the screen instead of the bottom.
    • Three females play.
    • Vanna is wearing purple, but the category chyrons are pink.
    • The Round 4 Prize is accidentally placed on the pink $300.
    • Six rounds are played.
    • Rounds 5 and 6 are Thing, Round 1 is Person, and the Bonus Round is People.
  • On September 21:
    • There are two sets of repeated categories: Phrase in Rounds 1 and 2, Things in Round 4, and Thing in the Bonus Round.
    • Round 2 and the Bonus Round use zeroes for O's.
    • During the final segment, Pat and Vanna guess how many lights are in the $25,000 sign; after this, Pat asks stage manager Randy Berke for the actual number, which is 1,206. Pat then asks for the sign to stop flashing and notes about six burnt-out lights, at which point the entire sign turns off for a few seconds.
  • On September 22, the Round 4 Prize is an Eagle automobile worth around $11,000.
  • On September 29:
    • There are two sets of repeated categories: Thing in Rounds 3 and 5, People in Round 4, and Person in the Bonus Round.
    • For the last time, a puzzle uses zeroes for O's: specifically, Round 4 and the Bonus Round.

October 1989Edit

  • On October 2:
    • The Round 2 puzzle BOB HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL uses all four lines of the puzzle board with HOPE on its own line, even though it could have easily fit on three. (This becomes the norm in the 2000s, by which point most Before & After puzzles put the connecting word on its own line if possible.)
    • The dollar sign now disappears from the contestant score displays if that contestant has at least $10,000, an apparent glitch which remains for the rest of the season.
    • During the Bonus Round, the category chyron is red when Pat announces the category (People). As the contestant window appears (right before Pat says "proper names" in his reminder), the camera suddenly shifts to the left and the category chyron becomes purple.
  • On October 4:
    • Rounds 2, 4, and the Bonus Round are Phrase.
    • The Round 3 puzzle GEORGE C SCOTT AS PATTON is inexplicably categorized as People instead of using IN and Person/Title. This is likely why Person/Fictional Character became Star & Role less than two weeks later, so as to make the category inclusive for actors who portray real-life people.
  • On October 5, contestant Allison retires with $89,683.
  • On October 6:
    • The original Round 1 puzzle is thrown out for reasons unknown, although its blanks are still visible during the opening pan. This is most notable in that the original puzzle uses the middle two rows, while the replacement (Before & After) uses all four rows.
    • Round 2 is the only nighttime appearance of Person/Fictional Character.
    • Both Wheel Prizes are jewelry: a watch in Round 2, a diamond bracelet in Round 4.
    • Five rounds are played, but Round 3 is in its own segment, with $5,000 as top dollar value for Rounds 4 and 5.
  • On October 10:
    • Rounds 2, 3, and the Bonus Round are Thing.
    • For no particular reason, the camera briefly cuts to an angled close-up shot of the Bonus Round envelope after Pat opens it.
    • Contestant Alan retires with a total stated to be $35,450, despite losing all three Bonus Rounds. During the credits, Charlie notes that this total is a mathematical error and his total is actually $42,100.
  • On October 11, Round 3 is the nighttime debut of Person/Title.
  • On October 13:
    • The prize value graphic in the opening abruptly disappears from the screen, instead of dropping off.
    • The category chyron is accidentally dark red for the entirety of Round 3. Vanna's outfit for this episode is blue, which all the other category chyrons match.
  • On October 16:
    • Three females play.
    • The Free Spin wedge is retired, with the "off-model" yellow $300 replacing it. From this point until its retirement, there is only one Free Spin disc. At this point, it is placed over a random dollar amount, covering that amount's hundreds digit, and claimed in the same way as Prize wedges. Until the end of Season 24, the disc is removed from the wheel before Round 3 if not claimed.
    • In Round 1, Person/Fictional Character is renamed Star & Role.
    • Both the winner's and yellow contestant's scoreboards turn off as Pat and the winner go over to look at the Bonus Round prizes. Strangely, the first eight bars of "Changing Keys" loop during the prize descriptions.
    • The winner's Bonus Round letter choices begin to be displayed in black, a color typically not used by the category chyrons. This continues for the rest of the season.
    • While both car turntables are active in the opening, only one (which has a Volvo on it) spins during the credits.
  • On October 17:
    • Contestant Bruce incorrectly solves the completely-revealed Round 1 answer DESE DEM AND DOSE GUYS by pronouncing the first word as "Desi". After calling the puzzle "crummy", Pat asks Nancy Jones for a ruling. She tells Bruce to say it again, and after he does with the same mispronunciation, Pat says "Listen, he's got all the letters up, I'm taking it" and the answer is accepted. Pat then explains the answer to Bruce. This ruling ends up affecting the outcome.
    • The Round 2 prize includes a TV, which during Charlie's prize description shows a clip of Pat, Vanna, and some Muppets.
    • Round 2 is the first instance of a contestant landing on the Free Spin disc; the rule change was not mentioned on-air until this point.
    • Rounds 2 and 3 are also solved after being completely revealed: Round 2 by Mike, Round 3 by Donna.
    • As a result of Rounds 1 and 2, the first segment runs for a very long 12 minutes and 51 seconds.
  • On October 19:
    • Three females play.
    • Contestant Helen picks up the Round 4 prize, but accidentally asks to buy an E without calling a consonant first and loses her turn.
    • Contestant Diane Landry wins a $36,488 Oriental cruise in the Bonus Round, which may be the most expensive vacation ever won on the show.
  • On October 20:
    • Pat stops the Wheel's automation after he walks out.
    • Round 1's puzzle GIMME A BUZZ is a very rare main-game puzzle with none of the five most common consonants. No letters are revealed until the 13th turn, a likely record.
  • On October 23:
    DianeGrandTotal102389

    Use wider displays? Nah.

    • Contestant Shelly's nametag is in a larger, wider font than usual.
    • The off-model $300 is upgraded to an on-model dark-yellow $500, even though there is a light-yellow $500 only five wedges counterclockwise.
    • No music plays under Charlie's description of the Round 4 prize.
    • There are two sets of repeated categories: Phrase in Rounds 2 and 4, Thing in Round 5 and the Bonus Round.
    • Diane retires with $129,370. After she wins the game, Pat affixes a piece of cardboard reading "$1" to the far left side of her backdrop, since the display only has five digits (and then only by removing the dollar sign). At the end of the show, he mentions the network's winnings cap of $100,000 and notes that anything over the limit is donated to a charity of the winner's choice.
  • On October 24, Vanna sings "Proud Mary" at the end of the show.
  • On October 25:
    • Pat forgets to mention the ampersand in Round 2's Same Name puzzle until after the first spin. It is revealed before that contestant calls her letter, which is not in the puzzle.
    • 12 wrong letters are called in Round 2, two of which are vowels.
    • As the Final Spin bells sound, the category chyron quickly "decreases" from purple to darker shades of blue until it disappears. It returns to purple for the rest of the round.
  • On October 26:
    FS350-02
    • For the only known time, Free Spin is on a value not ending in "00": in this case, $350. This is also the only known time that Free Spin is placed on a wedge adjacent to Bankrupt.
    • Rounds 1 and 2 are played entirely by the contestants who began them.
    • Rounds 2-5 are Phrase.
    • Pat's Final Spin lands on Lose A Turn.
    • Contestant Mark retires with $110,757.
    • At the end of the show, Vanna surprises Pat with a birthday cake, and the audience sings "Happy Birthday" while "Happy Birthday, Pat!" appears on the chyron. Pat jokes that he has turned 30, although he was actually 43.
  • On October 27:
    • In Round 3, contestant Nicole (who later appears on "Some of The Greats" in February 1995) hits $3,500 three times in a row.
    • No prize is added for Round 4, even though it does not begin as a Speed-Up.
    • There are two sets of repeated categories: Phrase in Rounds 1 and 2, Thing in Round 3 and the Bonus Round, and Things in Round 4.
    • Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Pluto are seen in the audience during the credits.
  • On October 30:
    • In Round 1, there is a somewhat well-known incident: with only the B, P, and U missing from the puzzle BARBECUE SPIT, contestant Tom guesses H, after which Pat comments on the implied inappropriate word with "Happily, no."
    • The Round 2 prize is accidentally placed on the blue $150 two spaces to the left of Lose A Turn (its previous location).
    • There are two sets of repeated categories: Thing in Round 1 and the Bonus Round, Phrase in Rounds 2 and 4.

November 1989Edit

  • Sometime this month, there is a promo featuring a young boy watching the show as his mom calls him for dinner. Some strange aliens appear as he solves a "Wheelies" puzzle and receives a toy car as a prize, which his mom asks where he got it from. While the promo is for the nighttime show and the TV shows clips from such, the template in the living room is from Round 3 or 4 of the daytime version.
  • November 1-8 is the Cash and Splash Sweepstakes (also known as the Cruise and Cash Splash Sweepstakes in the mail-in portion). This is a fundraising event involving a 900-number and/or a mail-in, sponsored by Pizza Hut and Norwegian Cruise Lines. During this sweepstakes:
    • Presumably to allocate for the rules and disclaimers, both $2,500 and $3,500 are on the Wheel for Round 2, with the former over the purple $150. This would also suggest that only one round is played in the first segment.
    • 50 viewers each day win a $1,000 cash prize and a vacation aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines, with airfare provided by Delta Air Lines.
    • Before the first commercial break, a partially-filled puzzle is shown with category. Viewers then have 10 seconds to study the puzzle, after which they may either call the 900-number or mail their entries.
    • All callers receive a $4 gift certificate towards a Personal Pan Pizza with their choice of topping(s) and a pitcher of Pepsi.
  • November 13-17 is another sweepstakes, which offers a trip to Orlando from January 11-15 to attend the Disney World tapings. Entries are accepted through the 27th.
    • All episodes this week have two different closing segments. The one used by participating stations details the contest and does not contain fee plugs, instead fading to more contest details after the wardrobe plugs. Before and after the crawl, Pat and Vanna are shown talking behind the host's railing at the Wheel. GSN reruns use the "contest" version, with the segment itself edited out and the rules crunched.
    • All episodes this week also feature the car turntable in reverse during the intro and outro.
  • On November 13:
    • The first six turns of Round 1 are all lost (three Lose a Turns and three wrong letters). Overall, Lose A Turn is hit four times, a likely one-round record.
    • After an N is revealed in Round 3, the buzzer accidentally sounds amid the applause.
    • No Prize is added for Round 4, even though it does not begin as a Speed-Up.
    • The bonus puzzle (A FLIRT) is the first known instance of a puzzle including a redundant A. Oddly, the A is by itself on the second row.
  • By November 13, some episodes begin using a bumper that consists a shot of the audience, framed in a thin purple border surrounded by a thick blue border, following Rounds 2, 3, or 4. The CBS Eye curtains can be seen in these shots.
  • On November 14, the alternate ending has Vanna playing a round for charity, with Pat turning the letters. She spins the Wheel once and calls letters until the answer, STARK REALITY, is completely revealed. Her first spin lands on Bankrupt (complete with slide whistle), and her second spin lands on $250, but Pat tells her to move it to the $900 that she almost hit; her $900 goes to the American Cancer Society. The remainder of the segment consists of the fee plugs, followed by Pat and Vanna talking to the day's winner at center stage.
  • On November 15:
    • No vowels are bought in Round 1.
    • The Round 4 Prize is an Addictor Bambino boat.
    • Contestant Kelley retires with $67,524.
  • On November 16:
    • Rounds 2 and 3 are Phrase.
    • The Round 4 Prize is a $10,000 Dicker & Dicker mink coat.
    • Pat's Final Spin lands on Bankrupt.
  • November 27 is the debut of Husband & Wife (PHIL DONAHUE AND MARLO THOMAS), although Pat remarks that it is a "category we haven't seen much of this season", suggesting that any previous appearances had been thrown out (or, less likely, that it debuted in Season 6).

December 1989Edit

  • On December 4:
    • The camera is zoomed too far out for the entirety of Round 3, showing the entire puzzle board.
    • There are two sets of repeated categories: People in Rounds 1 and 5, Phrase in Rounds 2 and 4.
  • On December 6:
    • The chyrons for Round 4 and the Bonus Round are smaller than usual.
    • Pat offers to pick the Bonus Round envelope instead, and Dorothy lets him.
    • Pat and Vanna do not sign off.
  • On December 8:
    • All three contestants are male.
    • The audience shot (used after Round 2) is framed in a rotating star without a border.
    • Contestant Gary solves the Round 3 puzzle MEL BROOKS AND ANNE BANCROFT with only the N's and T showing.
    • The "only vowels remain" beeps accidentally sound twice in Round 4.
    • Even though Rounds 3 and 4 are in the same segment, the second Wheel Prize is not added until Round 5.
    • The bonus puzzle, ATOM, is the first confirmed four-letter bonus puzzle, although according to one recollection, CHER was used as a bonus puzzle sometime before Season 6.
  • The weeks of December 18 and 25 have the set decorated for Christmas: large "spiked" lights are placed on the chevron backdrops behind Pat, while the puzzle board is decorated with three large starbursts.
  • On December 22:
    • During Round 4 (done on the Round 3 Wheel template), the Prize is on the pink $300.
    • During the final segment, Pat throws a handful of fake snow at Vanna, a moment which appears in various retrospectives.
  • December 25 is Family Week, with the Friday Finals format; the winning team on Friday receives a "Family of the Year" trophy. Some general notes about this week:
    • The opening has the teams already in place, with no movement by them until the "Wheel! Of! Fortune!" chant finishes.
    • Appropriately, Family debuts on the 25th.
    • The contestant window in the Bonus Round is an oval instead of a circle, and (perhaps as a result) the shot of the board is zoomed out further than usual.
  • On December 29:
    FamilyWeek122289
    • The teams are introduced with their previous scores on the main contestant displays; oddly, the chevron backdrops are not used for the cumulative scores after the game.
    • Rounds 1 and 2 are played entirely by the teams who began them.
    • Rounds 1-3 are Thing. Round 1, IRVING BERLIN'S WHITE CHRISTMAS, is given this category instead of the more logical Person/Title.
    • The Round 4 prize is a $10,000 savings bond. Strangely, there is no close-up shot of its wedge.
    • In the final segment, the trophy is shown with Pat, Vanna, and the winning team inlaid in the lower left-hand corner (continuing from Pat's joke about it being "six stories tall"). The camera remains on the group during the credits, almost certainly to continue the illusion, only to "break" it when the King World logo appears.

January 1990Edit

  • Reruns air during the week of January 1. The repeats have "It's an encore presentation" dubbed in right after "It's America's most watched game show!" One such rerun week, consisting of players retiring with over $100,000, has "It's encore week, featuring our $100,000 winners" dubbed in.
  • On January 8, six rounds are played, with Rounds 3 and 4 in the second segment.
  • On January 9:
    • Only one turntable (which has a Cadillac) moves during the opening and credits. The stationary turntable has a Toyota Celica.
    • Contestant Meg retires with $107,938.
  • On January 10:
    • Vanna forgets to turn an L in Round 5 (during Speed-Up), although the puzzle is solved immediately afterward.
    • After describing the Cadillac won in the Bonus Round, Charlie accidentally says "Good luck."
    • Full credit rolls now begin with Merv Griffin as Executive Producer and continue to end with his creator credit.
  • At the end of the January 11 show, Pat and Vanna plug the upcoming Disney World tapings.
  • On January 12:
    • Six rounds are played, with Rounds 3 and 4 in the same segment.
    • Rounds 1, 2, and 6 are Phrase.
    • Contestant Louise retires with $118,936, a rare instance of two consecutive undefeated champions.
    • The Round 4 Prize is an $11,269 grand piano, which is won.
  • On January 29, the Merv Griffin Enterprises graphic now flips down from above the screen for Charlie's spiel, then back up to show the set and King World logo/announcement. Previously, the camera cut to the logo for that portion of Charlie's spiel, then cut back to the set for the King World logo/announcement.
  • On January 30:
    • Six rounds are played, with Rounds 3 and 4 in the same segment.
    • During Round 6, contestant Alan begins to spin right before the Final Spin bells. He is allowed to complete his turn, after which Pat does the Final Spin.
    • Rounds 3, 5, 6, and the Bonus Round are Thing.
  • On January 31:
    • 10 wrong letters are called in Round 5, two of which (D and L) are repeats.
    • Rounds 1, 2, 4, and the Bonus Round are Phrase.
    • Alan calls A as his vowel in the Bonus Round, but the chyron briefly displays E by mistake.

February 1990Edit

  • On February 1, all three contestants are male.
  • On February 2:
    • One of the contestants is referred to by her nickname, Mouse.
    • Rounds 1, 2, and 4 are Phrase.
    • Pat and Vanna talk with Charlie after the Bonus Round.
  • On February 5:
    • The Final Spin bells sound just before Pat's "People does not always mean 'proper names'" explanation, after which they sound again.
    • There are two sets of repeated categories: Thing in Rounds 1 and 3, People in Round 5 and Person in the Bonus Round.
  • On February 6:
    • Contestant Lisa calls a wrong letter, then opts to turn in her Free Spin, but before she can do so, Jeff begins to spin the Wheel. He quickly stops himself, after which Pat resets the Wheel by moving it backward. On her immediate next turn, Lisa tries to buy a vowel after her spin, and after being corrected, she calls an incorrect consonant.
    • There are two sets of repeated categories: Thing in Rounds 1, 4 and the Bonus Round, and People in Rounds 2 and 3.
  • On February 7:
    • Six rounds are played, with Rounds 3 and 4 in the second segment.
    • Round 6, GRACELAND, is categorized as Place instead of Landmark.
    • Things is used in Round 3, while Round 4 and the Bonus Round are Thing.
  • The weeks of February 19 and 26 are done from Walt Disney World, recorded in mid-January. Unusually for a road show, these weeks use the rugs, turntables, and CBS's applause machine. Near the end of the intro, an animation of Tinker Bell flies on-screen and taps the screen, the glow from her magic wand forming the wipe to the set.
    • Each intro starts with Vanna at a Disney World attraction, saying "It's Wheel of Fortune from Walt Disney World!" before the theme is cued to Disney World footage.
    • In one intro, Charlie's part is "On location in Orlando, Florida; America's favorite game show! Coming to you from America's favorite theme park!" As the logo forms over footage of Mickey Mouse waving from the Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty castle, he continues, "The famous Wheel is spinning your way: Wheel of Fortune!" at which point Tinker Bell zaps the screen with her wand and then flies off. He then ends by saying, "With lots of cash and fabulous prizes! Over (amount) just waiting to be won! And now, here are your host and hostess: Pat Sajak & Vanna White!"
    • A second intro features Vanna's usual opening line, followed with a shot of Mickey Mouse on the EPCOT Center dome, as a spinning 1987 Round 1 Wheel template complete with blue center zooms back as it spins. Charlie's part is "America's most watched game show, coming to you on location from the Disney-MGM Studios! Magic, fantasy, fun, excitement, special friends, and fabulous fireworks, on Wheel of Fortune!" The logo zooms up before Tinker Bell zaps the screen with her wand and then flies off. He then ends by saying, "Lots of cash, wonderful prizes! Over (amount) given away so far this week! And now, here are your host and hostess: Pat Sajak & Vanna White!"
    • The repeats for these shows include a modified intro for Charlie: "It's an encore presentation of Disney Week!" The rest of the intro remains unchanged.
    • Like the New York shows in 1988, the money graphic is used in the intro.
  • From the week of February 12 until at least the Virginia episodes in late Season 12, two-line bonus puzzles on road shows use the first and second rows of the puzzle board instead of the second and third. This is probably done to increase visibility in larger venues.
  • On all of the Disney World episodes:
    • The contestant's Bonus Round letter choices are the same color as the category chyrons.
    • The puzzle board uses its original chase light sequence.
    • Prior to the Merv Griffin Enterprises logo, there is a disclaimer that the show was "Taped at the Disney-MGM Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida", with the logo for the Disney-MGM Studios theme park minus the MGM portion. The camera zooms up on the flashing light background behind Pat. In full credit rolls, this disclaimer is seen scrolling at the end of the credits.
  • On February 19:
    • One of the contestants is named Patty Hearst, not to be confused with the infamous kidnapping victim.
    • In Round 2, contestant Catherine asks to buy a vowel but changes her mind; her display deducts $250 briefly before re-adding it.
    • As Round 3 starts and Pat announces the $3,500 space's presence, the entire Wheel can be seen before the camera switches to the usual crane shot of the space.
    • Rounds 3 and 4 are played entirely by the contestants who began them.
    • The November 1989 contest winners are shown in the audience prior to the credits.
    • Contestant J.D. leaves with $106,785, and his chyron flashes when announced. Charlie announces during the credits that winnings over $100,000 are donated to the charity of the contestant's choice.

March 1990Edit

  • On March 2:
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $3,437 trip to Mexico, which is promoted by Vanna and Donald Duck dancing "La Cucaracha" at the Pyramids of Mexico at EPCOT Center.
    • After that round, as the show goes to break, Goofy and Pluto can be seen entertaining the audience.
    • After Pat and Vanna sign off, there is a wide shot of the set, including the champion (Cornelia) standing at the podium, just before Charlie begins the closing plugs.
  • All five Bonus Rounds are won on the week of February 26.
  • On March 6:
    • Bankrupt is hit four times in Round 3, including the first two spins.
    • Rounds 2, 4, and the Bonus Round are Phrase.
    • Contestant Cornelia retires with $45,637.
  • On March 9, the Round 1 puzzle ROGER & ME is both a rare instance of a puzzle with only three unique consonants, and the first known use of an ampersand outside Same Name. Oddly, ampersands do not seem to be used in Family or Husband & Wife until much later.
  • On March 12:
    • After the bonus puzzle AT ITS PEAK is solved, the ding accidentally sounds when the I is turned, probably because it was the only letter unrevealed.
    • Vanna shows off an afghan she made for Merv.
  • On March 13:
    • Contestant Gerianne, a two-day champion, loses by $50.
    • Only Phrase and Thing are used: Phrase in Rounds 1, 3, and 5; Thing in Rounds 2, 4, and the Bonus Round.
    • Pat very nearly forgets to open the bonus envelope until he is reminded from offstage.
  • On March 14:
    • There are two sets of repeated categories: Phrase in Rounds 1 and 3, Thing in Rounds 2 and 5.
    • Round 4 is ALEX TREBEK; no vowels are bought in this round.
  • On March 15:
    • No vowels are bought in Round 1.
    • In an unusual move, the value of the Round 4 Prize "spins" onscreen like the blade of a windmill, and the value of the bonus prize is formed by horizontal lines flying in from the left and right. (The Round 2 Prize's value uses the normal dissolve.)
    • In another unusual move, the Round 4 Prize is kept for Round 5, despite the change of templates. It is placed on the red $300, its normal position.
    • Six rounds are played, with two sets of repeated categories: Phrase in Rounds 2 and 4, Thing in Rounds 3, 5, 6, and the Bonus Round.
    • Pat draws the Bonus Round envelope for the contestant.
  • On March 16:
    • The lettering on the Round 2 Prize's wedge is very "squished".
    • Inexplicably, Round 4 goes to Speed-Up with only two consonants remaining.
    • The bonus puzzle HIGHER AND HIGHER uses three lines of the puzzle board, and the camera is much further to the right than usual.
  • On March 20, a fur coat is offered for the last known time: specifically, as the Round 2 Prize, which is not won. While furs were generally dropped from the prize rotation in late March due to their impracticality in warmer weather, they are dropped permanently at PETA's insistence.
  • On March 27:
    • Pat escorts Vanna to the puzzle board.
    • The Round 4 Prize remains on the Wheel for Round 5; it is won during that round.
    • The Chrysler convertible is on a turntable, while a 4×4 near the puzzle board is on a boat rug.
  • On March 29, contestant Emily retires with $111,024.
  • On March 30:
    • In Round 2, Pat accidentally tells contestant Maureen that there is no H in the puzzle, but corrects himself.
    • Contestant Joe wins with $27,500, all claimed in Round 3, thanks to a total of eight letters found on two spins of $3,500 (five S's and three N's).
    • There are two sets of repeated categories: Phrase in Rounds 1 and 2; Thing in Rounds 4, 5, and the Bonus Round. Interestingly, Round 3 is Landmark.

April 1990Edit

  • Reruns air during the week of April 2.
  • On April 9, the overhead shot for Pat's opening spin is dropped; daytime, however, continues using it until Spring 1991. Pat is apparently told to discontinue the opening spin, but still performs it a few times out of habit, and seems annoyed at himself when he does so.
  • On April 12, contestant Wilma retires with $126,233.
  • From at least this month, some local stations air a promo with Vanna doing an audition plug on the set. Strangely, the use of the Round 4 daytime layout suggests it was done after a daytime taping.

May 1990Edit

  • There may be a seven-round game in May or June. If so, it is very likely the first, and just as likely that Rounds 3 and 4 are in the second segment.
  • Beginning on May 2, Pat stops doing the opening spin (daytime, however, continues using it until Spring 1991). He does it again on the 3rd and 7th, but these appear to be flukes.
  • On May 2:
    • The Round 4 puzzle HONKY-TONK BAR OF SOAP uses three lines of the puzzle board with BAR on its own line, even though it could have easily fit on two.
    • Rounds 1, 2, and 5 are Phrase.
    • Contestant Vince retires with $101,649.
  • By May 7, the colors of the audience shot border (used on this episode after Round 2) are changed to dark blue in a border that is purple on the right and gold on the left.
  • On May 7:
    • In a departure from the usual practice of using longer puzzles in middle rounds, Round 3 is HIEROGLYPHICS.
    • There are two sets of repeated categories: Phrase in Rounds 2 and 4, Thing in Round 3 and the Bonus Round.
    • Charlie appears on-camera at the end of the show.
  • On at least May 7 and 9, a car is the Round 4 Prize: a $13,394 Geo Prizm LSI on the 7th, a $10,863 Toyota Tercel on the 9th (and perhaps as a result of this, no cars are offered in the Bonus Round this week). Pat jokes on the 9th that the wedge says "Car" because nobody on the staff could spell "Tercel".
  • On May 10, Rounds 2, 4 and the Bonus Round are Phrase.
  • On May 14, the blue $150 near Lose A Turn is increased to $500, leaving only a single blue $150 (between the pink $250 and red $400) for Rounds 1 and 2. This is the last alteration made to the Wheel templates until September 1996.
  • On May 18:
    • PAT AND LESLY SAJAK is the Round 4 puzzle (Husband & Wife), and the last known instance until December 2001 of the category using AND instead of an ampersand.
    • After Pat consoles the contestant who solved Round 5 for his not hitting a larger amount, she replies with "Well, there's always Jeopardy!"
    • As the camera pans the set leading into the pre-Bonus Round commercial break, the lights on the $25,000 sign are solid instead of flashing.
  • May 21 is College Week.
  • During the week of May 28, one prize includes a collection of doves that can be heard often during the week, a fact which Pat brings up several times during each show. They are shown on-camera on at least June 1.
  • On May 29:
    • Round 3 is Things, while Rounds 4 and 5 are Thing.
    • Following the Bonus Round, Pat is shown holding the $39,000 earrings that had just been won. He tosses one in the air after saying "Want to see a producer get nervous?", then puts the pair on Vanna's ears.
  • On May 30:
    • The Round 1 puzzle PRIM AND PROPER uses three lines of the puzzle board, even though it could have easily fit on two.
    • Six rounds are played, with Rounds 3 and 4 in the second segment. This is the last known game to use this pacing until early 1991.
    • There are two sets of repeated categories: Phrase in Rounds 1 and 2, Thing in Round 5, and Things in Round 6.

June 1990Edit

  • On June 1:
    • Rounds 2, 4, 5, and the Bonus Round are Thing.
    • The yellow and blue contestants' scoreboards are still lit up during the Bonus Round.
  • On June 8:
    • Vanna is wearing a dark yellow dress, but the category chyrons are blue.
    • Contestant Steve's nametag falls off as he picks up the Free Spin in Round 1. He retrieves the nametag, after which Pat tosses it aside and says "You don't even need this."
    • The Round 2 puzzle STANLEY CUP OF SOUP uses three lines of the puzzle board with CUP on its own line, even though it could have easily fit on two.
    • Steve retires with $74,455.
    • Rounds 1, 3, and the Bonus Round are Phrase.
  • On June 14:
    • All three contestants are female.
    • Vanna is wearing a green dress, but the category chyrons are red.
    • The Round 3 puzzle FIRE-ENGINE RED SKELTON uses three lines of the puzzle board with RED on its own line, even though it could have easily fit on two.
    • In Round 4, contestant Kathleen nearly lifts up part of the Wheel template when attempting to pick up a prize wedge. Pat lifts it off the Wheel for her.
    • Pat's Final Spin lands on Bankrupt three times. His fourth attempt lands on $5,000.
  • On June 15:
    • The Free Spin disc comes loose during Round 1 and nearly falls off the Wheel.
    • Rounds 2 and 4 are Event; the latter, UNDER HOUSE ARREST, is inexplicably in that category instead of Phrase.

Post-SeasonEdit

  • September 1 is the last known day on which the Mattel game is compatible with the TV show.

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