Wheel of Fortune has been a staple on television screens for decades, but during the coronavirus pandemic, it had to take a rare shutdown. The five-days-a-week show stretched out its new pre-coronavirus episodes as long as possible before having to air re-runs for much of the past couple of months. Viewers were delighted to learn that production returned at the end of July as the first new episode of Season 38 debuted on Monday with a whole new look.
One of the special safety precautions taken was a plastic covering on the wheel handles that each of the three contestants and host Pat Sajak spin throughout the show. The titular wheel also had a slight adjustment made to it to keep contestants six feet apart from one another. With the new changes, fans were quick to notice the slight modifications and generally seemed pleased with the efforts taken to make the show and its environment as safe as possible. Another notable change — one that doesn't pertain to the coronavirus — is the show upping its bonus round minimum to $38,000 in honor of the show's 38th season.
Here is a look at some of the most notable reactions seen in real-time as viewers enjoyed the return of America's Game.
Wheel of Fortune: don’t touch the wheel, here’s a white thing to spin it with.
Also Wheel of Fortune: pick up these things off the wheel.— Matt Keller (@mbkeller) September 14, 2020
So #WheelOfFortune has a thing to hold to keep you from touching the wheel. Impressive.— Tyrone Dudley, BCaBA (@TheOnlyTyronly) September 14, 2020
What’s the point of giving away a trip on @WheelofFortune if you can’t even leave the country because of the pandemic? Give away something else other than trips all the time, it’s so damn boring!— Peter Amara (@PeteAmara) September 14, 2020
I'm watching the season premiere of #WheelOfFortune, and they have given the contestants "wheel condoms": little handles they'll place over the pegs to spin the wheel with so they don't actually have to touch the wheel. Interesting times on the game show circuit.— Q('.'Q) Alex Martinez (@alextheluchador) September 14, 2020
@WheelofFortune put some plastic gloves on the contestants and get rid of those ineffectual white sticks!— Anna (@ayktweets) September 14, 2020
I put on Wheel Of Fortune. Apparently it’s the start of the new season...and the contestants and Pat are all social distancing!!! So odd to see but cool that they’re able to continue!— Michelle ♥️🌱 (@MichelleFromTO) September 14, 2020