Unlike its fellow network game show Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune does not carry over winning contestants into future episodes. That was true until a familiar face found himself with a second chance on the show in an April episode.
Tony Harrison had the chance of a lifetime as one of the only contestants to ever have a second shot on the show. The software project manager was given the chance due to a "production issue" that stemmed from his first appearance. Harrison first debuted on the show in 2017. During his second go-around, host Pat Sajak even brought up Harrison making his second appearance on the show. “If Tony looks familiar -- this is Tony Harrison, who's been here before,” Sajak said during the introductions. “We had a little production issue, and in the interests of fairness, we brought Tony back.”
What Sajak was referencing was in Harrison's first appearance when he won the game and advanced to the bonus round. That was when Sajak asked Harrison to select a category in which he replied "Phrase" but the next board to appear was "What Are You Doing?" The mix-up apparently was resolved by allowing Harrison an opportunity to come back onto the show.
From a #Wheelmobile contestant search in 2017 to an encore taping at Sony Studios in 2020, it's been quite a ride. Watch me on Wheel of Fortune, Monday, April 6th! 7:30pm Pacific Time on @ABC7 in Los Angeles. Outside of LA, check your local listings. #WheelOfFortune pic.twitter.com/uk4pr2X0rG— Tony Harrison (@TonySCV) March 31, 2020
As for Wheel of Fortune, the show shut down production in the middle of March amid the coronavirus pandemic. "With the increasing concern surrounding COVID-19, we have decided to temporarily suspend production on Wheel of Fortune and [Jeopardy!]," the show announced on March 16. "The health and well-being of our contestants, staff, and crew are our top priority, and we will continue to monitor the situation as it develops."
While being in quarantine, Vanna White put out a message shortly after the show's announcement of shutting down, urging fans of the show to stay home and help to stop the spread. "Hope to be back in the studio soon, but in the meantime stay safe and take care," she wrote on Twitter.
Along with Wheel of Fortune, ABC also shut down production of Jeopardy! especially with host Alex Trebek a year out from being diagnosed with cancer.