“Wheel of Fortune” is about to head back into the studio for the first time since production shut down in March due to COVID-19 — and the Wheel is getting a social-distanced makeover.
“Wheel of Fortune and JEOPARDY! are returning to the studio to tape episodes for the shows’ upcoming seasons. The productions have protocols in place in accordance with current government guidelines to protect contestants, staff, crew and talent from the spread of COVID-19,” a spokesperson for the studio told TheWrap. “While some things may have changed behind the scenes and on the set to keep everyone safe, fans can expect to see the same Wheel of Fortune and JEOPARDY! they have come to love when the season starts.”
A person with knowledge of the situation also confirmed that the Wheel has undergone a redesign to give space for proper social distancing between contestants, and that “Wheel of Fortune” has plans to return to the studio next week. As for when the new episodes will start airing, TheWrap has been told that the “Wheel of Fortune” summer broadcast schedule is currently a mix of new and rerun episodes, but no premiere date for the new season has been shared.
Last week, “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek outlined plans for when the game show resumes production and explained what coronavirus-induced changes fans can expect to see.
“We’ve redesigned our set to separate the contestants and myself a little bit more from them,” Trebek said in an interview Tuesday on “Good Morning America.” “So we are taking all kinds of precautions. Our testing procedure now is done online.”
He also explained that the plan is to tape five shows a day, two days a week, without an audience.
“We’ll do three and take a short break, and then do the last two. And we’ll see how that goes,” he said. “And if it’s too much for me, we can always cut back a little bit, maybe do four a day.”
Deadline was first to report the news about the redesigned Wheel.