‘Wheel of Fortune’ Fans Sound Off About The Show’s Changes

Wheel of Fortune Pat Sajak and Vanna White

Wheel of Fortune returned for its 39th season on Monday evening with a new snazzy look and some updates to the gameplay, and it certainly got fans talking.

These changes included a bright and colorful new studio set, increased screen time for the show’s announcer Jim Thornton, and, perhaps most controversial of all, updated music.

“Can you believe this is Season 39? It’s incredible,” said host Pat Sajak to open the show. “You’ll notice some changes in the studio. I thought I caught a glimpse of that Thornton guy on the way out. A few little tweaks in the game, but it’s still Wheel of Fortune. We’re gonna have a great time. Let’s get to it.”

One of the big gameplay changes involves the final spin of the wheel, which has always been done by Sajak himself. However, the power has now been handed over to the contestants. “The final spin goes to whoever has control of the wheel,” Sajak explained in the episode.

These updates come after the show’s executive producer Mike Richards exited his role last month following public backlash. The changes also mark Sajak’s new position as consulting producer on the show — a stipulation that was added as part of the long-running host’s contract renewal that will keep him and hostess Vanna White on the show through 2024.

“If you think about it, by doing the ‘final spin’ I, as host, had an impact on the outcome of the game, and that has always bothered me because it just didn’t feel right,” Sajak told Deadline. “With this change, only the contestants determine the outcome of the game and the host does not impose themself in any way.”

But not all Wheel of Fortune viewers were on board with these changes, especially regarding the new music. Check out some of the reaction below.

Wheel of Fortune, Syndicated, check local listings