Wheel Of Fortune Stars Reveal Life On The Set Of America's Game Show - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/10/06-Dallas

Wheel Of Fortune Stars Reveal Life On The Set Of America's Game Show

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  • 11/10/06-Dallas

    KLTV Goes Behind The Scenes Of Wheel Of Fortune!

    KLTV Goes Behind The Scenes Of Wheel Of Fortune!

    It's likely you watch the show, your kids watch it and your kid's kids will watch it too. "Wheel of Fortune" has been entertaining audiences now for 25 years.  We're giving you a different view of the show-- from behind the scenes!  KLTV 7's Christine Nelson got exclusive access when the Wheel of Fortune crews packed their things and headed to Dallas! Today, what it takes to be a contestant for a chance to spin that famous wheel. More >>
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KLTV follows the Wheel of Fortune crew as they set up the show on the road in Dallas.

"[Being in Texas] makes me feel like home. I grew up in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina so I come back and everyone's saying 'ya'll,'" say Vanna White.

And "ya'll" wouldn't believe how they transformed the Nokia Theatre into the show we love and watch everyday.

"I don't know how you go on the road and set up a mammoth operation like this," says Pat Sajak.

During the show we only see five people, the three contestants and two hosts.

But behind the scenes it takes more than 200 people to put this 30-minute show together

"Carpenters, riggers, electricians, painters, stage hands. It's a big crew," says Wheel of Fortune Executive Producer Harry Friedman.

"Here at this theatre there's 3,000 people out in the audience. It's really tough," adds Pat.

Leave it up to announcer Charlie O'Donnell to get the audience ready for the show.

The most important rule, don't yell out the answers!

"First thing we do," says Charlie to the audience, "We have to throw the puzzle out, we take the money away from the contestants, then we find the person who yelled out the answer, we take them outside and we beat the daylights out of them!"

He's just kidding of course!

Being behind the scenes, you find there is a method to the madness. For example, how does Vanna know what the puzzles are in each show?

"I go behind the puzzle board right before each round and they have it laid out for me. So I do see it," Vanna explains.

And Pat's secret?

"I don't meet the players ahead of time," he says. "You don't want to create small talk and then have to go on stage and pretend you've never met before and all that stuff. It just keeps it fresher not to do that."

It's time to meet another round of contestants. Wheel will tape five shows today alone. But the stars are used to it, they've been hosting the show since it's start.

"They love the audience. The audience loves them!," says Friedman pointing to Vanna receiving a loud applause from the audience.

It looks like Wheel is on its way to another 25 years puzzle solving!

Surely, Vanna wouldn't mind taking a break from touching letters if I took her place....

We also found out while behind the scenes, Pat and Vanna only have to work 39 days out of the year!

They work in increments where they tape about five shows a day for three days straight, then they're off two weeks.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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