NBC Rolling Out 'The Wheel' For Last Two Weeks Of 2022

For millions of Americans, the only TV show with the word “Wheel” in its title that they will ever need is “Wheel of Fortune,” which is rightly designated at the start of each thrill-packed episode as “America’s Game.”

But here comes a new prime-time game show called “The Wheel” that will try to make its mark this week and next with 10 episodes airing on consecutive weekdays on NBC -- Monday thru Friday this week and Monday thru Friday next week too, the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

No one will ever mistake “The Wheel” for “Wheel of Fortune,” although the new one does indeed have its own wheel of fortune.



This gigantic, brightly lit spinning wheel in “The Wheel” sits on the floor of the show’s cavernous studio space.

The wheel is so gargantuan that it can accommodate six futuristic chairs each occupied by a celebrity around its perimeter and one civilian contestant seated in a center chair.

Unlike the decidedly analog and much smaller wheel on “Wheel of Fortune,” no one leans over to spin this unwieldy wheel by hand.

Instead, it is operated electronically offstage somewhere. Indeed, the host of “The Wheel,” British comic Michael McIntyre, insists that this huge electronic spinning wheel revolves randomly, even if we don’t get to see how the wheel is spun.

McIntyre is credited as the creator of “The Wheel” as well as its host both in the U.S. and U.K., where the show first became a hit, according to NBC.

At its heart, “The Wheel” is a trivia quiz show. In each one-hour episode, contestants drawn from all walks of life alternate in the spinning wheel’s center chair to answer questions with help from the celebrity guests.

Each celebrity-helper is selected by a spin of the huge wheel on which these celebrities are perched.

The process made the TV Blog wonder if any of these famous people were overcome with dizziness during the making of this show. 

The celebrity participants come from all over the celebrity world. They range widely from Deepak Chopra to former “Dancing With the Stars” host Tom Bergeron.

“The Wheel” is garishly lit and cacophonous, which at first can be a turnoff to those of us who prefer our game shows a little quieter.

But the enthusiasm of the host, celebrities and contestants proves to be infectious, and in a very short time, “The Wheel” actually becomes fun.

Among other attractive attributes, the show’s multiple choice trivia questions reside in the sweet spot between too hard and too easy. They seem to be just right.

One example in the premiere episode previewed by the TV Blog is this one, in the category of “The 1990s”: Which popular fashion brand was created in the ’90s?

The choices: Doc Martens, Air Jordan, Juicy Couture and Ed Hardy.

Spoiler alert: The answer is Juicy Couture. Having almost no fashion sense, the TV Blog had no idea how to answer this one.

Another category was “Classic films.” The question: At the end of the original “King Kong,” what does character Carl Denham say “killed the beast”?

The possible answers: Airplanes, Lightning, Beauty, A Broken Heart. The TV Blog knew instantly the answer was “Beauty.”

By contrast, celebrity guest Christina Ricci, a movie star, was certain the answer was “A Broken Heart.” Shame on you, Christina!

In rolling out “The Wheel” over 10 consecutive weeknights, NBC is borrowing from the “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” playbook. 

That show, hosted by Regis Philbin, premiered in August 1999 with a similar two-week rollout and became a very successful game show both in prime time and daytime. “The Wheel” might make a fortune in the very same way.

“The Wheel” will air Monday thru Friday, December 19-23, and December 26-30 at 8 p.m. Eastern on NBC.

1 comment about "NBC Rolling Out 'The Wheel' For Last Two Weeks Of 2022".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, December 20, 2022 at 8:06 a.m.

    They are probably testing the waters, Adam, to see if the low cost game show genre has any legs left in it  as a substitute for some of the far more expensive prime time dramas and sitcoms. They no longer care about the heavy older viewer skew of game shows as just about everything else they now put out has the same demographic profile---old. If the ratings are acceptable----not great but fair or OK----look for more of the same, plus more varieties and magazine as well as reality talent scout programs to come  our way.

Next story loading loading..