‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘Jeopardy’ Building New Sets to Accommodate Social Distancing
When the long-running syndicated game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune return to production in the very near future, the shows will look a little different, thanks to the coronavirus.
Deadline reports that the shows are getting new sets that will take proper social distancing into consideration. Typically the contestants on both Jeopardy! and Wheel stand relatively close together; on the former, on one long podium, and on the latter surrounding the giant wheel, which everyone takes turns spinning. Neither of these are very good ideas in the age of coronavirus, and so when the shows begin filming again this week and next, they will do so at more distance:
In Wheel of Fortune, Deadline understands that the wheel has been redesigned to provide proper social distancing between contestants. Over on Jeopardy!, the stage has been slightly redesigned to allow for more space between the three contestant podiums. The contestants will also be at a safe distance from host Alex Trebek at his lectern.
Trebek continues treatments for pancreatic cancer, and would be considered at particularly high risk of coronavirus as a result. Obviously, producers will need to particularly careful to ensure proper distancing in his case. The studio confirmed to Deadline that the shows are returning to production, and that both “productions have protocols in place in accordance with current government guidelines to protect contestants, staff, crew and talent from the spread of COVID-19.” As you might expect, there will be no studio audiences for either series.
As for Wheel of Fortune, can you even have three people share a single wheel [checks notes] of fortune? Are they all wearing gloves? Do they sanitize the wheel between rounds? Between spins? I gotta say, I might tune in if it meant I got to see Pat Sajak frequently spritz the wheel down with Clorox.
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