WATCH: Wheel of Fortune Premiered 46 Years Ago Today

  • American game show staple Wheel of Fortune premiered on January 6, 1975, but it was hosted by Chuck Woolery and Susan Stafford at first. Pat Sajak joined in 1981 after Woolery left due to a contract dispute, and Vanna White replaced Stafford in 1982. 

    There were a few different pilot episodes made before its eventual premiere, including its first incarnation above as a 1973 show called Shopper's Bazaar. Still hosted by Woolery, this version put more of an emphasis on shopping for prizes rather than the spin of the wheel.

    The new Celebrity Wheel of Fortune premieres Thursday, January 7, at 8:00 PM ET on ABC. 

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    Andy Hunsaker has a head full of sitcom gags and nerd-genre lore, and can be followed @AndyHunsaker if you're into that sort of thing.

    TOPICS: Wheel of Fortune, Chuck Woolery