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Wheel of Fortune timeline (syndicated)/Season 23

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Go back to Season 22, or forward to Season 24?

A timeline for Season 23 of Wheel of Fortune, which aired in first-run from September 12, 2005 through June 9, 2006.

Season Changes

  • For this season, some shows begin with one of three animated intros featuring people hurriedly getting ready to watch Wheel. Each animation ends with the last bar of the introductory fanfare and the title card appearing on a console television, with the show's logo in yellow-bordered maroon over a completely bare bluish-grey Wheel template on a dark blue background. After the audience chants, the "O" in "OF" zooms towards the camera on the TV to reveal the set, without the white light used in Season 22's intro sequence. When Pat and Vanna are introduced and walk onstage, the footage of this is shown on the TV in the animation, with the characters watching, and the animation sequence ends with the characters applauding. These intros are sometimes used by some affiliates in advertising for the show, and are never used during road shows. The intros themselves are as follows:
    • In the first intro, a man is watching the news with his cat sleeping on top of his armchair. He looks at his watch and screams in shock, after which he is seen rushing to the shower and then emerging fully clothed. He looks over his watch again and hurries to make further preparations including a quick vacuuming, then responds to the sound of his doorbell to hesitantly pick up a pizza. After that, he is seen eating with the remote in his hand and a candelabra on the table. When the main title card appears, the cat jumps on the armchair again, wearing an "I'm a Wheel Watcher" T-shirt where the text is in the same font as the logo and the "Wheel Watcher" part is arranged like the "Wheel" and "Fortune" in the traditional logo, with a wheel drawing in the center. The man's living room references the show with an autumn-hued fabric wheel, a picture with letter spaces reading "HOM_ SW__T HOM_", Wheel doilies on the armchair, and a Wheel-styled table. After Pat and Vanna make their entrances, the man does not applaud, but is instead shown still eating.
    • In the second intro, a woman is burdened by the pressure of work, as she appears to be making a phone call and has numerous papers on her desk. A clock styled like the Wheel is shown pointing to a yellow "wedge" reading QUITTIN' TIME, and when she sees this, she finishes her work and quickly hurries home, with a jetpack strapped to her back. When the jetpack runs out of fuel, the woman careens out of control, spinning a Wheel-styled merry-go-round in a playground, using telephone wires as a slingshot, and then bouncing from the awning of a pizzeria into her armchair. A TV remote drops down, and the woman catches it and turns the TV on, clutching her hands together as the show begins. This house features a picture of an old-fashioned bike with the Wheel as one of the wheels, and a Wheel rug.
    • In the third intro, an African-American family is eating dinner when the family dog rolls up its fur on one leg to reveal a watch and, whining, points to it. The dog jumps on the dinner table and "spins" a Wheel-style plate, knocking down various food items and utensils in the process, and points to a cuckoo clock which then sounds. At this, the family hurries to finish their dinner, and rushes through the cleaning of their dinner plates washing them with a hose instead of sink water, and then blow-drying them with a fan which carries them back into the cupboard, then runs into the living room on a skateboard which knocks over various toys including blocks labeled, such as W, O, and F, a Wheel-style top, and a toy car, before hitting a dollhouse. All of them fall onto the couch, and the dog then grabs the remote to turn on the TV, which displays the main title card.
  • The "swishing" sound is removed from the introductory fanfare.
  • Prize Puzzles now occur daily.
  • The video screen on the arch behind Pat is updated to this season's main title design.
  • The maingame category strips keep their same basic motif from Season 22 (white text on a blue strip), but the category names are switched from Alternate Gothic to Trade Gothic, and the strip itself is in a brighter shade of blue, with a lighting effect at the top that alternates color between white and yellow.
  • The "no more vowels" graphic now slides onscreen from the left, rather than popping into place. Also, its sound effect changes to a chime.
  • Cars won in the Bonus Round are now available to Wheel Watchers Club members. Charlie reads the SPIN ID after describing the car.
  • The previous segment structure, which had been in use since the retirement of shopping in October 1987, is retired and replaced with the current one. In the new structure, the first commercial break is moved from the end of Round 2 to the end of Round 1; As a result, Rounds 2 and 3 are now each in their own segments; and the commercial break between the Bonus Round and post-game chat is replaced with a short promotional plug.
  • During this season and the next, Pat often does amusing things during the Jackpot bumpers.
  • The Jackpot amount display changes from Impact to Trade Gothic.
  • The consolation for contestants who finish with $0, and the house minimum for a round, are both increased to $1,000. During episodes with two-person teams, both are $2,000.
  • The Wheel is altered again:
    • The pegs are changed to thinner, silver-colored ones which make spins noticeably quieter.
    • The flashing turn indicators that flash next to the scoreboards on the contestant area are fixed after being off in seasons 20-22.
    • The Prize wedge moves to Round 1.
    • The second Bankrupt now remains on the Wheel for Rounds 4 and beyond.
      MysteryWedge5.png
      A third-era Mystery Wedge.
    • The Mystery Wedges are re-colored: the circles change from black to red, the question marks change from yellow to black, and the numbers are darkened. Also, the Bankrupt on the reverse changes to the same color scheme. The color scheme is kept until season 31, although there are a few minor tweaks, especially with the upgrade to High-Definition the following season.
    • An occasional third Gift Tag is added, over the yellow $400 near Lose A Turn.
    • The Prize wedge and Gift Tags are now removed from the Wheel after Round 3.
  • The "$3,000 bonus" categories begin occurring much less frequently.
  • The Mystery Round intro's animation wipe is removed.
  • The final part of the post-commercial Bonus Round intro spiel is shortened to "...or [a phrase varying from episode to episode] (with) up to $100,000 (cash)!", and the post-commercial Bonus Wheel animation is retired.
  • The Season 21 Bonus Round category strip and letter graphics use their Season 22 road show disappearing effect on Culver City shows, which remains until their retirement on October 24.
  • The Bonus Wheel is now seen during the closing. Previously, it (like the W-H-E-E-L envelope holder before it) was removed before the post-game chat and remained offstage for the credits.
  • This season sets a record for the most top prize wins, with six instances of the $100,000 being won.

September 2005

  • For the first few weeks of the season only:
    • When the Season 22 Wheel graphic animation appears in the Prize Puzzle plugs a second time, the color scheme is slightly different from the original: the yellow wedges gain an orange tint to them, the green wedges are switched to a different shade of that color (so as to match the green wedges on the actual Wheel), and the light blue wedges appear turquoise.
    • The Final Spin graphic wipe replaces its low-pitched "whooshing" sound effect with the "swishing" sound from the Season 22 title sequence.
    • Before the final commercial break, a montage of past Bonus Round wins appears with Charlie saying "Stay tuned: The $100,000 Bonus Round is coming up." Then the sequence switches to footage of that week's car being driven, at which point Charlie proceeds with "If [contestant's name] wins this [car], a lucky Wheel Watchers Club member will win one too! Have your SPIN ID ready: it could win you a spin in this [car]!"
  • The week of September 12 is Wheel Around the World, in which the show looks at some of its international versions, showing one foreign version at the end of each episode (for example, the September 16 episode showcases the Belgian Dutch version, Rad van Fortuin). During this week, the Mystery Prize is a $13,185 Kia Rio.
  • On September 12:
    • The Round 1 puzzle, LUXURY BOX OF KLEENEX, is the only known puzzle to have three X's in it.
    • TV Title debuts in Round 2.
    • In Round 3, contestant Gloria asks to buy a repeated O only three turns after Pat tells the contestants that all of the vowels have been bought, and ends up losing her turn. This affects the outcome.
    • Despite the week's theme, no international version is shown at the end of the episode.
  • On September 13, the $1,000 Toss-Up NAME OF THE GAME is categorized as Phrase instead of Rhyme Time.
  • On September 16, the second-place contestant has $22,148.
  • All five Bonus Rounds are lost on the week of September 12, part of a ten-loss streak (counting the three losses that ended Season 22).
  • September 19 is Tiki Time.
  • On September 19:
    • The intro to the opening version of "Happy Wheels" is removed, except for the final bar. However, a few later episodes still use the full intro, which is retired for good by October 24.
    • There are two sets of duplicate categories: the $1,000 Toss-Up and the Bonus Round are Phrase, Round 1 is Thing, and Round 3 is Things.
    • Kurt Warner makes a guest appearance after the Round 1 puzzle GAME-WINNING TOUCHDOWN PASS.
    • Movie Title debuts as the $3,000 Toss-Up.
  • Between September 20 and 27, six bonus puzzles in a row are Thing.
  • On September 21, contestant Shawn sweeps the game and wins $25,000 in the Bonus Round. A sweep with a Bonus Round win does not happen again until September 11, 2008.
  • On September 22, seven rounds are played. This does not happen again until October 9, 2015.
  • September 26 is the first of three Wheel Watchers Club weeks in the season. During these weeks, the Gift Tags award 10,000 Wheel Watchers Club Points/Sony Rewards Points and $1,000 cash.
  • During the week of September 26:
    • The inner frame of the puzzle board is pink.
    • Both times it appears, the Season 22 Wheel animation in the Prize Puzzle plugs uses its original color scheme.
    • The Final Spin graphic wipe uses its original sound effect.
  • As of September 26, Mystery Rounds offering a Chevy Aveo still use a stock image of the car instead of footage of it being driven.
  • On September 26, the bonus puzzle A GULF is one of the last examples of a puzzle with a redundant A at the beginning.
  • On September 28:
    • The $3,000 Toss-Up and Bonus Round are Fun & Games.
    • Contestant Larry solves the bonus puzzle KICKBOXING with only the I's, N, and G revealed.
  • On September 29, there is a $10,750 Jackpot win.

October 2005

  • For the entire month, one of the Gift Tags awards $1,000 cash courtesy of AstraZeneca, and a $1,000 donation is made to breastcancer.org in honor of breast cancer awareness Month every time it is hit.
  • October 3 is Safari So Good.
  • On October 3, a graphic effect (added in post-production) is introduced that shows home viewers what is on the other side of a Mystery Wedge if it is landed on. Pat and Vanna discuss this during their closing chat.
  • On October 6, three females play at Sony Pictures Studio for the first known time (not counting Friday Finals) since September 22, 1995.
  • All five Bonus Rounds are lost on the week of October 3.
  • The weeks of October 10-24 do not have any animated intros.
  • October 10 is Live Like a Star.
  • On October 10:
    • Kurt Warner gives an introduction.
    • A new title sequence debuts based around the new logo introduced at the beginning of this season; this sequence is used whenever the animated intros are not. The viewer initially sees only the bottom of the Wheel, with three lights (cyan, pink, and blue, from top to bottom) around it. The lights turn on from bottom to top, as the completely bare Wheel template tilts into view, and the maroon wordmark zooms into place. The audience applause in this introductory sequence is less audible than that in Season 22's intro. The contestants are now shown on-camera after Pat and Vanna walk out, but before the camera turns to the audience.
  • On October 13:
    • Kurt Warner once again gives an introduction.
    • Song Title debuts, as the $1,000 Toss-Up.
  • The week of October 17 (Escape!) is composed of sixth episodes.
  • On October 17, the Round 3 puzzle BRAD PITT & ANGELINA JOLIE AS MR. & MRS. SMITH is the third of three known instances of Stars & Roles, and the fifth of only six known puzzles to have more than one ampersand.
  • October 19 and 20 are the sixth shows from the weeks of September 26 and 19, respectively. As a result, these episodes do not use the graphic effect showing what is on the Mystery Wedge's reverse.
  • On October 21, a contestant solves the bonus puzzle SKUNK despite getting no help from their extra letters.
  • October 24 is the first College Week from Culver City. During this week:
    • Because of the above, no marching band or cheerleading squad is present, and the contestants do not introduce themselves while walking onstage.
    • The Mystery Round prize is a $10,000 Capital One credit card.
  • On October 24:
    Season 23 Jackpot Wedge.png
    • The Jackpot wedge is changed to a silver wedge with a red outlined triangle, red star, and silver "Jackpot" text in Futura Extra Bold.
    • The amount in the Jackpot display is switched to Alternate Gothic.
    • The previous pre-commercial "Bonus Round coming up" spiel is reinstated.
    • College Life debuts in Round 3.
    • The Bonus Round category strip and letter graphics are changed to match the Season 23 main-game category strips and corresponding font scheme; also, the disappearing effect is changed so that they blur out of sight. A few later episodes use the Season 21 Bonus Round graphics.
    • Contestant Lauren ties the one-round record of $54,000 in the Speed-Up. She sets a new main-game winnings record of $66,350, although she fails to solve the bonus puzzle.
  • On October 25:
    • Rock On! debuts in Round 3.
    • The bonus puzzle BIG GULP is very misleadingly categorized as On the Menu, something which Pat points out after the puzzle goes unsolved. This may have been one of the reasons behind renaming the category to Food & Drink in Season 24.
  • On October 26:
    • No vowels are bought in Round 1.
    • The "only vowels remain" beeps sound twice in Round 1.
  • On October 27:
    • The Round 2 puzzle I'M LOVIN' IT (Slogan) is a now-rare instance of a maingame puzzle shorter than 10 letters.
    • There is a Jackpot win.
  • October 31 is NBA Week. During this week:
    • The total winnings of the week are matched and donated to charity for Hurricane Katrina relief, with a minimum of $100,000.
    • The highest-scoring contestant of the week wins a VIP trip to the 2006 All-Star Game in Houston. This package includes airfare, hotel and VIP Access to all NBA All-Star Events. Also included are apparel from Reebok, a Spalding basketball package including hoops and balls, as well as autographed NBA memorabilia and a DirecTV System with NBA League Pass.
  • By the week of October 31:
    • The Season 22 pre-commercial outro Bonus Wheel animation is reinstated.
    • The Mystery Round almost always offers $10,000 cash, except where noted.
  • On October 31, a team solves the bonus puzzle UNSUNG HERO despite getting no help from their extra letters.

November 2005

  • On November 1, a team solves the bonus puzzle FOUL TROUBLE despite getting no help from their extra letters. This is the only known instance of this happening on consecutive episodes.
  • On November 2, three females play.
  • The weeks of November 7 and 14 are taped at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina forces the crew to evacuate, canceling a third week (Family Week) which would have been taped there. The teams scheduled for the third week eventually appear in May 2006.
  • During the New Orleans episodes:
    • There is a cold open in which Pat and Vanna state that the episodes were taped before Hurricane Katrina; before the $3,000 Toss-Up, there is a bumper where the two ask for viewers to donate to hurricane relief.
    • The opening sequence features a Mardi Gras parade in the background.
    • The road show theme is remixed.
    • Charlie's intro is "And now, come celebrate New Orleans with the stars of America's Game: Pat Sajak and Vanna White!"
    • Rockin' Dopsie, Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters appear as a house band.
  • November 7 is Fabulous Food.
  • On November 7, Same Name and Before & After are used in the same game for the last time. Interestingly, both categories were also used on the previous show.
  • On November 8, In the Kitchen debuts as the $2,000 Toss-Up.
  • On November 10, the Prize Puzzle chimes do not sound after the Round 2 puzzle is revealed.
  • November 14 is Celebrate New Orleans.
  • On November 14, there is a $100,000 win.
  • On November 15:
    • Contestant Ben hits $2,500 three times in a row in Round 1.
    • Ben does not solve the bonus puzzle, and is only one envelope away from the $100,000.
  • On November 16, there is a $7,400 Jackpot win.
  • On November 17, the $2,000 Toss-Up DISCO FEVER (The 70s) is a seemingly rare instance of a "decades" category being used as a Toss-Up.
  • Round 1 is edited out on November 16, and the $1,000 Toss-Up is edited out on the 17th. Both puzzles were removed because their answers were deemed insensitive to Hurricane Katrina victims. In place of the rounds, viewers see clips of Pat and Vanna asking viewers to donate to relief funds, then announcing who won the round. When the episodes are rerun in Summer 2006, the Toss-Up is restored (its answer being THE LOUISIANA SUPERDOME), but Round 1 of the November 16 show is replaced with another clip of Pat and Vanna thanking those who donated.
  • On November 20, the show officially launches its YouTube channel. Among other videos, the channel features clips of memorable moments from the current season, promos for weekly themes and road shows, "behind the scenes" clips, and notable instances of contestants solving puzzles. Videos are generally taken down as they grow old and lose their relevance with the passage of time.
  • November 21 is Teen Best Friends Week, and the first in Culver City since Season 20.
  • On November 21:
    • Nine wrong letters are called in the Speed-up.
    • There is $100,000 win, resulting in the first instance of that amount being won twice in the same month.
  • On November 22, the bonus puzzle KEY CHAIN uses only one line
  • On November 23, the $2,000 Toss Up (CUTTING BOARD) is inexplicably categorized as Around the House instead of In the Kitchen.
  • The week of November 28 (Holiday Shopping) does not have any animated intros.
  • On November 28:
    • The Prize copy includes a trailer for Pride & Prejudice.
    • Contestant Valerie solves the bonus puzzle FOLK TALE despite getting no help from her extra letters.

December 2005

  • On December 2:
    • The Prize includes tickets to a Billy Joel concert in New York and a copy of his box set My Lives, sponsored by Circuit City.
    • Best Seller makes its only appearance in the Bonus Round. The puzzle, JOY OF COOKING, is not solved.
  • The week of December 5 (5-Star Resorts) has animated intros on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday.
  • On December 7:
    • Round 4 is TV Title, and the Bonus Round is Title; this is the last time that category is used there.
    • There is a $100,000 loss.
  • On December 8, there is a $7,350 Jackpot win.
  • On December 9, Rock On! is used as a Prize Puzzle for the first time.
  • From December 12 until the end of the season, the animated intros are used on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday only.
  • On the week of December 12:
    • The show holds the "Sony Winner Wonderland Sweepstakes". Home viewers may collect game pieces from Circuit City stores or the show's website. If an episode's bonus puzzle matches the answer on a game piece, the home viewer may send in the piece for a chance to win a $25,000 prize. All prizes this week are Sony products, making for a now-rare occurrence of Wheel prizes that are not trips or cash.
    • The Jackpot Round is sponsored by Eggland's Best Eggs. In the sponsor plug, Charlie misreads "omega-3s" as "omega three ess", as was the case in Eggland's plugs on certain episodes of Seasons 21-22.
    • The Final Spin graphic wipe returns to using its original sound effect, which remains until the end of the season.
  • On December 13, there is an $11,350 Jackpot win.
  • On December 14, two males play.
  • On December 15:
    • There is a $6,750 Jackpot win.
    • Nobody solves the $3,000 Toss-Up, BUDDY MOVIE.
  • The week of December 19, 'Tis the Season, is the second holiday-themed week that has a name other than Happy Holidays.
  • On December 21, the no letter buzzer sounded instead of the time's up buzzer in the bonus round.
  • On December 22:
    • The second-place contestant has $18,110.
    • The credits aren't used properly.
  • On December 23:
    • Rhyme Time makes only its third known appearance in the Bonus Round. It is also one of the only known instances of it being used for a one-word answer (HODGEPODGE).
    • The SPIN ID rules are amended so that winners also receive $50,000 cash if they have an active Sony Card.
  • During the week of December 26 (Let It Snow), four contestants land on the same car (a Chevy HHR) in the Bonus Round.
  • On December 26, two males play.
  • On December 27:
    • Contestant Stephanie adds an A to the fully-revealed Round 1 puzzle WIDE-BRIMMED STRAW HAT, but it still credited with a correct response. This does not affect the outcome, as she still would have won had she been ruled wrong.
    • There is an $8,300 Jackpot win.
  • On December 30, a contestant solves the bonus puzzle HOMEBODY with only the M and E revealed, after which Pat pretends to frisk him.

January 2006

  • January 2 is Guilty Pleasures.
  • During the weeks of January 2 and 9, there is a bumper after Round 1 where Charlie and Vanna promote the Hollywood Walk of Fame Sweepstakes. The promo includes clips of the phrases FIVE LUCKY WINNERS, VIP AFTER-PARTY!, and HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME SWEEPSTAKES appearing on the puzzle board. Interestingly, this ad is accompanied by the Seasons 15-17 remix of "Changing Keys".
  • On January 2, in the closing segment, Vanna eats some Vanna Banana ice cream from Painter's Ice Cream in her hometown of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; she also shows a picture of her and Niko with the shop's owner.
  • On January 3, the $2,000 Toss-Up SNOOPY'S DOGHOUSE is the first known instance of Fictional Place being used in a Toss-Up.
  • On January 4:
    • Both the $2,000 Toss-Up and Bonus Round are Living Thing, only the third known time that category has been duplicated.
    • contestant Aimee solves the bonus puzzle HEIFER despite getting no help from her extra letters.
  • On January 6, Rock On! is used as a Toss-Up (the $1,000) for the first of only two known times.
  • January 9 is Hollywood Walk of Fame, the first movie-themed week that isn't in May or called Wheel Goes to the Movies. This week is intended to anticipate Vanna getting her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. During this week:
    • In addition to the usual movie-themed set decorations, this week also features an instrumental of the song "Hooray for Hollywood" as the music cue for when Pat and Vanna walk out.
    • It is also the Hollywood Walk of Fame Sweepstakes. Home viewers may submit each show's bonus puzzle online, with five viewers winning a chance to accompany Vanna as she gets her Hollywood Walk of Fame star.
    • Charlie's Mystery Round bumper is "Tonight's Mystery Round features glitzy, glamourous, star-studded cash -- $10,000!" accompanied by pictures of celebrities and photographers.
  • On January 9, On the Menu appears in the Bonus Round for the last time.
  • On January 10:
    • The Prize Puzzle (THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE) is inexplicably categorized as Movie Title instead of Title. This was the first known time since the introduction of the Title subsets a puzzle went against the precedent of using only Title for a title that exists in more than one medium.
    • When the show is rerun in the Summer, the Pat & Vanna talk is replaced with a clip of Vanna getting her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • On January 11, six rounds are played.
  • January 16 is Two Tickets to Paradise.
  • On January 17:
    • All three contestants ring in but do not solve the $2,000 Toss-Up, BAGGAGE HANDLER.
    • There is a $6,950 Jackpot win.
  • On January 18, Round 3 (OFFICIAL SCRABBLE PLAYERS DICTIONARY) is inexplicably categorized as Title instead of Best Seller.
  • On January 19:
    • There is a $10,450 Jackpot win.
    • The third- and second-place contestants have $18,800 and $20,450, respectively.
  • On January 20:
    • For the first time, a sixth episode (specifically, from January 30) airs before the rest of its corresponding week.
    • Glenda solves the bonus puzzle HOUSEFLY despite getting no help from her extra letters.
  • All five Bonus Rounds are won on the week of January 16, part of an eight-day winning streak.
  • January 23 is the last NFL Players Week, and the first of four weeks this season taped at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale. During this week:
    • The highest scoring contestant of the week wins a VIP trip to Super Bowl XL in Detroit, with access to Player's Parties. Also included are a Reebok gift certificate, Sirius satellite radio, and autographed merchandise by Players, Inc.
    • After Round 1, there is a bumper where each football player names his charity.
    • Vanna announces the Mystery Round prize from a football stadium.
    • The set includes rows of bleachers to seat additional audience members.
    • The NFL Players' nametags are once again football shaped.
  • On January 23:
    • All three teams are male-female combos.
    • The winning team's post-Bonus Round total does not appear onscreen.
  • On January 24, there is a $100,000 win.
  • On January 25:
    • The slide whistle does not sound on a Bankrupt in Round 1.
    • The Jackpot graphic appears briefly before the Final Spin graphic appears.
  • On January 26, all three teams are male-female combos.
  • On January 27:
    • Once again, all three teams are male-female combos.
    • In the final segment, Charlie reveals the highest scoring team of the week (contestant Babette and Bob Griese).
  • January 30 is Viva Las Vegas. During this week, the slot machine backdrop from the February 2005 Vegas shows is used in place of the video wall.
  • On January 30:
    • Two males play.
    • In the Kitchen appears in the Bonus Round for the first time.
    • The unsolved bonus puzzle reveals like one that is solved: the entire answer is put up at once (instead of the letters revealing one at a time in a zig-zag pattern) and the board's border flashes.
  • On January 31, six rounds are played.

February 2006

  • On February 3, contestant Tom solves the bonus puzzle A BRIGHT FUTURE despite getting no help from his extra letters.
  • The weeks of February 6-20 are taped at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During these weeks, the floor is blue with "Fort Lauderdale" in script in the center, accompanied by that city's shield.
  • February 6 is Sweethearts Week, and the first one that does not air on the week closest to Valentine's Day.
  • On February 6, there is a $100,000 win.
  • On February 8, the $3,000 Toss Up (STAND BY ME) is categorized as Song Title, going against the precedent of using only Title for a title that exists in more than one medium.
  • On February 9, there is a $9,300 Jackpot win.
  • February 13 is Fun in the Sun.
  • On February 16:
    • The Speed-Up Round (NO PAIN NO GAIN) is a rare instance of a puzzle with only three unique consonants.
    • Contestant Amber solves the above puzzle with only the N's showing.
    • There is a $100,000 loss.
  • On February 17, nobody solves the $1,000 Toss-Up, RISE AND SHINE.
  • During the week of February 20 (Welcome Aboard), the title card shows a drawing of a ship, with the Final Spin chimes used to represent its bells.
  • On February 20, Vanna wears a sleeveless shirt and pants.
  • On February 21:
    • The second-place contestant has $26,598.
    • Classic TV makes its second of only two known appearances in the Bonus Round.
  • On February 23, there is an $8,300 Jackpot win.
  • On February 24:
    • Two males play.
    • There is a $7,550 Jackpot win.
  • February 27 is Soap Stars Week, with teams composed of a contestant and a soap opera star. During this week:
    • The stars are Kristoff St. John, Lorenzo Lamas, and Kamar de los Reyes on Monday; Ty Treadway, Lisa Rinna, and Jack Wagner on Tuesday; Susan Flannery, Peter Bergman, and Deidre Hall on Wednesday; Michelle Stafford, Corbin Bernsen, and Alison Sweeney on Thursday; and Galen Gering, Rebecca Herbst, and Ricky Paull Goldin on Friday.
    • The opening features the two-row logo on a purple swirled background. Charlie's intro is, "Tonight, on Wheel of Fortune Soap Stars Week…" followed by a clip of each star's soap (with the name of the soap in white on a purple banner) and a description of both the star and his/her character as the star walks onstage. A unique piece of opening music is used, composed by Michael Andreas.
    • The soap stars' nametags have golden letters and outlines.
    • The Prize wedge (sponsored by Soap.com) is on the yellow $400 two wedges counterclockwise from Lose A Turn. This is probably done to prevent the red wedge from being next to the red $800. As a result, there are only two Gift Tags on the Wheel this week.
    • The contestant window in the Bonus Round is a gray television set.
    • Home viewers may submit each day's bonus puzzle to the show's website. The grand prize is a trip to New York City with a tour of the One Life to Live set, along with other prize packages from soapnet.com. Charlie promotes this after Round 3 over footage of the prizes, combined with shots of the board reading ONE LIFE TO LIVE and SOAPNET.COM respectively.
  • On February 27 and 28, the Jackpot wedge and second Bankrupt are accidentally placed on the orange $800 and green $500, one wedge clockwise from their usual positions.
  • On February 28, there is a $100,000 win, resulting in the second instance of that amount being won twice in the same month. This also results in Christine and Jack setting a one-day winnings record with $142,550. This is the highest winning total between the retirement of the Friday Finals format in Season 16 and the introduction of the Million-Dollar wedge in Season 26.

March 2006

  • On March 1, alongside clips of the stars' soaps, a clip of Pat on a 1983 episode of Days of Our Lives is shown during the intro.
  • On March 2:
    • There is an $8,000 Jackpot win.
    • There is a tie, which is broken by a fourth Toss-Up.
  • On March 3, Round 4 is PINOCCHIO, suggesting that Rounds 1-3 ran overtime. This is also a now-rare instance of a main game puzzle shorter than 10 letters.
  • The week of March 6 (Weekend Getaways) does not have any animated intros.
  • March 13 is Spring Break.
  • On March 13:
    • Two males play.
    • Vanna is not in place when the $2,000 Toss-Up is revealed, causing Pat to joke around for a few seconds before she steps into place.
  • On March 14, there is a $100,000 loss.
  • On March 17, two males play.
  • March 20 is the second Wheel Watchers Club week.
  • On March 20, two males play.
  • March 27 is World Class Spas.
  • On March 27, six rounds are played.
  • On March 28, the winning contestant, Mark, is the husband of January 12's top winner, Jen.

April 2006

  • April 3 is Armed Forces Week. During this week:
    • Charlie's intro is "Tonight, we salute our men and women in uniform on..." followed by a group of soldiers doing the title chant in front of a Jeep.
    • For the only time, "Maximum Drive" is used as the opening theme during a Culver City taping.
    • The video screen on the arch behind Pat uses the March 2004 remake of the Season 17 logo.
  • On April 3, there is a $7,200 Jackpot win.
  • On April 6, there is a $10,500 Jackpot win.
  • April 10 is By the Sea.
  • On April 11:
    • The Gift Tag is $1,000 cash courtesy of Hawaiian Tropic.
    • Contestant Barb solves the bonus puzzle BOLIVIA with only the L and A showing.
  • On April 14, Round 5 and the Bonus Round are Around the House.
  • April 17 is The Royal Treatment.
  • On April 17, contestant Susan mentions that her mother was on the show 20 years ago.
  • On April 18, a contestant solves the bonus puzzle A GOOD FIT with only the A and T showing.
  • On April 19, there is a $10,800 Jackpot win.
  • April 24 is Dream Car.
  • On April 25, for unknown reasons, Charlie does not announce the Rock On! category when it appears in Round 1.
  • On April 28:
    • Six rounds are played.
    • There is a $100,000 loss.

May 2006

  • The weeks of May 1-15 are taped at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
  • May 1 is Great Outdoors.
  • On May 4:
    • There is a $12,600 Jackpot win.
    • The $1,000 Toss-Up is Song Title, and Round 3 is Title.
  • May 8 is Mom & Me.
  • On May 8, Pat and Vanna mention during the closing chat that there is a woman named Vana White in the audience, and then introduce her.
  • On May 12, in keeping with the Mother's Day theme of the week, the closing features a montage of family photos and videos related to Vanna's childhood, plus her pregnancy announcements and the on-air introductions of her children. It ends with Niko and Giovanna, on the generic set, wishing her a happy Mother's Day.
  • May 15 is College Week, and the Text Me to Paradise Sweepstakes. During this week:
    • Home viewers may text the Bonus Round answer to a special number for a chance to win prizes. The grand prize is a one-week trip for four to Hawaii. The week is promoted by bumpers showing all 15 college contestants in front of the puzzle board, which reads "TEXT ME TO PARADISE" on the top two rows.
    • The opening graphic is the traditional logo inside a class ring.
  • On May 15, there is a $100,000 win.
  • On May 16, all three contestants hit Bankrupt consecutively in Round 3.
  • On May 18, contestant Casey calls a K with only the X and V missing from the puzzle EXCLUSIVE NIGHTCLUB, resulting in a substantial reaction from both Pat and the audience. A clip of this round later goes viral on YouTube.
  • May 22 is Family Week, consisting of teams originally planned for the canceled New Orleans tapings.
  • On May 24, the Round 4 puzzle THE NEVILLE BROTHERS is the first known instance of Family naming a specific family instead of the individual members.
  • On May 25, both contestants on the red team are named Thomas.
  • The week of May 29, Wheel Across America, does not have any animated intros. Instead, Vanna promotes the week's theme at the top of the show.
  • On May 30, the Round 1 puzzle TURKEY DINNER WITH ALL THE FIXINGS is on the second through fourth rows of the board.

June 2006

  • On June 1, Round 4 is the last appearance of On the Menu.
  • June 2 and 5 feature a very rare occurrence of Song/Artist appearing on two consecutive shows (PIANO MAN BY BILLY JOEL on the 2nd, WONDERFUL TONIGHT BY ERIC CLAPTON on the 5th).
  • On June 2:
    • Round 3 is the only appearance of Who Are They? for this season, and only the fourth overall.
    • Nobody solves the $3,000 Toss-Up, NAMBY-PAMBY.
  • June 5 is the third Wheel Watchers Club week, composed of sixth episodes.
  • June 5's sixth-show taping is of the previous week.
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