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A timeline for Season 4 of Wheel of Fortune, which aired in first-run from September 8, 1986 through June 19, 1987. Please note that this page is incomplete, as Game Show Network has never aired any episodes from this season and few episodes circulate among collectors.

Season ChangesEdit

  • The Wheel templates are overhauled:
    • Lose A Turn changes from tan to yellow.
    • In Round 1, $1,000 becomes pink. Going clockwise from there, $500 changes from light orange to yellow, $400 from red to purple, $200 from tan to red, Free Spin from brown to peach, $700 from orange to pink, $200 from tan to peach, $150 from red to blue, and $450 from brown to red. The blue $400 decreases to a purple $200, while the $250 next to it becomes a peach $400. The green $900 becomes a pink $250, the tan $600 darkens to peach, the brown $250 becomes purple, the blue $350 becomes orange, the tan $750 darkens to yellow, the orange $800 becomes blue, and the orange $200 lightens to peach.
    • In Round 2, $1,000 becomes yellow. From there, the orange $600 becomes red, the red $300 becomes pink, and the brown $700 lightens to peach. Lose A Turn swaps positions with the $150 two wedges clockwise (which becomes purple), while the tan $800 becomes red, the red $500 becomes pink, the tan $400 becomes blue, the blue $250 becomes purple, the tan $400 upgrades to a peach $900, the blue $550 reduces to a red $300, and the brown $300 becomes a blue $250. The red $200 and tan $900 trade places (the former becoming pink and the latter becoming yellow), the orange $200 increases to $400, the blue $400 becomes a purple $550, the tan $500 becomes a peach $200, the second Bankrupt moves one wedge clockwise to replace the tan $600 (with a red $500 replacing the Bankrupt), the brown $250 becomes a pink $600, and the red $200 becomes blue.
      $500.$700.Bankrupt.$1,500 S4
    • In Rounds 3+, the $1,500-Bankrupt-$700-$500 stretch is reversed. Also, $1,500 becomes yellow, the blue $700 becomes purple, the orange $500 becomes blue, the red $350 becomes pink, the brown $350 becomes purple, and the tan $300 becomes pink.
  • Sometime this season, the $200 between $500 and $550 is temporarily increased to $900 for Rounds 2+, and the peach $900 temporarily becomes lime green.
  • The King World logo becomes aqua blue, a color which remains through the end of Season 6.
  • Around this point, Pat no longer says "For [amount], [solve/identify/what's] this [category]" after a contestant asks to solve.

September 1986Edit

October 1986Edit

  • On an episode during the week of October 13 (Julie/David/Nita):
    • There are two sets of repeated categories: Phrase in Rounds 1 and 2, Place in Round 3 and the Bonus Round.
    • After Round 1, in an unusual move, Jack plugs the gift certificate provider (Service Merchandise) before describing the purchased prizes.
    • The camera is zoomed too far out for the entirety of Round 2, showing the entire puzzle board, and a portion of the Wheel.
    • Very strangely, the sponsor list is done over the spinning Round 1 layout.
  • As of the above episode, the set still looks the same as it did around October 1984.
  • On October 17 (Kathy/Michael/Martha):
    • The Free Spin space is yellow instead of peach.
  • On an episode around this point (Marsha/Ed/Kathleen, known to have been rerun on September 11, 1987):
    • The red portions are missing from the opening logo.
    • The Round 3 puzzle FOOT-LONG HOT DOG is a very rare instance of a puzzle with only one vowel.
    • Ed wins with $4,750, earned entirely from a $5,000 spin in Round 3 followed by the purchase of a vowel.
    • After Ed wins the Bonus Round, he is briefly shown in a "window" accompaying a shot of the prize played for (a diamond necklace), similar to the shot used in shopping rounds at the time.

November 1986Edit

  • By about mid-November, two set changes are made:
    • The contestant backdrops are changed to streamline the "jagged" edges while retaining the same color scheme. The new backdrops' "beams" appear to resemble flower buds.
    • The walls are replaced by a set of lights and a more colorful background.
  • As of about mid-November, the Enterprises logo still looks the same as it did in September 1984.
  • On an episode sometime in November or December (Kate/Marc/Caryn):
    • A $13,187 Renault Alliance convertible is the Wheel Prize. It is won.
    • Round 4 is played for a gift certificate despite not beginning as a Speed-Up.
  • By the above episode, and definitely by late December, the Enterprises logo is altered to add the line "A unit of The Coca-Cola Company", in the company's signature font, between the "Enterprises" marking and copyright date.

December 1986Edit

  • As of about mid-December, the Used Letter Board is still a chalkboard.
  • On December 26 (Dan/Denise/Jo Anne):
    • Pat sings "The Christmas Song" during the intro.
    • Round 1 is CHRISTMAS DAY.
    • Contestant Dan wins with $15,000, all claimed on the last spin of Round 3.
    • One of Dan's purchases in Round 3 is a mink coat. When Vanna is shown modeling it, the footage has a red circle around it, and she walks over to show it to him after the scores are recapped.
  • Reruns air during the week of December 29.

January 1987Edit

  • On January 5, 6, or 7 (Ann/Valerie/Helen):
    • The Prize wedge closeup has it on the Round 1 layout, specifically the red $300 next to $800.
    • Valerie sweeps the game and wins a Hi-Lo trailer in the Bonus Round.
  • On January 26 (Maggie/Faye/Scott):
    • The first known five-figure non-car Prize wedge is offered: a $10,000 fur coat. It is claimed, but not won.
    • During Round 2, Maggie's microphone falls off as she hits Lose A Turn, and Pat can be seen reattaching it when the shot cuts to her.
    • After Round 2, in an unusual move, Jack plugs the gift certificate provider (Service Merchandise) before describing the purchased prizes.
    • Scott sweeps the game and wins a Toyota 4Runner in the Bonus Round.
    • During the final segment, Pat presents Scott with one of the prizes (a ceramic cheetah) he purchased during the game.
    • The Enterprises logo shot begins with a closeup of the text of the logo, before zooming out to a full shot.

February 1987Edit

  • On February 12 (taped January 18), then-future Oprah Winfrey Show producer LeGrande Green is a contestant. He wins $4,900 in the main game (including a sofa bed, brass clock, stereo system, and trip to Hawaii) plus a Renault in the Bonus Round, a total of $19,508.

March 1987Edit

  • Sometime in March or April, the money graphic begins zooming in rather than "flipping".
  • By about late March, Jack begins announcing from a booth in front of the audience. This setup remains through at least mid-October 1988, and likely through the end of Season 6.
  • On March 17 (taped February 9) (Therese/Ed/Rodger):
    • The Round 2 puzzle PLEASE DON'T FEED THE ANIMALS is on the second through fourth rows, a practice normally done only if the first word is too long for the top row.
    • In Round 2, Ed accidentally asks to buy a vowel after spinning, but is prompted for a consonant by Pat. He then calls an S, which is in the puzzle.
    • In Round 4, which begins as a Speed-Up, the ding is accidentally used when the apostrophe in the puzzle is revealed.
    • During the end-of-game tally, Pat mentions that Rodger's twin brother had been a contestant as well.
    • Possibly due to the presence of Round 4, Pat signs off after the Bonus Round.
  • On March 31, contestant Leigh sets a new one-round record of $44,300 by solving AN AMERICAN SUCCESS STORY. She also wins three cars: one from the Prize wedge, the other two from the aforementioned one-round record. Her overall maingame winnings are $59,013, but she loses a $17,000+ piece of jewelry in the Bonus Round. It is also known that Leigh's husband competed on daytime earlier in the same month.

April 1987Edit

  • Reruns air during the week of April 13.
  • As of about late April, full credit rolls still use entirely blue text.

May 1987Edit

  • On an episode sometime this month (Mark/Barbara/Susan):
    • In what seems to have been a rarity for the shopping era, two contestants (Mark and Susan) win at least $10,000.
    • Mark wins two cars: a Jeep in the main game, and a Renault in the Bonus Round.
  • On another episode sometime this month, believed to have aired on May 21 or 22, 1987. (Sandra/Janet/Ray):
  • Airdate gleaned as the end of an episode has original commercials with news updates talking about events including a Jim Bakker PTL auction and a heart transplant recipient, John Couch, and his donor, meeting for the first time, that happened on May 21, 1987.
    • The Prize is a $15,636 Buick Skylark.
    • In an unusual move, Pat hands Sandra one of her prizes (a floral basket) after the final round.
    • Pat and Vanna do the closing chat from Jack's announcing booth, allowing him to be seen on-camera for the second known time during his tenure as announcer, as he appeared in the end segment of a March 1987 daytime show as well. This is followed by footage of Pat, Vanna, and Jack doing a train tour.

June 1987Edit

  • On an episode sometime this month (Martine/Jim/Gerri):
    • After Round 1, in an unusual move, Jack plugs the gift certificate provider (Service Merchandise) before describing the purchased prizes.
    • At the start of Round 3, Pat mentions the category name (Things) before remembering to mention the $5,000 space.
    • After the Speed-Up puzzle is solved, the contestant backdrops show a reflection of the puzzle board being wheeled away.
    • The bonus puzzle UNITED STATES AIR FORCE is only the third known bonus puzzle to use all four lines of the board.
    • Possibly due to the presence of Round 4, Pat signs off after the Bonus Round.
  • As of the above episode:
    • The category chyrons are still not present during Speed-Up rounds.
    • The Enterprises logo still looks the same as it did in late December 1986.
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