Wheel 2000 was a children's version of the American version of Wheel of Fortune. The show was created by Scott Sternberg. David Sidoni was the host, while his co-hostess was the virtual reality character Cyber Lucy, whose movements and voice were done by current Extra correspondent/weekend co-host Tanika Ray. The 'ding' sound in the original version when a letter was found was also changed, with the letter called out by a voice in Apple Simpletext. The show premiered in September 13, 1997 on CBS. The show lasted one season. The show was broadcast simultaneously on CBS and GSN, then known as Game Show Network.
The main game
Gameplay was very similar to the adult version, except three teens competed in this kids version of the game show.
At the start of each round instead of just presenting the puzzle along with the category, the contestants got to choose the puzzles for each round among three categories (with new ones replacing chosen ones for each subsequent round).
As in the adult version players took turns spinning the wheel except they played for points and not money. On a player's turn if he/she landed a point value, the player called a letter. If it was in the puzzle the player got the points times the number of times that letter appeared in the puzzle. But if the player called a wrong letter, he/she lost his/her turn to the next player in line (the same thing happened if that player incorrectly solved the puzzle or landed on one of the two penalty spaces which will be explained later). During a player's turn, he/she bought a vowel for 250 regardless if the letter appeared in the puzzle (and how many) or not. The first player to solve the puzzle kept the points & won a prize such as a Game.com, a season pass to any Six Flags theme park, and a Sony PlayStation. After each solved puzzle, a short video clip presented by Cyber Lucy or a celebrity was shown that related to the solved puzzle.
Note: If the contestant solved the puzzle with less than 250 points, his/her score got augmented to 500 points.
The categories on this show were different, but some resembled the adult version categories. Some of the categories were:
- "Globetrotter" (Place/On The Map on the regular show) - famous places
- "Just Stuff" - (Thing(s) on the regular show) - general items
- "VIPs" (Proper Name on the regular show) - it stands for very important people meaning that it's about famous people
- "Book Soup" - literature
- "Made in the USA" - things related to the United States
- "Space Case" - things in space
- "Above & Below" - same as above except it also has to do with things on earth
- "It Adds Up" - math things
- "Every Body" - body parts
- "Word Rap" - grammar & punctuation (usually Lucy's favorite)
- "Lab Test" - possibly scientific things
- "Bright Ideas" - possibly inventions
The wheel was redesigned with brighter colors and different names for various spaces:
- Penalty Spaces, such as "The Creature" ("Bankrupt"), which came up from under the wheel and "ate" all of the player's points for that round. That player also lost his/her turn (points from previous rounds were not affected), and "Loser" ("Lose a Turn"), just like Wheel, that player lost his/her turn if the space was landed on. (host Sidoni liked to call it "The Big 'L'")
- "WWW.WHEEL2000.COM" (750 point space) - this allowed a home viewer to win a Wheel 2000 t-shirt and cap if the in-studio contestant managed to choose a correct letter in the puzzle & earning 750 points for each instance.
- "Double Up" (A 500 point space) - this was where a puzzle-related question was asked and if it was answered correctly by the player, 500 got doubled to 1,000 for each right letter found; if not the correct letter was still worth 500 points.
- "250/Stunt Spaces" - Three 250 point spaces became six-peg wedges branded with the name of that day's stunt, and the first person to hit it played that stunt to receive three random letters for the puzzle. When they got three letters, or when time was up, the stunt was finished. They went back to the wheel and had the option of seeing if the letters that they earned were in puzzle or choosing to spin the wheel and choosing a letter of their own, meaning that the stunt only took up gameplay time. If no letters were earned before time ran out, or if none of the letters that the player got are in the puzzle, that player automatically lost his/her turn. The "stunt" wedges then became regular double-wide 250 point spaces.
- "Prize Box" (100 point space) - if it was landed on the player received 100 points for each instance of the correct letter and won a small prize inside the box if a correct letter was given. That prize is kept, regardless of the outcome of the round, and is not taken away even if the player with it hits a penalty space such as The Creature. After a prize is won from the Prize Box, a new one is added in the next round.
- "Top Point Value Space" - this space on the wheel in each round increased 1,000-2,000-5,000; the remaining wedges did not change. This space had a patriotic design on it.
When time was running short during a round, the game shifted to the Speed-Up round which was played as normal. As in the adult version, host Sidoni gave the wheel one final spin, then asked the player in control to guess the letter. If it was in the puzzle not only did he/she get the points landed on (vowels were worth nothing) but also got five seconds to solve it.
The player with the most points at the end of the game was the winner and went to the bonus round for a grand prize. If the game ended in a tie, another speed-up round was played with the player solving that puzzle winning the game and advancing to the bonus round.
The Bonus Round
The bonus round was like Wheel
, except that the contestant had a choice of only two secret prizes (A or B), rather than the regular five (at that time). Also, as opposed to the altered category names in the main game, bonus round puzzles had the same category names as the adult version (usually "Person", "Place", or "Thing"; but never "Phrase"). Once the category & puzzle were revealed, the winning contestant was given the six standard letters ("R", "S", "T", "L", "N", and "E") to start. Once those letters were revealed, the player was allowed to choose three more consonants and one more vowel and see if any of them were in the puzzle. He/she then had 10 seconds to solve the puzzle; if he/she was successful, they won the secret bonus prize. Unlike the adult version in which the bonus prize was revealed regardless if the bonus puzzle was solved or not, the prize stayed hidden if the puzzle was unsolved. Generally, one of the prizes was a new computer, while the other was a week's worth of limousine
rides. Other prizes included were often a ride over Los Angeles for two on a Goodyear Blimp or a theme park tour for 10.
All episodes exist. Wheel 2000
repeats aired perpetually on GSN for several years, but the show is not on the current schedule.
Wheel of Fortune 2000 - The Tour
In early 1998, Wheel of Fortune 2000 was taken on a 12-city tour, appearing in shopping malls around the country. The tour was sponsored by The Bravo Card, which was a Discover Card brand. The Chicago office of New Jersey-based promotion agency DVC Group coordinated the tour, sponsorship and promotion. TV-version host Dave Sidoni hosted the touring show as well and was again joined by Taneka Ray for the performances of Cyber Lucy. The tour visited a variety of major market cities including Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington DC, NY, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Salt Lake City, Seattle, San Jose and Anaheim. Winners from each market were invited to join the show in a grand finale show that was hosted during halftime of a major sporting event.