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The Game Show Forum => The Big Board => Topic started by: Prizes on October 29, 2014, 09:13:42 PM

Title: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Prizes on October 29, 2014, 09:13:42 PM
I'd like to first off thank Cory for interviewing me about this article, and listing me as a contributor to this article, likely in large part due to my page; Buy a Vowel Boards, this is much appreciated.

The story itself can be found at:  http://www.buzzerblog.com/2014/10/29/what-does-wheel-of-fortune-need-to-stay-fresh/

To the point, while Wheel may be going strong, Jeopardy! has brand recognition of many aspects, like Alex, his mustache, the Clue Crew, double digit game appearances, and Feud has its ongoing brand of humor, and large marketability to the masses, like YouTube. But Wheel seemingly lacks such a signature element, which the Big Honkin' Wheel really does not provide. Notably, most of these aspects come from something other than core gameplay.

What do you think the show needs to actually distinguish itself as its own show again? Ratings might not be that much lower, and it doesn't mean much, if anything, but I believe it merits discussion, and I'm seemingly not alone on this matter. Do you agree with us in the article in freshener ideas? Disagree? Additional ideas? I figure the board here to know some ideas quite well, since some here at least have some experience in various mediums and past experience with different shows, be they contestants, or people working for the shows themselves.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: BrandonFG on October 29, 2014, 09:34:47 PM
I admit I haven't watched in quite some time, mainly because it just seems like background noise. I can't pinpoint it, but everything just seems stale and on cruise control.

Watch an episode from the 80s or 90s, and with the exception of the shopping or fewer gimmicks, it's a fun show to watch, even though it's more or less the same show. In the case of a mid-90s episode, the gimmicks are mainly in the types of puzzles, other than that, it's spin and call a letter for whatever dollar amount. I don't want a loud show where everyone cheers over every. Single. Thing. But a little more excitement wouldn't hurt.

The modest reactions work on Jeopardy!, not as much here. When a contestant won a car or 25K back in the 80s/90s, they were truly ecstatic...nowadays, you can't tell a 30K win from a million dollar one because it's undersold all the way down to Jim's announcement. To me, that's just bland television, esp. when you see teams lose it on Feud or Name Game for $20,000. All the prize puzzle or wheel additions in the world won't change the levels if contestants still act like they've only won $100 in the local raffle.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: TLEberle on October 29, 2014, 09:45:14 PM
There are some things I agree with Cory about (and I'm not quite sure what the point of his Battle Puzzle would be), but my word, some of the commenters are right off their nut. We're not watching for the money, we're watching because it's an easy game to follow; it is comfort food.

To Brandon's point: the show seems stale because it's been on the air forty-plus years. You really can't combat that. Even with the million dollars on offer, we don't really see anything new or unpredictable outside the early solves. Harry makes changes every year, but it's kinda like adding a new coat of paint to the outside of the house but not checking the inside to see if there's mold anywhere, or getting your car washed instead of having a brake job done. They're not going to win back viewers by ditching the Final Spin and moving toss-up puzzles to the end of the show to where the leader has to solve one, second place two and third place three and whoever can count down to zero gets to stop by Bonusland.

There's a daytime episode from 1983 (search "wheel of fortune daytime" and it'll be the second result on YT.) It had excitement, fun, decent money and a decent ending. In the late 80s and early 90s they had big cash on offer as well as glamorous bonus prizes in front of scenic bits that came from the art department. Now there's cars in front of a static backdrop as well as B-roll of Pat-or-Vanna at the relevant location.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: cmjb13 on October 29, 2014, 09:52:27 PM
Wheel has been stale because Sajak has, IMO, been phoning it in for the past 20 years.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Dan88 on October 29, 2014, 11:20:50 PM
The biggest problem for me is the puzzles, whether they're Phrases few people actually say or lines lifted verbatim from vacation brochures or even stereotype-based stuff (Girlfriend Getaways was particularly bad with that last one).

Harry makes changes every year, but it's kinda like adding a new coat of paint to the outside of the house but not checking the inside to see if there's mold anywhere, or getting your car washed instead of having a brake job done.
This, pretty much. And even the changes made every year tend to be bungled somehow -- last year's was adding Express (good idea) but putting it in the same round as the Prize Puzzle, meaning an Express solve immediately gets overshadowed by the trip plug. This year's was upgrading the Wheel (good idea) but limiting it to $500-$900 while keeping vowels at $250.

In all honesty, though, the major problems with the show are Harry's own doing -- the puzzles are all approved by him (source: 2013 interview with Jason Block (http://www.clw83.com/2013/03/09/wlti-live-extra-harry-friedman-interview/)), the trips and cars being the only prizes offered is because they're his personal preference (source: Reddit AMA with Adam Nedeff (http://www.reddit.com/r/gameshow/comments/2byd6u/i_used_to_work_for_game_shows_and_now_i_write/cja4nwo)), and Wheel so closely resembles a primetime network game show of the past decade (including the dark atmosphere and inability to keep million-dollar wins hush-hush) that I'm starting to wonder if it's intentional.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: BrandonFG on October 29, 2014, 11:33:34 PM
That's one of my other issues, the puzzles are just goofy and wordy. I get that the goal is to give away money, but "EATING A DELICIOUS CHEESEBURGER" still sounds dumb. I've said before that Vanna's first puzzle, "GENERAL HOSPITAL", would now be "EMMY-AWARD WINNING SOAP GENERAL HOSPITAL". It's just extra, and you could prolly sneak in another puzzle if you kept the puzzles short and simple. Then again, I wouldn't mind the standard three or four puzzles you saw in the 80s, then maybe one fewer Toss Up.

Don't even get me started on the theme weeks..."Pet Lovers"? Snooze. I think my issue there is the emphasis is put too much on the silly themes and not on the game. TPiR does a bunch of theme episodes, but in the end, it's still contestants who just happen to be teachers or newlyweds playing Plinko or One Away.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Dan88 on October 29, 2014, 11:55:42 PM
I've said before that Vanna's first puzzle, "GENERAL HOSPITAL", would now be "EMMY-AWARD WINNING SOAP GENERAL HOSPITAL". It's just extra, and you could prolly sneak in another puzzle if you kept the puzzles short and simple.
Same goes with Proper Name, although I think it's been that way since the early 1990s: TOM CRUISE is now ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING ACTOR TOM CRUISE, or (and this actually happened) what would have been THE CAST OF GLEE is done as THE TALENTED CAST MEMBERS OF GLEE.

The Prize Puzzle, though...yeah, that's particularly bad in the "fluffed" department.

Then again, I wouldn't mind the standard three or four puzzles you saw in the 80s, then maybe one less Toss Up.
I say get rid of the $1,000 Toss-Up -- it's near-completely irrelevant to the rest of the game, and if nobody solves the $2,000 one the player in the red position starts Round 1 even if s/he didn't get the first Toss-Up.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: brianhenke on October 30, 2014, 01:06:02 AM
I've said before that Vanna's first puzzle, "GENERAL HOSPITAL", would now be "EMMY-AWARD WINNING SOAP GENERAL HOSPITAL". It's just extra, and you could prolly sneak in another puzzle if you kept the puzzles short and simple.
Same goes with Proper Name, although I think it's been that way since the early 1990s: TOM CRUISE is now ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING ACTOR TOM CRUISE, or (and this actually happened) what would have been THE CAST OF GLEE is done as THE TALENTED CAST MEMBERS OF GLEE.

The Prize Puzzle, though...yeah, that's particularly bad in the "fluffed" department.

Then again, I wouldn't mind the standard three or four puzzles you saw in the 80s, then maybe one less Toss Up.
I say get rid of the $1,000 Toss-Up -- it's near-completely irrelevant to the rest of the game, and if nobody solves the $2,000 one the player in the red position starts Round 1 even if s/he didn't get the first Toss-Up.

 (Tom Cruise hasn't won an Academy Award, BTW.) I remember a puzzle from a decade ago which was the worst puzzle I ever saw. It was TAKE TWO! OSCAR-WINNING ACTRESS JULIA ROBERTS HAS TWINS, IIRC.

  My ideas are:

  - Move Express to Round 1.
  - Get rid of the Trip Puzzle and replace it with Surprise Round. Bring back the Surprise wedge.
  - Have more variety in puzzle categories.  Do we need to see WAYD? and/or Before and After every show (We've gone four years without a Headline that wasn't about Prince William.)
   - Get rid of the one-and-done rule and bring back contestants (like have a Friday Finals, Some of the Greats week or a end-of-season Top Players week).

   Brian
 
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: J.R. on October 30, 2014, 01:17:07 AM
(source: Reddit AMA with Adam Nedeff (http://www.reddit.com/r/gameshow/comments/2byd6u/i_used_to_work_for_game_shows_and_now_i_write/cja4nwo))
One thing that stood out to me in that link was the fact most of the Prize Puzzle winnings have gone unclaimed. I wonder how many people have won something and had absolutely no idea because they don't really watch anymore?

For me, the only change I'd really be in favor for is returning champions. To me, WOF is the ultimate "comfort food" game show and the "sameness" of most the episodes really hasn't been a deal breaker for me.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Dan88 on October 30, 2014, 02:22:17 AM
For me, the only change I'd really be in favor for is returning champions.
So would I, but the show's made it clear that they'd prefer to tape in whatever order they want and get six weeks done in five taping days. Given the reason Pat gave for why they removed that aspect to begin with (good puzzle solvers could end up hitting penalties, while lousy solvers could luck into a runaway game), I doubt they'll bring it back.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Mr. Armadillo on October 30, 2014, 08:53:40 AM
You want to make Wheel of Fortune fresh?  Replace Vanna White, and give her replacement more to do on the set.  Short of that, I don't see the show "freshening up" any time soon.

I remember a puzzle from a decade ago which was the worst puzzle I ever saw. It was TAKE TWO! OSCAR-WINNING ACTRESS JULIA ROBERTS HAS TWINS, IIRC.

That won't fit on the puzzleboard, unless you add about five monitors to the bottom row or take out OSCAR-WINNING.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: aaron sica on October 30, 2014, 09:55:19 AM
(Tom Cruise hasn't won an Academy Award, BTW.) I remember a puzzle from a decade ago which was the worst puzzle I ever saw. It was TAKE TWO! OSCAR-WINNING ACTRESS JULIA ROBERTS HAS TWINS, IIRC.

I don't think Wheel would add "IIRC" to a puzzle.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: MikeK on October 30, 2014, 12:39:06 PM
(Tom Cruise hasn't won an Academy Award, BTW.) I remember a puzzle from a decade ago which was the worst puzzle I ever saw. It was TAKE TWO! OSCAR-WINNING ACTRESS JULIA ROBERTS HAS TWINS, IIRC.

I don't think Wheel would add "IIRC" to a puzzle.
Maybe that's what they need to do to keep the show fresh--add netspeak.

"I'd like to solve, Pat.  I LEFT MY <3 IN SAN FRANCISCO."
"You got it!"
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: MSTieScott on October 30, 2014, 01:28:32 PM
I think the central premise of the article is misplaced.

"Wheel of Fortune" has not been hurting for publicity recently. In 2014 alone, they had a contestant make an amazing bonus round solve (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/video-wheel-fortune-winner-reveals-690144), a contestant make multiple puzzle-solving mistakes (http://time.com/60873/worst-wheel-of-fortune-contestant/), and a contestant that was impossible to root against (http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/wheel-fortune-contestant-trent-girone-captures-hearts-social-23544788). All of these stories received widespread (by game show story standards) media coverage, which by my estimates, currently puts "Wheel of Fortune" on par with "Jeopardy!" and ahead of any other game show trying to get media coverage through obvious gimmicks.

Yes, you can absolutely make the argument that in general, the show has a sense of sameness. And I would agree that there are things the show could do differently to be more entertaining for the frequent viewer. But I'm not seeing how "Wheel of Fortune" is having trouble being noticed by the general public.

You can't force a 39-year-old five-days-a-week TV show to feel fresh and amazing on a day-to-day basis. Using the "Jeopardy!" examples in the article and my "Wheel of Fortune" examples, the one thing all of those publicity-making moments have in common (with the exception of the Battle of the Decades) is that they couldn't be planned ahead of time. The best moments happen spontaneously, which is a large appeal of watching game shows in the first place (the other large appeal is playing along at home, and "Wheel of Fortune" has no problems on that front). Changing the price of vowels or building a "new, more dynamic set" (what does that even mean?) won't give you more moments that make people want to tune in.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: aaron sica on October 30, 2014, 02:21:57 PM
Maybe that's what they need to do to keep the show fresh--add netspeak.

"I'd like to solve, Pat.  I LEFT MY <3 IN SAN FRANCISCO."
"You got it!"

Another idea (I believe we came up with the name at GSC8 many years ago), put the host in a sumo wrestling costume and call him "Fat Sajak".
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: JayDLewis on October 30, 2014, 05:36:07 PM
I get that the impetus for this conversation (here and w/ Buzzerblog) is Feud's climb in the ratings.

What about the other ratings? Is Feud making gains at the expense of W/J! Are W/J! staying pat?

If W/J! are holding (more or less) steady then perhaps nothing can be done to goose their numbers.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: BrandonFG on October 30, 2014, 07:29:12 PM
From what I've noticed over the years, fairly steady, around a 6 rating.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Joe Mello on October 30, 2014, 07:30:35 PM
What about the other ratings? Is Feud making gains at the expense of W/J! Are W/J! staying pat?

If W/J! are holding (more or less) steady then perhaps nothing can be done to goose their numbers.
Didn't Nielsen changed its ratings criteria to include all runs of the same program?  If I am remembering properly, then Feud is succeeding partially due to Steve Harvey, but a lot of it is also due to brute force.  I can't think of very many outlets that air Wheel or J! more than once daily.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: BrandonFG on October 30, 2014, 07:37:56 PM
I believe that's what's allowed "Judge Judy" to become the #1 show in syndication as well.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: irwinsjournal.com on October 30, 2014, 08:10:44 PM
"Before and After" has always been the nails on the blackboard category for me.   For example: "The Wicked Witch of the West Coast."  Really.  Come on.

I've wondered how many puzzles are really left unwritten at this point.   On the other hand, Jeopardy hasn't run out of clues.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Prizes on October 30, 2014, 08:19:36 PM
"Before and After" has always been the nails on the blackboard category for me.   For example: "The Wicked Witch of the West Coast."  Really.  Come on.

I've wondered how many puzzles are really left unwritten at this point.

Before and After has grated on me for sometime now, not because it's not creative, because it can be, though usually isn't. Rather, it seems like whenever I flip Wheel, and Pat is segueing to Round 2, I'm hearing Pat say, "The category is, Before and After." It's not absolute, but it feels like 90% of the time. There's no reason it needs to be that high of a frequency.

As for puzzles unwritten? Check out this site: https://sites.google.com/site/wheeloffortunepuzzlecompendium/home/compendium
It's basically a huge list from one of the BAV staffers (if incomplete), of various puzzles used over the years, with various eras, such as daytime. Say what you will about it, but it's a good resource guide for future players, and answers your question in large part. For the most part, they've been very unoriginal, with many puzzles reused/slightly modified from roughly four seasons ago, consistently, with the exception of the awful Trip Puzzle writing.

I get that the impetus for this conversation (here and w/ Buzzerblog) is Feud's climb in the ratings.

What about the other ratings? Is Feud making gains at the expense of W/J! Are W/J! staying pat?

For however you view Abell's ratings, which seem one of the few things to trust him on: Wheel was flat last week, at 6.4, Jeopardy went down 0.1 to 6.2, and Feud went up 0.3, to 6.1. I think it's just perhaps notable, since Wheel has long been seated in the comfortable top spot. With Feud's emergence, even if through sum of scores, and its potential to possibly unseat Wheel there, is an outstanding remark, and more than just a blip on my radar.

It's impossible to know at present, but I do wonder about your other point; is there anything Wheel can do? That was in part my premise for contributing to this; I thought so, as did a few others.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Dan88 on October 30, 2014, 11:41:11 PM
Changing the price of vowels [...] won't give you more moments that make people want to tune in.
Probably not, but put 'em at $1,000 and the players will have to actually work for them, as they had to to varying degrees until the minimum Wheel value became $250. The early (1973-75) layouts suggest that vowels were meant to be a sizable cost with a sizable penalty, as $250 was originally half the Round 1 top value and one-quarter of the highest value overall.

building a "new, more dynamic set" (what does that even mean?)
Perhaps the bright atmosphere the set had until the mid-2000s, when it got darker and more neon-reliant?

"Before and After" has always been the nails on the blackboard category for me. For example: "The Wicked Witch of the West Coast." Really. Come on.
Oh yeah, definitely. It used to be two names or objects connected by a common word (such as WHITNEY HOUSTON TEXAS, to use an example from Brad Francini's site), but nowadays it just seems to be a Phrase or Quotation with a word tacked onto the end like MY FATHER IS HALF-IRISH SETTER and OLD KING COLE WAS A MERRY OLD SOUL MATE. That's not creative; that's lazy.

Quote from: Harry Friedman
We try to make Wheel of Fortune reliableónot predictable.
I agree, Harry, it's reliable -- I can rely on the puzzles being predictably bad. :)

It's impossible to know at present, but I do wonder about your other point; is there anything Wheel can do? That was in part my premise for contributing to this; I thought so, as did a few others.
There's things they can (and should) do, but the thing is whether they actually want to do anything anybody's suggesting (and have been suggesting for at least a couple or so years).

That said...given the lackluster changes and terrible writing, I get the feeling Harry doesn't have his heart in Wheel as much as he did in the 1990s to mid-2000s.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh?
Post by: TLEberle on October 30, 2014, 11:53:46 PM
There's things they can (and should) do, but the thing is whether they actually want to do anything anybody's suggesting (and have been suggesting for at least a couple or so years).
But why do it? Are you going to get more eyeballs with any of those ideas? If so, wouldn't he have done it? His job is basically keeping an airplane at cruising altitude, and as homogeneous and predictable as the individual episodes are, the show is still #1. Why put a $1,750 space on the wheel or give away Not Trips if you don't have to?

Quote
In the end, like I said before, the main problem with Wheel is Harry Friedman. Given the lackluster changes and terrible writing, I get the feeling he doesn't have his heart in it as much as he did in the 1990s to mid-2000s.
For comparison's sake, what's your gig and how long have you been at it?
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: BrandonFG on October 31, 2014, 12:38:53 AM
That said...given the lackluster changes and terrible writing, I get the feeling Harry doesn't have his heart in Wheel as much as he did in the 1990s to mid-2000s.
He's also behind Jeopardy!, and that show is still just as fresh as ever, with even fewer changes year-in, year-out. I'm not a "Wheel Watcher" nearly as much as I used to be, but I don't think Harry's producing is the problem, even if I do think the puzzles are pretty terrible.

/WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST COAST? Yuck
//Oddly enough, J!'s Before and After category always gives me a good laugh
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Kevin Prather on October 31, 2014, 01:50:29 AM
The argument behind raising the vowel cost is to make it harder to buy vowels. What does discouraging vowel-buying do to help the show? The savvy player is in there buying vowels as soon as possible in order to figure out the puzzle nice and early so as to capitalize. By taking that away, you lessen the likelihood of big wins and increase the likelihood of long drawn-out puzzles. Neither of which would appeal much to the viewing audience.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: PYLdude on October 31, 2014, 02:52:00 AM
The argument behind raising the vowel cost is to make it harder to buy vowels. What does discouraging vowel-buying do to help the show? The savvy player is in there buying vowels as soon as possible in order to figure out the puzzle nice and early so as to capitalize. By taking that away, you lessen the likelihood of big wins and increase the likelihood of long drawn-out puzzles. Neither of which would appeal much to the viewing audience.

I totally agree.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: jjman920 on October 31, 2014, 09:51:10 AM
You can't force a 39-year-old five-days-a-week TV show to feel fresh and amazing on a day-to-day basis. Using the "Jeopardy!" examples in the article and my "Wheel of Fortune" examples, the one thing all of those publicity-making moments have in common (with the exception of the Battle of the Decades) is that they couldn't be planned ahead of time. The best moments happen spontaneously, which is a large appeal of watching game shows in the first place (the other large appeal is playing along at home, and "Wheel of Fortune" has no problems on that front). Changing the price of vowels or building a "new, more dynamic set" (what does that even mean?) won't give you more moments that make people want to tune in.
You may not be able to force the show to feel fresh, but you can certainly give people something to talk about. The Price is Right is older than Wheel and in addition to letting the moments happen naturally ($7,000 hammock guy, crashing into George, etc.), they've tried theme shows (though not at the same clip as Wheel), but they've also had celebrities on the show. Usually it's a modelling gig but, for at least two years, they actually had them playing the game. Snoop Dogg's episode was highly memorable and made the news at the time for the moments created. Wheel of Fortune has seemingly shied away from their celebrity and celeb/contestant games for some reason. Seeing celebrities play the game can certainly bring in a few more eyeballs. Jeopardy! has done their invitational tournament and a Power Players week in the last five years, while Wheel has done nothing. Hell, even Family Feud dipped their hand into the well since Harvey's been at the helm. While you can't manufacture moments, you can certainly augment the atmosphere and conditions to create the greater opportunity for one to happen.

The argument behind raising the vowel cost is to make it harder to buy vowels. What does discouraging vowel-buying do to help the show? The savvy player is in there buying vowels as soon as possible in order to figure out the puzzle nice and early so as to capitalize. By taking that away, you lessen the likelihood of big wins and increase the likelihood of long drawn-out puzzles. Neither of which would appeal much to the viewing audience.
But was this a problem 39 years ago? The price of vowels has been $250, and back then that was more than the minimum on the wheel. Depending on the spin and the puzzle, it might take more than a spin to be able to call only one vowel. People still fell in love with the show regardless of how long it took to solve the puzzle, which honestly wasn't long and wouldn't become longer if people the price were raised since the minimum values on the wheel have been raised. While raising the price of vowels might not help the show, it would hardly hurt it either.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh?
Post by: TLEberle on October 31, 2014, 12:47:34 PM
While you can't manufacture moments, you can certainly augment the atmosphere and conditions to create the greater opportunity for one to happen.
On the contrary: Family Feud has shown that you can do exactly that. To your other point, you're right: just about every other game show out there provides a better conduit for those viral bits than does Wheel of Fortune, other than blooper solve attempts and the like. When Millionaire crowned their first few winners, it was big news and the winners became famous to varying degrees. Who among the viewing populace remembers Wheel's seven-figure winners anymore, or even the gal who solved with one letter?

To the original question: Wheel could be more fresh if they'd wander off the reservation every once in a bit.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: BrandonFG on October 31, 2014, 01:47:48 PM
Much as I detest the manufactured moments or prepackaged contestants so many shows use, people with personalities wouldn't hurt. There was a very memorable (if not infamous) contestant from about 20 years ago named Raymond, who had become a bit of a celebrity on the show at that time*. I seem to remember the audience going nuts when Pat introduced him. Those two brothers whose appearances were posted on the AV forum also come to mind.

The contestants today are pretty faces with little personality...which probably explains why they're so calm about winning the bonus round. You can have fun loving contestants who aren't annoying. Even Jeopardy contestants seem less robotic.

*He apparently caused a stir by hanging out at the studio a few years later.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: aaron sica on October 31, 2014, 02:02:29 PM
*He apparently caused a stir by hanging out at the studio a few years later.

Raymond was banned permanently from the set, no?
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: TLEberle on October 31, 2014, 02:04:57 PM
I was remembering a daytime episode where members of the armed forces were pulled from the audience to play and whoever solved the puzzle would stay on to play against two new challengers, and the top winner of the day would play the bonus game. I liked it because it was the same game but with a neat tweak to it. I wonder how big the reaction would be if they did that one time every time they took the show on the road. Don't say that it will be Audience Participation Friday, but say that one episode will feature contestants from the crowd. No having to endure a Wheelmobile stop or audition, just show up and have your name be picked and you can spin the wheel. That would generate some buzz as opposed to Pet Lovers or Wheel Across America and the like. Take chances; some things will work and others won't, but at least they would be having a punt. (When's the last time they did a College Week where students would show up bedecked in the logo of their chosen institution?)
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Neumms on October 31, 2014, 03:11:18 PM
The contestants today are pretty faces with little personality...which probably explains why they're so calm about winning the bonus round.

Exactly. It's not a hard game. They could put on interesting people. Maybe they wouldn't play like robots. It's become a game--seemingly intentionally--with no suspense whatsoever.

Buying vowels may be prudent strategy, but it's not exactly interesting. I say they should raise the price. They'd certainly get PR out of it. Maybe they give the extra dough to a charity and keep a running tally.

The prizes aren't interesting. There are too many gift cards on the wheel, taking away the excitement of finding multiple letters in the puzzle. If there's something special on the wheel, then it should be special.

The reveal of the bonus-round dollar amount is anti-climactic. If you knew they were playing for $100,000 or a million, you'd get drama. Otherwise the chances are so slim it doesn't matter, and you don't find out until the end anyway. Over the years, they've increased the stakes without increasing excitement. When Pat opens the folder, there's no emotional difference between $25,000, $32,000 or $50,000. I'd say leave most of the slots at $25,000, then improve the odds of the $100,000 or make the merchandise prizes more impressive. Or put the money on the wheel--make the $10,000 space a legitimate space, where it multiplies with the letters. 
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: aaron sica on October 31, 2014, 03:20:20 PM
The reveal of the bonus-round dollar amount is anti-climactic.

So much this. I'm not much of a regular watcher anymore to either WoF or J!, but I happened to catch one last week where the winner landed on the Million Dollar Wedge and took it all the way to the bonus round with him. Simply because I heard no media buzz about it, I knew he wouldn't win the million, much less draw the $100K card.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Kevin Prather on October 31, 2014, 03:30:35 PM
But was this a problem 39 years ago? The price of vowels has been $250, and back then that was more than the minimum on the wheel. Depending on the spin and the puzzle, it might take more than a spin to be able to call only one vowel. People still fell in love with the show regardless of how long it took to solve the puzzle, which honestly wasn't long and wouldn't become longer if people the price were raised since the minimum values on the wheel have been raised. While raising the price of vowels might not help the show, it would hardly hurt it either.
Oh it wasn't bad back then, but I submit that it's better now.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: aaron sica on October 31, 2014, 03:31:45 PM
The reveal of the bonus-round dollar amount is anti-climactic.

So much this. I'm not much of a regular watcher anymore, but I happened to catch one last week where the winner landed on the Million Dollar Wedge and took it all the way to the bonus round with him. Simply because I heard no media buzz about it, I knew he wouldn't win the million, much less draw the $100K card.

Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: BrandonFG on October 31, 2014, 04:06:00 PM
*He apparently caused a stir by hanging out at the studio a few years later.

Raymond was banned permanently from the set, no?
I believe so, yes.

I like the idea of revealing the envelope first, considering there once was a time when a contestant chose their prize. I think the thrill went out the window when they introduced the bonus wheel because it's now all cash and cars. So you solve the puzzle, you know you're going home with either 25K* or a fancy vehicle. Granted, the trips and home entertainment centers from the mid-90s weren't exactly the most exciting thing in the world either (trips maybe), but a lot of the allure is lost in the current wheel.

The only argument I have is that it would suck if someone knows a million bucks is on the line and misses the puzzle.

*Is that still the bonus round minimum?
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: TLEberle on October 31, 2014, 04:11:46 PM
*Is that still the bonus round minimum?
No, it increased to $30,000 and then $32,000.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Neumms on October 31, 2014, 04:41:25 PM
The savvy player is in there buying vowels as soon as possible in order to figure out the puzzle nice and early so as to capitalize.

But that's part of the problem. There's a little more danger in trying to spin and place consonants, which adds tension to the game. Instead, they figure it out quickly and methodically and immediately stop spinning.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Dan88 on October 31, 2014, 05:42:28 PM
Wheel of Fortune has seemingly shied away from their celebrity and celeb/contestant games for some reason.
Yeah, I don't get it either -- the last celeb/contestant week was in late 2007, and the last all-celeb game was in late 2000 as an "Unmask the Stars" contest.

I think the problem is that the show's rigidly mandated format of three Toss-Ups and at least four main-game puzzles means you can't really have fun with the celebs without running into all kinds of editing.

*Is that still the bonus round minimum?
No, it increased to $30,000 and then $32,000.
And will keep going up $1,000 for each new season.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: TLEberle on October 31, 2014, 05:54:19 PM
And will keep going up $1,000 for each new season.
Not sure if serious?
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Dan88 on October 31, 2014, 08:00:00 PM
Not sure if serious?
I wish I was creative enough to be making that up. The change was tweeted (http://twitter.com/BAVBoards/status/497228073138683906) by a Wheel staff member on August 6.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Thunder on October 31, 2014, 10:07:38 PM
The 2981-2982 season will be memorable with the $999,000 minimum bonus round prize.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: PYLdude on October 31, 2014, 10:15:46 PM
Not sure if serious?
I wish I was creative enough to be making that up. The change was tweeted (http://twitter.com/BAVBoards/status/497228073138683906) by a Wheel staff member on August 6.

Am I the only one who thinks that's a completely counterproductive idea?
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: SamJ93 on November 01, 2014, 07:30:35 AM
The 2981-2982 season will be memorable with the $999,000 minimum bonus round prize.

Which, after the rampant hyperinflation resulting from the recession of 2970 and humans gradually evolving into sedentary blobs whose brains are half-computer, will only be enough to download a nutritional foodstuffs app from Costco.

But vowels will still be $250.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: irwinsjournal.com on November 01, 2014, 09:58:48 PM
The 2981-2982 season will be memorable with the $999,000 minimum bonus round prize.

Which would certainly make the Million Dollar Wedge less interesting.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: PYLdude on November 01, 2014, 11:56:14 PM
The 2981-2982 season will be memorable with the $999,000 minimum bonus round prize.

Which would certainly make the Million Dollar Wedge less interesting.

Will they have patented the head in a jar technology by then?
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Allstar87 on November 05, 2014, 08:52:16 PM
The 2981-2982 season will be memorable with the $999,000 minimum bonus round prize.

Which would certainly make the Million Dollar Wedge less interesting.

They could always make it the Billion Dollar Wedge instead.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Sodboy13 on November 12, 2014, 12:59:03 AM
I almost never watch Wheel, but since I was off work today, I decided to watch an episode with the critiques from this thread. What I noticed:

Round 1's prize was a $7,500 Walmart giftcard. The minor prize tag on the wheel was a $1,000 Walmart giftcard. Trips and Walmart, that's our game, W-H-E-E-L.

"Here's our puzzle for Round 2, and the category is Before And After..." Right on cue. And as several posters mentioned, it was of the lazy "tack a single word onto the end of a phrase" variety.

Round 3's prize puzzle was worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $12,500, which seems kind of game-breaking.

Does Round 4 ever get played to any extent anymore? It seems like any time I tune in, it's immediately time for the final spin.

The Bonus Round now apparently operates on only two difficulty levels: $32,000 and Anything Over $32,000. The almost impossible MOVING QUICKLY was the reward tonight's couple got for randomly spinning the $45,000 card.

I don't get how this show stays on with high ratings, other than inertia. It's one thing to be comfortingly familiar; it's another to be flatly predictable, and Wheel seems to have gone out of its way to make itself more of the latter.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Dan88 on November 12, 2014, 02:09:43 AM
Round 3's prize puzzle was worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $12,500, which seems kind of game-breaking.
It was $12,000, which seems to be the minimum for team weeks nowadays (the minimum for normal weeks appears to be $6,000).

Does Round 4 ever get played to any extent anymore? It seems like any time I tune in, it's immediately time for the final spin.
I think it depends on budget and where the Wheel is given Pat's spin strength, although team weeks tend to have shorter games since there's six interviews rather than three. Round 4 sometimes does play out in full, and on rare occasion they get through a full Round 5, but there hasn't been a six-full-rounds game in ages.

As for "time is running out", given the game structure I really don't think there's any such thing as a "game timer" in use before the last Toss-Up, since otherwise we'd be getting Speed-Ups in Round 3.

The Bonus Round now apparently operates on only two difficulty levels: $32,000 and Anything Over $32,000. The almost impossible MOVING QUICKLY was the reward tonight's couple got for randomly spinning the $45,000 card.
The puzzles are selected and slotted in advance, regardless of what gets hit on the Bonus Wheel, so it's really just a coincidence that nearly every time the prize is Not The Bare F-ing Minimum it gets lost. Even then, only 10 of the 42 Bonus Rounds so far this season have been for Not-$32,000, three of which have been won (and $32K itself has been lost 16 times).

* Not-$32K wins: the Million on September 17 (LOUD LAUGHTER, Thing); $40,000 on October 2 (JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON, Phrase); and $45,000 on October 15 (JUICE BAR, Place).
* Not-$32K losses: $45,000 on September 18 (ICONIC GAME, Thing, picks of BDMA), October 21 (HIGH GEAR, Thing, picks of CDMO), and November 11; cars on September 24 (VALUABLE CARGO, Thing, picks of CDHAM) and October 3 (IT TAKES KNOW-HOW, Phrase, picks of MCDI); $100,000 on October 27 (POINT THE WAY, Phrase, picks of PCMO); and $40,000 on November 7 (LIKE WALKING ON AIR, Phrase, picks of PGMO).

I don't get how this show stays on with high ratings, other than inertia. It's one thing to be comfortingly familiar; it's another to be flatly predictable, and Wheel seems to have gone out of its way to make itself more of the latter.
Yeah, that's a bit of an issue. Then again, like I suggested before, Wheel does seem to be striving for the "primetime network game of the past decade" feel.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: BrandonFG on November 12, 2014, 02:18:18 AM
ICONIC GAME? These puzzles are getting more and more ridiculous. I haven't watched in a while, but the gratuitous adjectives in puzzles was one thing that turned me off at least a decade ago.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: TimK2003 on November 12, 2014, 09:10:38 AM
ICONIC GAME? These puzzles are getting more and more ridiculous.

As are the answers:  http://kdvr.com/2014/11/11/pat-sajak-walks-off-set-after-ridiculous-wheel-of-fortune-answer/ (http://kdvr.com/2014/11/11/pat-sajak-walks-off-set-after-ridiculous-wheel-of-fortune-answer/)
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Fedya on November 12, 2014, 09:49:51 AM
I presume that was in a speed-up round?

And to be fair, Dick Clark walked off the Pyramid set (or out of camera range) a couple of times after some of his post-WC clues didn't work.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: TLEberle on November 12, 2014, 01:13:18 PM
Regarding the bonus puzzle: in the last ten years or so I've come to view it as a game of rock-paper-scissors: if you pick the right letters you have a decent chance to solve, and if you don't you have to be lucky. (And there are times you can solve a puzzle with not all that many letters showing through knowledge of phonemes and the building blocks of our language and how the puzzle writers think.) And really, for $32,000 up to thirty-two times $32,000; it doesn't need to be a cake-walk or easy or whatever way you want to say it. Let it be hard.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: BrandonFG on November 12, 2014, 01:14:05 PM
ICONIC GAME? These puzzles are getting more and more ridiculous.

As are the answers:  http://kdvr.com/2014/11/11/pat-sajak-walks-off-set-after-ridiculous-wheel-of-fortune-answer/ (http://kdvr.com/2014/11/11/pat-sajak-walks-off-set-after-ridiculous-wheel-of-fortune-answer/)
I saw this the other day. I guess sites will put anything together to get clicks nowadays. Kinda miss the days when silly game show reactions didn't necessitate a news article, esp. when Pat's been doing that shtick for at least 15-20 years.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Tony Peters on November 13, 2014, 03:19:12 PM
Since I live in one of the last markets to get Wheel in HD, the only reason for me to check it out this week was to see an actual live (-to-storage-medium) view of the Pacific Ocean behind the set (they recorded at the Hilton Waikaloa Villiage on the Big Island).  With all the stuff mentioned, it's sadly become more enjoyable to watch Entertainment Tonight (Jeopardy!'s lead-out locally) than Wheel these days (if I even watch TV at 6:30 Central Time).
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: aaron sica on November 15, 2014, 04:25:39 PM
Since I live in one of the last markets to get Wheel in HD

You too, huh? Wheel and J! went HD in 2006. I never thought 8 years later, my local affiliate would *still* have them (and every other syndicated offering) in SD.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Tony Peters on November 17, 2014, 02:24:15 AM
Since I live in one of the last markets to get Wheel in HD

You too, huh? Wheel and J! went HD in 2006. I never thought 8 years later, my local affiliate would *still* have them (and every other syndicated offering) in SD.

I meant that Wheel has been shown in HD here for less than a year (starting on December 27 of last year); I think every first-run syndicated show on every local station's main channel is in HD now.

From what I read from your comment, there are still some Big-4-affiliated stations that don't have HD syndication.  I take it you live in a market ranked below #125 or #150, where such a thing would still be fairly common (I'm in #79)?
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: aaron sica on November 17, 2014, 09:24:48 AM
From what I read from your comment, there are still some Big-4-affiliated stations that don't have HD syndication.  I take it you live in a market ranked below #125 or #150, where such a thing would still be fairly common (I'm in #79)?

I live in the Harrisburg/Lebanon/Lancaster/York (Pa.) market..I'm not sure where it ranks.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Prizes on November 17, 2014, 12:07:00 PM
I live in the Harrisburg/Lebanon/Lancaster/York (Pa.) market..I'm not sure where it ranks.

45th. For anyone's interest, and for future use, these are Nielsen's rankings used for 2014-15: http://www.tvb.org/media/file/Nielsen_2014-2015_DMA_Ranks.pdf

I'm 53rd, for whatever little that's worth.

/given my state of residence, my market rank isn't the only thing that's little
//Surrr-vey! *clank*
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: BrandonFG on November 17, 2014, 02:34:32 PM
Good to see my area has moved back up to 42nd. We were hovering around the mid-40s for a few years...
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: TLEberle on November 17, 2014, 03:41:52 PM
What percentage of households aren't in a TV market? Seattle-Tacoma is listed at over a million, and Spokane rates 400k, but that leaves a great deal of my home state as unlisted? Or do the TV markets reach much farther than the boundaries of the city for the purposes of this exercise?
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: WhammyPower on November 17, 2014, 05:02:27 PM
What percentage of households aren't in a TV market? Seattle-Tacoma is listed at over a million, and Spokane rates 400k, but that leaves a great deal of my home state as unlisted? Or do the TV markets reach much farther than the boundaries of the city for the purposes of this exercise?
Market =/= City.

Last year's DMAs, but illustrates the point (http://bl.ocks.org/simzou/6459889)

/Whoops... someone goofed up Rochester, NY vs. Rochester, MN!
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: TLEberle on November 17, 2014, 05:05:03 PM
The map answers the question beautifully.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: clemon79 on November 17, 2014, 06:41:21 PM
Wow, that really is a fantastic map.

/holy cow is Denver farked up
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: J.R. on November 17, 2014, 07:55:45 PM
For anyone's interest, and for future use, these are Nielsen's rankings used for 2014-15: http://www.tvb.org/media/file/Nielsen_2014-2015_DMA_Ranks.pdf
I see the Des Moines, IA market is still ranked at #72.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: trainman on November 17, 2014, 11:58:11 PM
/holy cow is Denver farked up

If I recall correctly, it used to have even more discontiguous areas, but Nielsen has created a few new DMAs as the result of some new TV stations going on the air in some relatively small Western towns.

(In case anyone can't figure it out:  it's a function of cable systems in various portions of the Mountain time zone importing the Denver stations.)
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: BrandonFG on November 19, 2014, 01:17:59 AM
Maybe someone from that area can confirm this for me. My former neighbors lived near Colorado Springs for a time, and from what I remember them telling me, that market was eventually absorbed into the Denver market about a decade ago. Could that have contributed to the funky mapping too, if that is indeed true?

/There's been talks of merging the Hampton Roads and Richmond markets
//Would create a population of three million
///And a Top 20-25 DMA
////Still no pro sports tho
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: TimK2003 on November 19, 2014, 12:11:30 PM
Maybe someone from that area can confirm this for me. My former neighbors lived near Colorado Springs for a time, and from what I remember them telling me, that market was eventually absorbed into the Denver market about a decade ago. Could that have contributed to the funky mapping too, if that is indeed true?

Not sure about the Colorado Springs vs. Denver DMA.

However the Grand Junction/Montrose DMA is a weird market -- The city/county between the 2 cities (Delta) is part of the Denver DMA and is not considered part of either -- despite people in Delta County getting newspapers and radio from both towns. 

And for whatever reason, Grand Junction stations have yet to be added by DirecTV, so people living in the Western Colorado DMA are screwed in that vein, getting only Denver stations off the bird.  But then again, seeing how some of the stations are run in GJ (shoestring farm-team), it is probably a blessing.

That little strip of desert in north-central Nevada, being in the Denver DMA is probably the oddest area in the whole country.


Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Thunder on November 19, 2014, 06:05:21 PM
...
/There's been talks of merging the Hampton Roads and Richmond markets
//Would create a population of three million
///And a Top 20-25 DMA
////Still no pro sports tho

I would guess "Highly Doubtful". Both areas are well established and separated by a decent amount of distance.
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: BrandonFG on November 19, 2014, 08:31:00 PM
It's more of an effort to become more of a unified region* (and allow HR to reap some of the benefits from the capital), but you're right in that both are well established. The argument is that the two markets are distant yet close enough to try it.

Norfolk is just under 90 minutes from Richmond, and roughly the same number of miles. The furthest northern point of the HR DMA is Williamsburg/James City County, which is about halfway between both DMAs. But I agree on the distance...that stretch between Williamsburg and Richmond is a bit of a snooze. :-P

Same for the amenities, both markets have their own separate set of media outlets, not to mention airports. One of these days, I'll tell the story of how the Cavemen sitcom pilot inadvertently implied how Norfolk and Richmond are closer than it seems.

/As if NCIS hasn't been doing so for years!
*//A problem that's plagued HR for decades
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: BrandonFG on December 12, 2014, 07:16:17 PM
Tonight's Before and After puzzle actually felt like a traditional B&A, and not just another phrase with a related weird acked on.

MR. POTATO HEAD OF THE HOUSEHOLD...meanwhile, how often does the show use titles like MR./MS./DR., which require a period?
Title: Re: How to keep Wheel fresh? From Buzzerblog; by Benjamin Williams, pacdude, and me.
Post by: Kevin Prather on December 12, 2014, 08:22:38 PM
meanwhile, how often does the show use titles like MR./MS./DR., which require a period?
You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch" was a puzzle a few days ago.