Archive for the ‘"Wheel of Fortune"’ Category

Pat and Vanna put their spin on the “Wheel”

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

The hosts of America’s longest running, syndicated game show tell all in their Archive interviews!  Pat Sajak and Vanna White were interviewed both separately and together and share tales from behind the scenes of “America’s favorite game show,” Wheel of Fortune. They speak about show creator Merv Griffin, their shooting schedule, and why Pat never thought Vanna would get hired. In the following clip, Pat and Vanna discuss how they entertain each other on the set of Wheel of Fortune:

Watch the full interviews here:

About the interviews:

Pat Sajak was interviewed for just over two hours in Culver City, CA in two sessions: a two-hour individual interview, and a fifteen minute chat with Vanna White. Sajak discusses growing up in Chicago and his early interest in broadcasting, and shares his experiences serving in the armed forces radio in Vietnam. He speaks of his local television work in the 1970s for WSM in Nashville and KNBC in Los Angeles, and details the early history of the show for which he’s best known: Wheel of Fortune. Sajak describes working with show creator Merv Griffin, the casting of “letter turner” Vanna White, and the fame that he and Vanna have experienced. He also discusses his foray into the talk show genre as host of The Pat Sajak Show. In their dual interview, Sajak and White talk about the atmosphere on the set of Wheel of Fortune, marvel at the show’s longevity, and offer personal anecdotes about each other. Barrie Nedler conducted the interview on October 10, 2007.

Vanna White was interviewed for nearly two hours in Culver City, CA in two sessions: a one-and-a-half-hour individual interview and a fifteen minute conversation with Pat Sajak. White speaks about her early years and influences, her work as a model, and her appearance as a contestant on The Price Is Right.  She then details the show for which she is best known, Wheel Of Fortune. White describes working with creator Merv Griffin and host Pat Sajak; talks about the show’s popularity and the resulting “Vannamania;” and speaks of her wardrobe and the show’s production schedule. In the dual interview, Sajak and White discuss the atmosphere on the set of Wheel of Fortune, marvel at the show’s longevity, and offer personal anecdotes about each other. Barrie Nedler conducted the interview on October 10, 2007.

Harry Friedman-featured in this month’s "Emmy"

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Harry Friedman, producer of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! among many other iconic programs, was interviewed by the Archive in 2007. His story is featured in this month’s EMMY magazine, available now.

UPDATE: 1/1/09 The full article has been posted to the Jeopardy! site.
Read it here.

Detailed description:
Harry Friedman was interviewed for over two hours in Culver City, CA. Friedman described his early career path and how he came to be a writer on The Hollywood Squares in the 1970s. He talked about producing the late 80s version of the show that featured Joan Rivers as the center square. He spoke in great detail about his long association with the game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! that he began producing in the mid-90s. For Wheel he talked about changes made to the game play through the years, such as the addition of the Jackpot Round and the Mystery Round; as well as the Wheel Watchers Club. For Jeopardy!, he talked about the winning streak of Ken Jennings. The interview was conducted on October 10, 2007.

For more on this and other Archive interviews, visit or our TVLegends youtube channel

TV Art Director and Sculptor Dick Stiles Passes

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008
(Above) Dick Stiles (pictured 2nd from left) participates in the unveiling of
the Jim Henson wall sculpture on the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame Plaza in 2005.

L to R: Phil Wayne, Sculpture Committee chairman; Dick Stiles, Hall of Fame Sculptor;
Lisa Henson and Dick Askin, former chairman of the Television Academy.

We were truly saddened to learn that Emmy-nominated television art director and sculptor Dick Stiles died Monday of pneumonia and heart failure. Stiles worked tirelessly on the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame Sculpture Committee during the past two decades, serving three terms as co-chair as well as sculpting many of the works himself. Along with being an Archive interviewee, Dick was a staunch supporter of the Archive, even giving his time to allow us to chronicle his creation of the Jim Henson wall sculpture (above) at the Television Academy.

In the above clip (part 3 of 3 of his interview), he discusses his work with the Television Academy. His full interview can be seen here.

Interview description:
Television Art Director Dick Stiles spoke about working at CBS’ Television City and the introduction of color TV, as well as about the craft of drafting and art direction. He detailed his work on various other productions, culminating in a 27-year career as the art director of “Wheel of Fortune”. He also talked about his contributions in the selection and creation of sculptures on the plaza of the Television Academy’s headquarters. Mr. Stiles was interviewed June 21, 2003.

TV Exec Roger King Dies – Interview Online

Sunday, December 9th, 2007

Roger King, CEO of CBS Television Distribution, has died at the age of 63. King was interviewed by the Archive of American Television in 2004. His interview is now online. Click here to access his 3-part interview.

Interview description:
King talked about his early years in television, including his position as general manager of Fort Lauderdale station WKID. He discussed the founding of the family business, syndication company “King World,” by his father Charles King, and his later association as an executive with the company. He talked about some of the first shows that “King World” syndicated and the transition to syndicating their own properties that started with the game show Wheel of Fortune. He detailed the continued success of the company with such popular programs as Jeopardy, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Dr. Phil. Additionally, he talked about the merger between “King World” and CBS, and his subsequent role as CEO of CBS Enterprises.