Wheel 2000

CBS (ended 1998)


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Wheel 2000

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Welcome to the Wheel 2000 guide at TV.com. What do you get when you add pre-teen contestants to America's favorite game show? A plodding rendition of something resembling Wheel of Fortune. This show was christened Wheel of Fortune 2000 (though more often than not, referred to by the shorter name Wheel 2000. While educational and offering fifth- through eighth-graders a chance to play America's favorite game show, certain elements really slowed the jackrabbit play of the adult game to slower than a tortoise. Three contestants, all between 11 and 14 years old, competed. Host David Sidoni was aided by Cyber Lucy (voiced by Tanika Ray), a real-time, computer-animated "cyberhostess." The contestant chosen to start the round (by blind draw) selects from one of three categories to a puzzle. Most of the rules were similar to the game grown-ups played (spin the wheel, guess a letter ... you know everything by heart), except that everyone played for points rather than cash. The top point values were: * Round 1 - 1,000 points. * Round 2 - 2,000 points. * Round 3-on - 5,000 points. Other differences included the following: * Loser - Similar to Lose-a-Turn in the adult game. * "The Creature" - Just like the Bankrupt space; that player lost his/her current bank (all points for that round and any prizes). Some allegedly cool "creature-like" sound effects (to make the youthful audience believe there really was a monster lurking beneath the wheel). * Prize - Where a contestant could win a small prize (e.g., a Nintendo GameBoy Advance game system) for correctly guessing a letter in the puzzle. * Physical Stunt - The contestant earned up to three consonants – selected at random by computer – for completing a stunt. Examples might include using a catapult to feed plastic cubes to a dinosaur (whose jaws move up and down), and throwing rings onto a pole from varying distances. Usually, the letters ended up being the more rare ones, such as V, Q and X. The winner of each round kept whatever points he/she had accumulated. The show met its educational quota via a short video, narrated by Cyber Lucy, following each puzzle. The highest scoring contestant at the end of the show - usually three rounds, with a final spin made if time was running short - played the bonus round for a bonus prize. In the bonus round, the contestant chose one of two envelopes ("A" or "B"), with youth-oriented prizes offered - such as limo rides to school for a month, a complete computer system and a trip to Magic Mountain. The player was spotted the R-S-T-L-N-E, and had to supply three more consonants and a vowel. He/she then had 10 seconds to give his/her answer. Again, slow play (thanks largely to those stupid stunts), a mediocre host, Cyber Lucy and her paper-thin persona ... it was a mess, and most youthful contestants were better off waiting until Teen Best Friends Week to compete on the regular (and totally superior) Wheel of Fortune. BTW - Wheel 2000 was one of several game shows that ran concurrently on CBS or in syndication with first-run on Game Show Network (now GSN). The Newlywed Game (a Bob Eubanks-hosted revival of the classic show) and Jep! (a kiddie version of Jeopardy!) also saw first runs on both the network/syndication and on GSN.moreless
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