Wheel of Fortune

Common Sense Media says

Classic word-puzzle game show still offers family fun.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

There's some standard game show greed, but it's mild, and most of the people are just excited to be playing.

Positive role models

Pat Sajak and Vanna White are friendly and upbeat (Sajak can sometimes be a little snarky, but it's all in fun). The contestants are a diverse group.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

Vanna White is known for wearing elegant dresses that sometimes have low-cut necklines or open backs.

Not applicable

Prizes range from Whirlpool appliances to tickets from major airlines.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this fun, long-running game show -- in which contestants solve word puzzles for cash and other major prizes -- is mild and very family-friendly (about the only potentially iffy thing is the low-cut dresses that hostess Vanna White sometimes wears). Prizes are sponsored by major companies like American Airlines, Whirlpool appliances, and others, and contestants are very excited to win them.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

On popular game show WHEEL OF FORTUNE, contestants compete for major cash and prizes by solving word puzzles. The show, which is hosted by Pat Sajak and Vanna White, requires players to guess at the correct letters to fill in the blanks representing a word or phrase. Before they choose a consonant or buy a vowel, they must spin a giant roulette-like wheel to determine how much money (or which prizes) they can play for. An unlucky spin can also lead to lost turns and/or automatic bankruptcy. The player who successfully solves each puzzle wins the round and the cash and prizes that he or she collected along the way. At the end of the show, the person with the most winnings gets a chance to play a bonus round for an additional prize.

Is it any good?


This popular game show is the modern version of the original Wheel of Fortune series that aired from 1975-1981. Despite some minor changes --  including replacing the original manual word puzzle board with an electronic one -- the overall show has remained much the same. Despite contestants' efforts to win as much money and as many prizes as possible, the series does require a bit of intellect (as well as guesswork) in order to solve the puzzles. As a result, it offers an entertaining way for families to work on their word-building skills.  

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about game shows. What makes some more popular than others? How do people get chosen to be on them?

  • Are there game shows that your family likes to watch? What makes them fun?

TV details

Cast:Pat Sajak, Vanna White
Genre:Game Shows
TV rating:TV-G

This review of Wheel of Fortune was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 17 year old Written byclassy woman February 17, 2011

I don't like Pat Sajak and his reference to female contestants as "guys" -total lack of class,courtesy - very insulting. Women are not guys - I have a daughter, and both of us feel insulted - shame on Pat Sajak and shame on Wheel of Fortune.

Kid, 9 years old March 30, 2011

I'd say if your 14 you can watch this show cause of the prizes

What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Educational value
Kid, 11 years old Written bytvfreak101 October 15, 2010

wheel o- whatever

i love it i hate when they land on bankrupt

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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