Archive for Wheel of Fortune

April 16, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2009 by sizzlemaker
Who remembers this show?

Who remembers this "game" show?

American Idol: The show made history last night (Idol history, that is) when the judges used their veto rule for the first time ever.  Who did they save from elimination?  Click here to find out!

David Archuleta: The former Idol finalist will be touring this summer with Demi Lovato.  That noise you hear is tweens screaming at the top of their lungs.  Get used to it.

Diddy: Proving once again that, yes, he can do everything, the mogul has signed on to appear in another movie.  Does he ever stop??

TV: Apparently the Brits love U.S. television.  They ranked their 50 favorite American shows, with some surprising results.  Reaper..really?!

Harry Potter: The release date for the next film, due out this summer, has been moved up by a whopping 2 days.  It will now open July 15th–a day very near and dear to our heart!  And yet, we still won’t go see the movie!

GSN: This June the Game Show Network will air the first-ever Game Show Awards, honoring series past and present.  Among the wide range of nominees: Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Wheel of Fortune, The Amazing Race and…Singled Out?!  Let’s play a new game: which one of these things is not like the other?

SIZZLED OUT: Tori Spelling

STILL SIZZLING: We’re just full of Idol news today!  This winner, arguably one of the show’s least-popular, is returning to the tube with a reality show.  He/she can probably use the money!

April 14, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2009 by sizzlemaker
Will he get America's vote?

Will he get America's vote?

American Idol: The New York Times wrote the best piece we’ve seen yet exploring the possibility that the show might end up with its first gay Idol–Adam Lambert.  The world can definitely handle that, no?

Phil Spector: In trial number two, the former go-to music producer was convicted of second degree murder.  He and his wacky hair will undoubtedly face jail time when he’s sentenced in May.

Mel Gibson: News that his wife filed for divorce isn’t that surprising.  What is is that they’ve been separated for three years.  Pretty sure they both vacationed with Britney last spring, though.  Maybe we’re wrong?

Zac Efron: Probably doesn’t realize it yet but he put his foot in his mouth twice in one interview with GQ.  First Efron slammed celebs who drink and hook up publicly, then he vowed not to get married til 30, “if ever.”  And how does Vanessa feel about that?

Reality TV: Here’s a short, interesting piece on lawsuits that result from reality shows.  Considering the lengthy contract we signed for Wheel of Fortune (and that was just a little game show!), we’re surprised suits like these are even possible!


STILL SIZZLING: This network is planning an “anti-makeover” reality show.  Instead of figuring out what that means, can’t they just go back to I Love Lucy repeats?

Wheel of Fortune Recap Part Three

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 28, 2009 by sizzlemaker

(Read Part One and Part Two)

So did you all watch our episode last night?!?!?!?!?

If not–or if you want to see it again!–you can check it out here and here.

It was incredibly interesting to see how our memories of the taping reconciled with the actual show.  And now we know how celebrities feel when they say they can’t stand watching themselves on TV!  Hearing your own voice is incredibly weird, and Sizzlemaker clapped really awkwardly.  Plus, we’re pretty sure the camera really did add 20 pounds!

As you could see, we only got to spin about 5 times.  There was a streak where Sizzlemaker got a few letters in a row but unfortunately it didn’t last.  Turns were lost when we guessed S and T–two of the most common letters–and they weren’t in the puzzle.  Furthermore, we knew the answers but it was never our turn to solve.

Scott earned most of his money by winning two trips.  While we didn’t really care about the San Francisco one, we were dying to win the one to Mexico!  In the first round we picked up a Marie Callendars prize but we didn’t get to keep it since we didn’t solve the puzzle.  (And to be honest, we don’t even know what Marie Callendars is!)

Our winnings, a whopping $1,300, came solely from solving the last puzzle, an opportunity that was really just a matter of luck.  The game is really about the order of turns and benefiting from the letters guessed by the other contestants.  And with the way it played out in this particular case, Scott and Jennifer ended up getting the advantage.

The puzzle in the bonus round was extremely difficult and probably extremely disappointing for Scott.  He came so close to winning an additional $100,000!  Still, he walked away with more than $20,000.

So our Wheel of Fortune adventure has come to its conclusion.  It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we’d love to relive–and change a bit!  But we are incredibly grateful for the opportunity and will have the memory to take with us for the rest of our lives.

February 27, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2009 by sizzlemaker
In love.  At least for today.

In love. At least for today.

AniMayer: Still wondering where this supposedly serious relationship came from?  PEOPLE has a great recap of their path to “love.”  Our question: how long til it’s over?

DWTS: Supposedly Lil’ Kim will “surprise a lot of people.” We’re pretty nervous that’ll all be from her wardrobe choices.  Also, Jewel will still compete despite a small injury this week.  Fun fact: Her hubby–and fellow competitor–thinks getting her pregnant will help him win!

The Simpsons: Will become the longest-running scripted show, with 22 seasons, in history now that Fox gave it a two-season extension.  To put it in context, though, this will mean only 400-something shows.  Beverly Hills, 90210 had 10 seasons and 300 shows!

Jamie Foxx: Taking name-dropping to a new level by…face-dropping.  The actor-turned-music star features a slew of celebrities in his new video, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Ron Howard, Samuel L. Jackson and more.  Random group, no?

Tom Brady: There’s little details out there but apparently he and Gisele Bundchen got married yesterday.  Wonder how his babymama, actress Bridget Moynahan, feels about this.

Newsday: The idea of paying for on-line news has been bandied about by a number of people and Newsday (our hometown paper!) announced that they’ll be doing just that.  Understand that newspapers need more revenue these days to function but not sure charging readers is the way to go.  Might even drive people away.

Wheel of Fortune: Don’t forget to watch Sizzlemaker tonight!  Check your local listings for time and channel.


STILL SIZZLING: This famous funny man is coming back to television…sort of.  He’ll be producing a reality show that, apparently, isn’t about nothing.

February 26, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2009 by sizzlemaker
The next Peter Parker and Mary-Jane?

The next Peter Parker and Mary-Jane?

Justin Timberlake: Will be a guest on the first episode of Jimmy Fallon’s late-night show, airing Monday.  Don’t know about you, but that’s not enough to get us to watch.

Schwarzenegger: Who said he was done with Hollywood?  The governator will be making a cameo in a Sylvester Stallone film.  That seems like a good use of his time.

David Archuleta: Blogged about filming a guest spot on Hannah Montana and said “Miley was a cool person to hang out with.”  By next week, the tabloids will be calling them a couple.

Gilmore Girls: The final season, arguably its worst, is finally coming to syndication.  You can watch it this June on ABC Family.

Spider-Man: A Broadway musical version is definitely happening, with a targeted opening date of early 2010.  Possible casting: Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess, the latter of whom we ADORE.  Coincidence: their Across the Universe director, Julie Taymor, is behind the musical.

Wheel of Fortune: Our episode airs tomorrow night!  Check your local listings for channel and time.

SIZZLED OUT: Ronald Reagan

STILL SIZZLING: This movie is being remade.  But giving you a HINT would give away the answer!

February 23, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2009 by sizzlemaker
Make room for one more!

Make room for one more!

Oscars: Complete coverage here!

Oscars Pt. 2: Putting a new twist on a best/worst dressed list, The Daily Beast looks at past dresses that were unfairly slammed.

American Idol: Can tragedy earn you votes?  Finalist Danny Gokey promises that’s not his strategy but there’s no way it won’t affect people’s view of him.

Kelly Clarkson: Her entire new album was “accidentally” leaked by a foreign iTunes service.  Don’t think it’ll hurt record sales, though.

Nicole Richie: She and babydaddy Joel Madden are expecting kid number two!  Maybe they should get married?

Clay Aiken: Some reports say he was dropped, others say he left.  Regardless how you spin it, Aiken is no longer with RCA records.

Wheel of Fortune: Our episode (airing Friday!) is getting so much promotion!  There’s even a little article about it in this week’s PEOPLE!

Defamer: Merging into Gawker.  Would be sad if we thought there was a real difference between the two anyway.


STILL SIZZLING: This comedian who previously said she was going to spend this year “unplugged,” took to her blog to say she’s “lovin’ Tyra” and promote her appearance on the talk show.

February 18, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2009 by sizzlemaker
Is this story really deserving of an EW cover?

Is this story really deserving of an EW cover?

Lost: We’re starting to regret never jumping on this bandwagon.  Our chances will further be diminished once American Idol starts airing opposite it in March.  Great.

Rachel Bilson: We were rooting for her to get back with Adam Brody but we doubt that’ll happen now that she’s engaged to Hayden Christensen.

Jimmy Fallon: There’s a lot riding on him when his NBC late-night show finally starts airing.  After all, does he really want to go down in history with these failures?  We don’t think he’ll be able to hack it, but we’re a little biased since we’re not Fallon fans in the first place.

Reality TV: Believe it or not, the much-maligned genre does something well, the Los Angeles Times wants you to know.  It includes a lot more diverse characters than scripted TV.  But here’s hoping that will change with the Obama era!

Entertainment Weekly: It was bad enough when Twilight dominated the mag’s covers before and during the film’s release, but again now?  So. Over. It.  Which is kind of funny, considering we were never into it in the first place!  The TV Addict’s tongue-in-cheek cover idea is so much better!

Gawker: TIME listed them as one of the most overrated blogs.  Not surprisingly, Gawker disagrees.  (But we think we ALL can agree the spot given to is most certainly deserving!)

Fashion Week: In honor of the industry’s most important week of the year, take some time to check out Jezebel’s collection of hilarious runway-shows-gone-wrong videos.  Priceless.

Wheel of Fortune: Our episode doesn’t air til the end of the month but they’re already promoting it!  If you recall, it will be the show’s 5,000th episode. We’re famous by association!

SIZZLED OUT: Salma Hayek

STILL SIZZLING: More engagement news!  This hairy Idol contestant revealed this week that he’s getting married this summer.  (And no, it’s not Sanjaya!)

LA…In A Nutshell!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2009 by sizzlemaker

Though Wheel of Fortune was our sole purpose for going to Los Angeles this past week, we decided to stay and make a vacation out of it. After all, how can you blog about the entertainment industry and not explore the land where it all goes down? Here’s some of our findings:

Los Angeles is more of an area, than an actual city. Sure, there are some addresses that explicitly have Los Angeles in them, but the greater Los Angeles area actually contains a significant number of towns and neighborhoods, stretching many miles in all directions.

Driving along Pacific Coast Highway (often referenced on TV as PCH) at sunset is as beautiful as it’s been made out to be.

In N Out Burger is extremely overrated.

We went to Bardot Hollywood, a place often mentioned in magazines for star sightings. Much to our disappointment, we saw no one. In fact, we were one of only two parties there. We’re kind of new to the whole clubbing scene. Perhaps 9:30pm was too early to go?

We dedicated a whole day to sightseeing locations featured on Beverly Hills, 90210. You can read more about that here. In case you didn’t know, everything looks so much bigger on TV! We were continually shocked by how small everything—from the Wheel of Fortune set to 90210’s Walsh House—was in reality!

Another day was dedicated to Disneyland, including its California Adventure theme park. We saw a surprisingly low number of characters but Mickey and Minnie made it all worth it (even if it took us all day to find them!).

California Adventure is noteworthy for its recreation of a Hollywood back lot and some classic movie scenes and paraphernalia. Disneyland, however, also has some movie-themed rides like Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean.

We traveled about an hour south of LAX to Laguna Beach. L.C. did not seem to be in town, but we spoke to some kids who went to the same high school. Apparently being on the show is quite uncool. Who knew?

Los Angeles traffic was not as bad as we expected. And the weather was way warmer than it should’ve been this time of year. Guess we lucked out!

One night we went to The Grove and Farmer’s Market, which was bustling with people and energy as well as your typical mall stores and chain restaurants. The Beverly Center, on the other hand, had more high-scale stores but a lot less people.

The Hollywood sign was cool to see in person, even if it was high up on a mountain that we had no idea how to traverse.

Grauman’s Theatre and the Walk of Fame surrounding it was in a surprisingly grimy and sketchy area. The Kodak Theatre, which was only down the block, didn’t seem that nice from the outside, either. How television and movies can deceive you!

We ate at Yogurtland, a self-serve and superior version of Pinkberry and Red Mango, and Pink’s, a hot dog stand that’s nearly 70 years old.  Both were incredibly worth it.

We also had lunch at The Ivy, another place famous for star sightings but alas, we had none. In fact, we spent 5 days in La La Land and never once saw a celebrity (unless you count Vanna White and Pat Sajak). Major disappointment!

Key pictures will be posted in the coming days. Back to our usual reporting tomorrow.

**We surpassed 10,000 hits yesterday!  Thank you all for your support!  We’re taking baby-steps to world domination!**

Wheel of Fortune Recap Part One

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 16, 2009 by sizzlemaker

WOW!  That was quite an experience.  And we’ll tell you all about it!

We know what you really want to know: how did Sizzlemaker do?

We’re not telling…yet.  We’re going to keep you in suspense for a bit!

But here are the deets we will share right now…

Arrived at Sony Studios in Culver City at approximately 7:45 am and met the other 19 contestants– the 17 (plus me) scheduled and 2 alternates.  We ranged from ages 20 to 5o+ and came from all over the country, including some locals and one person from Hawaii.

A decent breakfast spread was provided: oatmeal, muffins, cereal bars, etc.

We filled out the first of many forms and were briefed by the outside company in charge of fairness and legitimacy.

We went through the contract that we all had to sign, 30-something pages in all.  Had basic info, such as the rules about getting your prizes, disclosing all potential conflicts of interests (like being on another game or reality show recently) and…whether or not you’ve ever been convicted of a felony.

We all had our makeup professionally done (partly with airbrush–quite cool!) even though we still had several hours until the first of the six shows would be taped.

We went on the set to practice spinning the wheel–much heavier than you would think; definitely had some trouble!–and learn about the different monitors we needed to pay attention to.  We also filmed Hometown Howdys, which are little spots advertising our appearance and airing on our local stations.

During this time, Vanna White popped in to say hello!  She had no make-up on and wore pajama bottoms.  Not a pretty site.

Next we went over all the rules and procedures of the game, including the different types of rounds and categories.  Though it seems there are couple that are most common, there are actually more than 30!

We had a pre-lunch break, with mini-wraps, cheeses and little pepperonis and some other mystery meat.

After that they announced our pre-determined groups of 3.  Sizzlemaker was going to face-off against a 20-year-old college student from Idaho and a 29-year-old paramedic from Washington.

Sizzlemaker was given the blessing (curse?) of choosing a numbered golf ball out of a bucket, which determined our place in the show order.  Our number: six.  Of six.  That’s right, folks.  Got there before 8 and didn’t tape until after 5pm! We also used similar balls to determine our placing on stage.  Sizzlemaker got the number two position, yellow and center.

Next we had a rehearsal where we again practiced spinning the wheel, but this time with calling out letters and solving puzzles.  Not exactly the most realistic simulation but it was sufficient.

The first taping began a little after noon.  The audience (which numbered less than 100) consisted of contestants, their guests and other random people who got tickets.  The contestants, of course, sat separately and could not communicate with anyone but staff.  In fact, no one was allowed into the building with a cell phone and contestants weren’t even allowed to bring reading material!

The first five episodes, which will air the first week in February, were themed “Gone Fishin'” so a lot of the puzzles and prizes had to do with that.  The set’s backdrop was a log cabin which didn’t seem to make that much sense.

Though the show is less than a half an hour when you take out commercial breaks, it took anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes to film each episode.  Why the differences?  Depended on glitches and technical issues and how fast the contestants solved the puzzles.  We also got to each lunch during the taping: pizza and lots of junk food!

So how exactly did the game work?  The first round is called Toss-Up and it’s worth $1,000.  Letters start popping up on the board, one-by-one and randomly, and anyone can buzz in to solve the puzzle.  The second round is another Toss-Up, this time worth $2,000 and control of the game.  Whoever wins that second rounds gets to spin the wheel first in third round, a general turn-by-turn spinning of the wheel and guessing letters.

The fourth round is always the Jackpot Round, where the amount landed on with each spin accumulates into a pot.  If you land on Jackpot and correctly guess the letter, you have the opportunity to solve the puzzle and win the Jackpot.  If you land on it and fail to do either of those things, the Jackpot disappears completely.  This is followed by the Mystery Round, where one of the wedges is secretly worth $10,000…or could give you bankruptcy.  It’s your decision, once you correctly call a letter, to decide whether you want $1,000 per a letter or to flip the wedge over to see if it’s the ten grand or bankruptcy.  One of rounds 2 through 4 will also be a Prize Puzzle, which means whoever solves the puzzle gets a prize, usually a trip of some sort.  The fifth round is another Toss-Up, this time worth $3,000 and control of the game.

The sixth round is usually the last, and because time is running out, Pat Sajak will give the wheel a final spin and each contestant will have chances to call out letters for that value.  After successfully calling a letter, you have 3 seconds to solve the puzzle, or else the next contestant gets to try.  The contestant with the most money (in cash and prizes) at the end of this goes to the Bonus Round.  In the Bonus Round, you spin a miniature wheel which designates an envelope with a prize that will be revealed later.  R, S, T, L, N and E are revealed in the puzzle and then you get to choose 3 more constonants and a vowel.  You then have 10 seconds to try to solve the puzzle.  Regardless of whether you do, Pat reveals what the envelope holds at the end (could be $20,000 to $100,000 or a car) but you of course only get the prize if you’ve solved the puzzle.

Interesting things: if you win a prize during a round (separate from the Prize Puzzle itself) but do not win the round by solving the puzzle, you lose your prize!  Also, winning the $1,000,000 is a multi-step process.  First you must land on that wedge when you spin and then correctly call a letter.  If you win that round, you’re still in the running towards the million.  If you lose the round, you lose the chance at the million and it’s gone for everyone for the whole game.  In order to keep working towards the million, you then have to have the most money and go on to the Bonus Round.  Finally, you must correctly solve the Bonus Puzzle and then pray and hope the envelope you chose says $1,000.  That’s right: landing on the million wedge means nothing if you don’t win that specific round, make it to the bonus round, win and happen to pick the right envelope.  Incredibly difficult and very low odds.  There’s only been one million winner in the show’s history, though this opportunity is pretty new.

All that being said, how did everyone do?

The lowest amount won: $1,000

The highest amount won: about $60,000

Some of the trips won: Aruba, Mexico, Paris, London, San Francisco, etc.

And how did we do?  You’ll have to wait til tomorrow to find out!

Check back then for a full-recap of Sizzlemaker’s specific game…and winnings!

January 14, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2009 by sizzlemaker

Does she look flustered to you?

American Idol: Did you hate last night’s season premiere?  Or that it even premiered at all?  AdAge feels your pain.

Arrested Development: It’s once again unclear whether the series will be made into a movie.  So sick of this back and forth!

Taylor Swift: It’s a frequent question in Hollywood–she can sing but can she act?  Swift will have a chance to prove she’s a double-threat when she guest-stars on CSI.

Bush: Why must he continue to torture us and schedule a farewell speech during primetime? Hasn’t he interrupted enough  TV programming already?

Britney: Her Twitter account was one of the unfortunate celeb ones hacked earlier this month and now someone on her staff may be paying the price.

Kate Winslet: Did you catch her Golden Globes acceptance speeches?  We thought they were endearing and adorable.  Her fellow Brits disagree…strongly.

Vannessa Hudgens: That Twilight report is now being denied.  Good!

Katy Perry: Peeved at PEOPLE and other mags for (allegedly) taking some remarks out of context.  Writes Perry on her blog: “When I wanna share something with the world, the world will know… otherwise, stop looking for a story, or an explanation.”

Ray Romano: Will star in a new TNT “dramedy” about guys going through a mid-life crisis.  Hmmm.  Wonder if this show is autobiographical, too…

Glenn Close: The latest celeb to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  And the best part?  We’ll be going there Friday!

Lil’ Wayne: The first story we’ve seen on who’s performing at the Grammys in February.  Can’t say we’re thrilled.

SIZZLED OUT: Wheel of Fortune

STILL SIZZLING: How will Sizzlemaker do on Wheel of Fortune?  Come back late tomorrow for a recap of the taping.  (Though this doesn’t make us feel too good.)