THEN AND NOW: How your favorite game shows have changed since they first aired

  • Before Alex Trebek began hosting "Jeopardy!" in 1984, Art Fleming was at the helm.
  • While the look of "Wheel of Fortune" has changed through the years, the host has not — Pat Sajak holds the Guinness World Record for longest career as a game show host.
  • Changes to "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" over the years have included imposing time limits to answer questions and shuffling the difficulty of answers.
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Classic game shows like "Wheel of Fortune," "The Price Is Right," and "Jeopardy!" have remained fixtures of American households for decades. 

While the set design, game format, and hosts have changed through the years, the suspense and excitement of watching contestants win big keeps people watching.

Here's how four classic game shows have evolved over time.

Art Fleming hosted "Jeopardy!" from 1964 to 1974, and then hosted a revamped version from 1978 to 1979.

The creator of "Jeopardy!" Merv Griffin first spotted Fleming in an airline commercial and thought he'd be perfect for the hosting gig, according to the New York Times.

Alex Trebek has hosted the show since 1984, when it became syndicated daily.

Trebek has won seven Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show Host.

When Fleming hosted the show, the category amounts ranged from $10 to $50.

The amounts were then raised to range from $25 to $125.

When Trebek took over hosting in 1984, the amounts ranged from $100 to $500.

They were eventually raised to the current $200 to $1,000 range (and $400 to $2,000 in the Double Jeopardy round) in 2001.

"Wheel of Fortune" began airing in 1975.

"Wheel of Fortune" was also created by Griffin, who imagined it as a cross between hangman and roulette.

It's now the longest-running syndicated game show on American television.

The show aired its 7,000th episode in 2019. The cost to buy a vowel has remained $250 throughout the show, with no adjustments for inflation.

Pat Sajak has been hosting "Wheel of Fortune" since 1981, and Vanna White joined in 1982.

Sajak hosts the show and interacts with contestants, while White operates the board and reveals letters.

Sajak currently holds the Guinness World Record for the longest career as a game show host for the same show.

Both hosts received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2019.

Bill Cullen was the first host of "The Price Is Right," holding the role from 1956 to 1965.

The show was created by producer Bob Stewart, who got the idea from watching people guess how much furniture in a display window cost, according to The Independent.

Bob Barker hosted a revamped version of the show beginning in 1972.

The format of the show changed from the previous iteration of the show — instead of contestants winning the items they correctly guessed the prices of, winners received the opportunity to play another pricing game.

After 35 years, Drew Carey took over the show from Barker and continues to host today.

The show's 9,000th episode aired in 2019.

Producer Michael Davies brought the British game show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" to the US in 1999, with Regis Philbin as host.

The American version of the show began as a two-week special on ABC, but it was such a hit that it began airing regularly in prime time and "Is that your final answer?" became part of the American lexicon.

Meredith Vieira took over as host in 2002 and held the position until 2013.

During her tenure, the show's format underwent several changes, including imposing time limits on answering questions and mixing the questions' levels of difficulty out of a set order. Vieira and contestants also began standing for the duration of the show and looking at a larger screen instead of sitting in front of individual computers.

From 2013 to 2019, the show cycled through several hosts, including Cedric the Entertainer, Terry Crews, and Chris Harrison.

The show was canceled in 2019 … but it didn't stay canceled for long.

Jimmy Kimmel now hosts a new version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" with celebrity guests who compete for charity.

The new version of the show, which began airing in April, currently has no studio audience due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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