"Wheel of Fortune" has never had a reputation as a timely game show, since it tapes episodes far in advance of their air date. But a strange and sad coincidence led the show to have a Walker-related puzzle on Monday's episode, the first episode broadcast following the actor's death on Saturday.
The category was movie titles and the puzzle answer was "The Fast and the Furious." Normally, the show avoids controversy like the plague, so in an effort to stave off any possible viewer outrage, producers added a crawl across the top of the screen as the puzzle was solved.
"This episode was taped a few weeks ago, prior to the tragic passing of 'The Fast and the Furious' actor Paul Walker."
On its official Twitter feed, reps for the show further explained that the program was taped on Oct. 4.
"The hearts of everyone at Wheel of Fortune go out to the family, friends & fans of Paul Walker," the show's reps wrote.
Even host Pat Sajak spoke up, tweeting, "Feel terrible about timing of 'Fast & Furious' puzzle tonight. Taped long ago & went out to 200 local stations days ago."
Sajak's fans seemed to be quite understanding, with one, Steve Toth joking, "Not as bad as the Ford's Theatre puzzle in the first season!"
(For those not up on their American history, Ford's Theatre is the site of President Lincoln's assassination in 1865).