BY Johnathan Jones, The Western JournalJune 27, 2023
1 year ago
 | June 27, 2023
1 year ago

Executives Pick Big-Name Replacement for Pat Sajak on 'Wheel of Fortune'

Ryan Seacrest will take over as the host of “Wheel of Fortune” after Pat Sajak retires in the coming year, multiple outlets reported and the new host confirmed Tuesday.

Sajak announced this month that the show's next season -- its 41st -- will be his last, which led to speculation as to whether anyone had shoes big enough to fill the role.

The New York Times first reported Tuesday morning that Sony Pictures Television executives will move ahead with "Wheel of Fortune" with Seacrest at the helm.

The TV mainstay will begin hosting the show in 2024, NBC News confirmed, adding that Sony had inked Seacrest to a "multi-year agreement."

Seacrest, 48, made a name for himself hosting programs such as “American Idol,” “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” and “Live with Kelly and Ryan.”

“I’m truly humbled to be stepping into the footsteps of the legendary Pat Sajak," he said in a statement Tuesday.

“I can say, along with the rest of America, that it’s been a privilege and pure joy to watch Pat and Vanna on our television screens for an unprecedented 40 years, making us smile every night and feel right at home with them," the new “Wheel” host added, referring to longtime letter-turner Vanna White.

Seacrest included a message to Sajak, saying, "Pat, I love the way you've always celebrated the contestants and made viewers at home feel at ease. I look forward to learning everything I can from you during this transition.”

He also included a personal anecdote.

"Many people probably don't know this but one of my first jobs was hosting a little game show called ‘Click’ for Merv Griffin 25 years ago so this is truly a full circle moment for me and I'm grateful to Sony for the opportunity,” Seacrest said.

The new “Wheel” host concluded, “I can't wait to continue the tradition of spinning the wheel and working alongside the great Vanna White.”

Sajak announced June 12 that the coming season of “Wheel” would be his last.

“Well, the time has come. I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last,” he said on Twitter.

“It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months. Many thanks to you all. (If nothing else, it’ll keep the clickbait sites busy!)”

“Wheel” was launched in 1975 by producer Merv Griffin and featured Chuck Woolery as its first host.

Sajak took over in 1981.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Johnathan Jones, The Western Journal



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