Ryan Seacrest Named Next Alluring Host of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ in 2024, Succeeding Pat Sajak

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Ryan Seacrest, a versatile Hollywood host, would be taking over as the next host of “Wheel of Fortune” in 2024, succeeding the long-time host Pat Sajak. This decision by Sony Pictures Television, the studio behind the show, is a significant gamble on the enduring popularity of “Wheel of Fortune” despite the decline of traditional television due to the rise of streaming entertainment.

The swift selection of a star like Ryan Seacrest by Sony executives, just two weeks after Pat Sajak’s announcement of stepping down, indicates their desire to avoid a succession predicament similar to the one faced by their other popular game show, “Jeopardy!

“Vanna White, who has co-hosted “Wheel of Fortune” alongside Pat Sajak for many years, is currently under contract for another year. Negotiations are underway to determine whether she will continue with the show, according to an anonymous source familiar with the discussions.

Ryan Seacrest Named Next Alluring Host of 'Wheel of Fortune' in 2024, Succeeding Pat Sajak
Ryan Seacrest/ Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times

The Enduring Popularity and Desirability of “Wheel of Fortune” and Hosting Opportunities

Both the weatherman and Vanna White joined “Wheel of Fortune” in the early 1980s and played a significant role in transforming the show into a major success. Over the years, “Wheel of Fortune” has expanded its reach with the creation of board games, video games, casino slot machines, and even a prime-time spinoff called “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune.

“Although “Wheel of Fortune” may not hold the same level of cultural prominence it once did, during its peak in the 1980s, the show garnered a nightly viewership of over 40 million. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most popular entertainment programs on television. In the most recent television season, “Wheel of Fortune” averaged 8.6 million viewers per night, slightly trailing behind “Jeopardy!” which had 9.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings. These audience numbers are comparable to those of prime-time TV shows, excluding football games.

Hosting a popular game show, which typically requires only a few days of work per month, is considered a highly desirable job in the entertainment industry. Becoming the host of “Wheel of Fortune” adds another accomplishment to Ryan Seacrest’s already impressive resume, which includes hosting a daytime talk show, competition series, red carpet interviews, radio shows, and serving as a master of ceremonies for New Year’s Eve events.

Earlier this year, Mr. Seacrest left his six-year stint as the co-host of the morning show “Live” with Kelly Ripa. However, he continues to host ABC’s “American Idol,” which attracted an audience of over six million viewers in the past television season, according to Nielsen ratings.

Ryan Seacrest Named Next Alluring Host of 'Wheel of Fortune' in 2024, Succeeding Pat Sajak
ABC, via Everett Collection

Speculation and Interest in Succession for “Wheel of Fortune” Hosting Role

When Pat Sajak made the announcement on June 12 that he would be stepping down from his role as the host of “Wheel of Fortune,” many people in the entertainment industry anticipated a lengthy search for his replacement. However, speculation about his successor began immediately, and numerous fans of the show took to social media, advocating for Vanna White to be the new host. Recent reports suggested that negotiations were underway for White to sign a new contract with “Wheel of Fortune.

“The eagerness of celebrity entertainers to take on the hosting position was evident when Joy Behar mentioned on “The View” two weeks ago that her co-host, Whoopi Goldberg, had expressed interest in hosting “Wheel of Fortune.” Goldberg responded definitively, stating, “I want that job,” which elicited cheers from the studio audience. She added, “I think it would be lots of fun.”

After the passing of Alex Trebek in 2020, Sony Pictures Television introduced a series of guest hosts who rotated on “Jeopardy!” for a week or two at a time. In 2021, Sony eventually announced that Mike Richards, the executive producer of the show, would assume the hosting duties for “Jeopardy!”

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Nikhat Parveen
Nikhat Parveen
Nikhat Parveen is a Literature Enthusiast. She is Currently Pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi, India. She holds the position of Entertainment Writer at AWSMONE and also is a Published Poet. She has been working as a Content Writer and Interviewer for the past 3 years and as an Honorary Reporter.