Ryan Seacrest Named New Host of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ After Pat Sajak Retires: ‘I’m So Grateful’

Ryan Seacrest will replace Pat Sajak as the host of Wheel of Fortune. Weeks after Pat announced that he’d step down after his 41st season, it was revealed that the American Idol host, 48, would step into his shoes in a statement on Tuesday, June 27. “I’m truly humbled to be stepping into the footsteps of the legendary Pat Sajak. 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,” he began his statement.

Ryan continued and said that he was looking forward to getting a sense of how the Wheel host has made the game show so special. “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 said.

He finished by saying that he was looking forward to joining a game show, 25 years after getting his start hosting one. “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,” he said. “I can’t wait to continue the tradition of spinning the wheel and working alongside the great Vanna White.“

Pat’s 41-year run as the host of Wheel of Fortune will come to an end at the end of the 2024 season. Pat, 76, announced that he’s leaving the beloved game show after the 2023 – 2024 season. Pat has been the face of Wheel of Fortune with his right-hand woman Vanna White, 66, and he’s leaving behind a remarkable legacy. “It’s been a wonderful ride,” Pat said in his statement, where he broke the news of his big career change, “and I’ll have more to say in the coming months.”

Pat Sajak
Pat Sajak (Photo: Patrick Lewis/Starpix/Shutterstock)

Following Pat’s big announcement on June 12, speculation began as to who would replace him as host of the show. With Ryan stepping up, find out more about his experience as a host and some of the runner-ups who unfortunately didn’t get the job.

Ryan Seacrest Announced As Host

Ryan will step in as the new host of ‘Wheel’ after Pat’s retirement. (Shutterstock)

Wheel Of Fortune announced that Ryan would be the new host in a tweet on Tuesday, June 27. “It’s official! Starting in 2024 @RyanSeacrest will take the stage as the new host of Wheel of Fortune. We’re so excited – Welcome Ryan!” they wrote on the show’s Twitter account.

Before stepping up for Wheel, Bloomberg‘s Lucas Shaw reported on June 12, after Pat’s announcement, that Ryan “[had] been talking” to producers about becoming the new host. “Some sources say he’s the frontrunner. Others say he is just one of many interested,” Lucas claimed on Twitter. Obviously, Ryan has plenty of hosting experience from American IdolLive with Kelly and Ryan, and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.

New ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ Host Runner-Ups

Vanna White

Vanna White
Vanna White (Photo: NINA PROMMER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Vanna was a natural frontrunner to replace Pat. She’s been on the show for over 40 years and even filled in as host for Pat for three weeks after he underwent emergency surgery in Nov. 2019. At the time, Vanna admitted she was “very nervous” for her last-minute hosting gig, but said that her “biggest concern” was Pat’s health.

After Pat announced he was leaving the show, Vanna showed her support for her pal. “When we started @WheelofFortune who could have imagined we’d still be at it 41 seasons later?” she wrote on Twitter. “I couldn’t be happier to have shared the stage with you for all these years with one more to come. Cheers to you, @patsajak!” In Ryan’s announcement, he revealed that she would stay on, and he was excited to work with her.

Maggie Sajak

Maggie Sajak
Maggie Sajak (Photo: SplashNews)

Pat’s daughter Maggie Sajak, 28, seemed like she could follow in her father’s footsteps as host of Wheel of Fortune. After all, Maggie already works on the show as the social correspondent, which she began in 2021 ahead of the show’s 39th season. Maggie’s job is to share exclusive videos and behind-the-scenes clips, as well as interview the hosts, staff, crew, and contestants for Wheel of Fortune’s social media accounts. She’s also filled in for Vanna before, including when Vanna participated in the game as a celebrity contestant in May 2023. It’s not clear if she’ll stay on the show after her dad’s retirement.

Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg (Photo: MJ Photos/Shutterstock)

Whoopi Goldberg, 67, declared that she was interested in hosting Wheel of Fortune on the June 13 episode of The View. “I want that job! I think it’d be lots of fun,” Whoopi said. The EGOT winner and her co-hosts welcomed Jeopardy! co-host Ken Jennings on the show, when the topic of Pat’s retirement came up. Ken agreed that Whoopi would make a perfect fit for the show’s host. Whoopi previously served as a producer and the center square on the game show Hollywood Squares from 1998 to 2004.

Andy Cohen

Andy called hosting the show a ‘dream job.’ (Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock)

Before Ryan’s announcement, Andy Cohen, 55, admitted he was interested in hosting Wheel, calling it a “dream job” during an interview with Us Weekly on June 22, 2023. “Not only is a game show the thing that I haven’t done yet, but that is the premiere game show. It’s really fun,” he told the outlet. While Andy may not have gotten to work on a game show just yet, he has had plenty of experience hosting different events, like joining CNN for New Year’s Eve coverage or the rebooted dating show Love Connection.

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