Ryan Seacrest to step in as new ‘Wheel of Fortune’ host

Ryan Seacrest will become the new host of the long-running game show “Wheel of Fortune” beginning in 2024, producers announced Tuesday.

News of Seacrest’s takeover comes shortly after Pat Sajak announced he will retire at the end of season 41, which airs this fall.

“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,” Seacrest said in a statement. “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.

Sajak, 76, has presided over the game show, which features contestants guessing letters to try to fill out words and phrases to win money and prizes, since 1981. He took over duties from Chuck Woolery, who was the show’s first host when it debuted in 1975.

Along with Vanna White, who joined the show in 1982, Sajak has been a television mainstay. The show soon shifted to a syndication and aired in the evening in many markets, becoming one of the most successful game shows in history.

Seacrest, who will also serve as a “Wheel” consulting producer, is no stranger to the host’s spotlight — with 21 seasons of ABC’s “American Idol” and six seasons of ABC’s “Live with Kelly and Ryan” on his resume. He also continues to be a television fixture as the host of the annual live broadcast of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest since 2005.

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