Ryan Seacrest has signed a multiyear deal to host the game show “Wheel of Fortune” beginning in 2024, Sony Pictures Television announced Tuesday.

Seacrest will replace longtime host Pat Sajak, who announced this month that he would step down from the show next year after four decades at the wheel. Sajak will stay on as a consultant, according to Sony, and Seacrest will become a consulting producer in addition to being the new host.

“I’m truly humbled to be stepping into the footsteps of the legendary Pat Sajak,” Seacrest 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 [White] on our television screens for an unprecedented 40 years, making us smile every night and feel right at home with them.”

Seacrest is one of the most recognizable personalities in media, having been a host for 21 seasons on “American Idol,” previously appearing on “Live With Kelly and Ryan” (for which he won an Emmy, and announced an exit from in February), and ringing in each new year with “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest.” He also hosts a radio program called “On Air With Ryan Seacrest” in Southern California, where “Wheel of Fortune” films its episodes.

The letter-guessing show — think “Hangman” with production values if you’ve never seen it — has more than 20 million viewers, Sony said in a news release. More than 3,000 people audition every year for the show, with fewer than 500 making the final cut, according to the History Channel.

Seacrest will take over after Sajak’s final and 41st season, which starts airing in September. Sajak hosted the show’s daytime edition from 1981 to 1989, and started hosting the show’s syndicated version in 1983. The show’s co-host Vanna White first joined in 1982, kicking off four decades of the pair appearing on home screens everywhere. Sajak has the record for the longest career as a game show host for the same show, according to the Guinness World Records.

He has also been seeking a job like this for his entire career, it would seem. He told the New York Times in 2009 that he hoped to emulate the career of Merv Griffin, a television host and media personality who created several hit programs — including “Wheel of Fortune.”

“He was likable and accessible and smart and funny and charming,” Seacrest told the Times, “but he would also leverage that to build assets so he wouldn’t have to work every single hour of every single day to have a return.”

This article has been updated.


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