Ryan Seacrest will take over as host of the syndicated game show "Wheel of Fortune" after longtime master of ceremonies Pat Sajak retires at the end of the next season, the program's producer announced Tuesday.
Seacrest, a stalwart of American television and radio, signed a "multi-year agreement" to host the show starting in 2024, Sony Pictures Television said in a news release. He will also serve as a consulting producer.
"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 said in a statement, referring to co-host Vanna White.
"Pat, I love the way you’ve always celebrated the contestants and made viewers at home feel at ease," Seacrest added. "I look forward to learning everything I can from you during this transition."
Sajak, 76, announced his plans to retire two weeks ago.
"Well, the time has come," he tweeted June 12. "I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last,” he said. “It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months."
Sajak took the helm of “Wheel of Fortune” in 1981 alongside White. The show is a mainstay of the prime-time lineup on television channels across the country, usually accompanied by the quiz contest “Jeopardy!”
Seacrest, 48, is best known for hosting the singing competition series "American Idol." He also has a weekly syndicated radio show. He co-hosted the daytime talk show "Live with Kelly and Ryan" for six years, alongside Kelly Ripa. He announced his exit from the show in February.
“Wheel of Fortune,” which media mogul Merv Griffin created in 1975, revolves around contestants who attempt to solve hangman-style word puzzles. The show has become part of the American cultural lexicon, spawning merchandising tie-ins and spinoffs, including “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune.”
Sony says “Wheel of Fortune” draws more than 26 million viewers a week.
Sajak has won three Daytime Emmy Awards in the outstanding game show host category (1993, 1997, 1998), as well as a lifetime achievement prize in 2011, according to IMDb.