Jun 29, 2023
9 mins read
9 mins read

'Wheel of Fortune' taps Ryan Seacrest as its new host: A look at the TV personality's career highlights

'Wheel of Fortune' taps Ryan Seacrest as its new host: A look at the TV personality's career highlights

The longtime 'American Idol' emcee was named as Pat Sajak's replacement on Tuesday

Ryan Seacrest has been named the new host of "Wheel of Fortune," adding another major gig to his lengthy resume. 

The 48-year-old media personality was confirmed as the replacement for the game show's longtime host Pat Sajak in a post shared to "Wheel of Fortune's" Twitter page on Tuesday. 

"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!," the tweet read.

Earlier this month, Sajak, 76, announced his plans to retire from "Wheel of Fortune" after hosting the television series for 41 seasons. Sajak's co-host and letter-turner Vanna White will remain with the show.

"I’m truly humbled to be stepping into the footsteps of the legendary Pat Sajak," Seacrest said in a statement obtained by Fox News Digital. 

ryan seacrest smiling on american idol red carpet

Ryan Seacrest has been announced as the new host of "Wheel of Fortune." (Stewart Cook/ABC via Getty Images. / Getty Images)

He continued, "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."

"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."

"Wheel of Fortune," which was created by Merv Griffin, has remained on air continuously since it debuted in January 1975. In his statement, Seacrest described his new job as a "full circle moment."

Pat Sajak on the set of "Wheel of Fortune"

Pat Sajak announced his plans to retire from "Wheel of Fortune" after hosting the television series for 41 seasons. (Christopher Willard/ABC via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"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."

Since launching his career in the early 1990s, Seacrest has become one of the entertainment industry's most recognizable faces after emceeing a long roster of popular shows.

Here is a look back at Seacrest's hosting highlights.

ryan seacrest smiling on couch

Ryan Seacrest launched his career hosting children's game shows in the early 1990s. (Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Radical Outdoor Challenge

In 1993, Seacrest landed his first major television gig, hosting ESPN's "Radical Outdoor Challenge" alongside co-hosts Jerry Bernardo and Sharon Swainson.

During each episode of the short-lived show, three children would compete against each other in a series of outdoor challenges. 

Wild Animal Games

Seacrest went on to host another children's game show called "Wild Animal Games," which aired on the Family Channel from October 1995 to September 1996.

The future "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" producer shared hosting duties with a chimpanzee named Eddie. Each episode featured a different animal with the contestants, most of whom were children, participating in a variety of animal-themed games.

Click

The Georgia native hosted "Click" throughout its two seasons from 1997 to 1999. He was joined by co-host Amber Bonasso for the first season and Amber Willenborg in season 2.

In the quiz show, which was based on computers and the Internet, teams of teenage contestants competed to answer questions with the winners receiving cash prizes. 

American Idol

ryan seacrest idol

Ryan Seacrest has hosted every season of "American Idol" since its inception. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images / Getty Images)

After stints in 2000 and 2001 hosting "NBC Saturday Night Movie" and "Ultimate Revenge," Seacrest signed on to co-host the singing competition reality show "American Idol" alongside co-host Brian Dunkleman.

"American Idol" became a surprise hit after it debuted on FOX in the summer of 2002. Seacrest began hosting the show solo in the second season following Dunkleman's departure in 2003. 

One of the most successful TV series of all time, "American Idol" was the most-watched show for a record seven consecutive seasons from 2004 to 2011. In 2012, ratings began to drop and "American Idol" was canceled after airing its 15th season in 2016.

In 2017, ABC revived the show, and Seacrest, who had remained with "American Idol" until its cancelation, returned as host for the 2017-2018 season. Seacrest has stayed on as host of the show for the past six seasons.

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Seacrest will continue in his role on "American Idol" when it returns for its seventh season on ABC in addition to hosting "Wheel of Fortune."

In an interview with Variety in April, Seacrest weighed in on how long he planned to host "American Idol."

"I hope to host that show forever," he said.

ryan seacrest on new years rockin eve

In 2005, Ryan Seacrest began co-hosting "New Year's Rockin Eve" with his mentor Dick Clark. ( Noam Galai/Getty Images for dick clark productions / Getty Images)

"New Year's Rockin Eve"

In 2005, Seacrest began serving as co-host and executive producer of "New Year's Rockin' Eve" alongside his mentor, Dick Clark. Seacrest began assuming more of the hosting duties as Clark's health declined, and the show was renamed "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest" in 2009.

After the legendary Clark died at the age of 82 in 2012, Seacrest became the sole host of the show. In December 2021, Seacrest signed a multi-year extension to remain as host and executive producer of the show.

E! 

Seacrest signed a three-year deal with E! in 2006 to host "E! News" and red carpet awards show coverage. He later inked a deal to appear on NBC shows, including the "Today" show, and contribute special coverage of events including the Olympics and other programming.

The TV personality parted ways with E! in 2012 with Terrence J named as his replacement.

ryan seacrest kelly ripa

Ryan Seacrest co-hosted "Live with Kelly and Ryan" for six years until April of this year. (Daytime Emmy Awards 2021 via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Live With Kelly and Ryan

In 2017, Seacrest joined Kelly Ripa as the co-host of ABC"s "Live With Kelly and Ryan," replacing Michael Strahan. 

Seacrest remained with the show for six years before announcing his departure in February. Ripa's husband Mark Consuelos was tapped as Seacrest's replacement. The final episode of "Live With Kelly and Ryan" aired in April with "Live with Kelly and Mark' debuting a few days later.

Source: Fox Business

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