See When Wheel of Fortune Returns with Ryan Seacrest as Host, Plus How He Honored Pat Sajak (2024)

Now that Season 41 of Wheel of Fortune has come to an end, along with Pat Sajak’s 41-year run as host, fans are excited for Ryan Seacrest’s tenure to begin. When does Wheel of Fortune return for Season 42? We have the answer below, plus more details about the American Idol host’s first season.

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When does Wheel of Fortune return for Season 42 with Ryan Seacrest?

The highly anticipated Season 42 of Wheel of Fortune, with Ryan Seacrest at the helm, is expected to premiere in September 2024. A specific premiere date has not yet been announced, but Season 41 began on Sept. 11, 2023, so fans can expect the hit game show to return around the same time.

In addition to Seacrest, Vanna White will be back as co-host for her 41st season. Following Sajak’s departure, White considered leaving the show as well, telling People in October 2023: “Of course it’s a thought … It’s like, ‘Well, wait, if you’re leaving, what am I going to do? How can I stay without you?’ It was a very hard decision for me to make, because it definitely crossed my mind. It’s like, ‘I just don’t know if I can do this without you,’ but I thought about it and I’m not ready to retire, so I am staying on.”

The month prior, White reached a deal with the show after drawn out contract negotiations. According to industry newsletter Puck, the co-host, who’d been making $3 million a year (a fifth of Sajak’s salary) and hadn’t received a pay bump in 18 years, was asking for a significant raise. Eventually, her contract was extended for two more years, meaning she will continue on through the 2025–26 season, but the size of her pay bump was not disclosed.

See When Wheel of Fortune Returns with Ryan Seacrest as Host, Plus How He Honored Pat Sajak (2)

Sajak first announced his departure back in June 2023, writing on social media: “Well, the time has come. I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last. It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months. Many thanks to you all.”

His final episode was exactly one year later on June 7, 2024. Sajak closed the episode with a touching farewell speech that expressed his gratitude for the loyal fans, his cast and crew, and his family. “I have a few thanks and acknowledgments before I go, and I want to start with all watching out there. It’s been an incredible privilege to be invited into millions of homes night after night, year after year, decade after decade,” he told the viewers at home. “I’ve always felt that the privilege came with the responsibility to keep this daily half-hour a safe place for family fun. No social issues, no politics, nothing embarrassing, I hope, just a game.”

More: See what Pat Sajak is doing next after retiring from Wheel of Fortune

Shortly after the episode aired, Seacrest paid tribute to his predecessor on Instagram. “Pat, congratulations on an incredible run with Wheel of Fortune! Your dedication, charm, and wit have made the show a beloved part of American television for decades. Your partnership with Vanna has been nothing short of iconic, and together, you’ve created countless wonderful memories for viewers,” he wrote alongside a picture of himself, Sajak and Vanna on set. “You’ve set the standard for hosts everywhere, and this marks the end of an era. Best wishes for all your future endeavors!”

Wheel of Fortune is certainly not Seacrest’s first foray into hosting. The television personality has been hosting American Idol since its inception in 2002 and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve since 2005. He also served as a co-host on Livefrom 2017 to 2023 alongside Kelly Ripa. Seacrest has a few other game shows under his belt as well, including The Million Second Quiz and Wild Animal Games.

As for if the game show will be changing under his leadership, Seacrest told People in September 2023 that he doesn’t plan on messing with the formula. “With this game show, it’s such a success and has been for generations,” he told the outlet. “You don’t mess with it, just don’t mess with it. Just get out of the way, say ‘Good evening’ and let’s play.”

In addition to hosting, Seacrest will serve as a consulting producer on the game show. His producing credits include Hulu’s The Kardashians, Bravo’s Shahs of Sunset, E! Network’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Freeform’s The Watchful Eye.

For more on primetime shows, check out our photo gallery on thebest nighttime soaps ranked.

See When Wheel of Fortune Returns with Ryan Seacrest as Host, Plus How He Honored Pat Sajak (2024)
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