Ryan Seacrest Admits Pat Sajak Pressure With Wheel Of Fortune Takeover

By Nina Phillips | Published

It’s not easy for an actor to replace someone well-loved in their role. Ryan Seacrest is feeling the pressure as his debut as the Wheel of Fortune host draws closer. Though he’s been a part of some notable shows, like American Idol, filling in the shoes of Pat Sajak is an intimidating job for anyone.

Ryan Seacrest On Replacing Pat Sajak

Ryan Seacrest admitted to his worries during an exclusive interview with People, saying, “I’m sure I will get nervous jitters. The show has been a staple for people and myself and my family forever. And so you just want to walk out there and do what’s been happening for so many years and not screw it up.”

Pat Sajak’s Final Episode

wheel of fortune

Sajak will retire at the end of Season 41, airing on June 7 of this year, and then it will be Ryan Seacrest in the spotlight of Wheel of Fortune. Seacrest is using that time to his advantage, watching older episodes of the show and paying attention to Sajak and how he behaves as a host.

Grew Up Watching Wheel Of Fortune

ryan seacrest

Like many people, Ryan Seacrest grew up watching Wheel of Fortune, so he’s already an expert on the show. But he’s not willing to be content with what he knows, which is why he’s watching episodes again, focusing more on the host than the actual game.

“I can’t believe that it’s going to be real. But I’m super excited,” Seacrest mentioned during his interview, “I don’t remember when I felt this much excitement and enthusiasm for something.”

Decades Of Hosting

To be fair, it is a rather big role to fill. Pat Sajak has been a part of the game show for over 40 years. Several generations of people watched and grew up with Sajak on Wheel of Fortune, which means replacing the icon is intimidating for anyone.

The show isn’t losing any popularity either. For the 2022 to 2023 season, Wheel of Fortune averaged around 9 million daily viewers. While this is great for any host looking to make a name for themselves, it also means a lot of pressure to make sure those 9 million daily viewers are as happy as possible with the change.

Vanna White Is Sticking Around

wheel of fortune

Thankfully, Ryan Seacrest isn’t being thrown to the wolves by hosting on Wheel of Fortune. Vanna White is planning to stay on for at least another two seasons after Sajak retires.

Sajak won’t go away completely, either. While he will no longer be the face of the show, he is planning on staying on as a consultant for three years. If Seacrest ends up with any questions or concerns, he’ll have plenty of support.

Busiest Man In Hollywood

Part of the stress and worry that Ryan Seacrest is facing has to do with more than simply his role in Wheel of Fortune. He’s a busy man, juggling several different projects, including On Air with Ryan Seacrest, American Idol, and his philanthropy work with the Ryan Seacrest Foundation.

If that wasn’t enough, he’s got a contract with iHeartMedia that will stay in effect until the end of 2027 as the morning host on CHR KIIS (102.7). Honestly, Seacrest has his fingers in a lot of pies, acting as a radio personality, producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and TV host.

Live With Kelly And Ryan

It couldn’t have been better timing for the star, however. He worked with Kelly Ripa for six years on Live with Kelly and Ryan before leaving in February of 2023, just a few months before Sajak announced his retirement. It was the perfect opportunity for Ryan Seacrest to take the job now that he had a vacancy in his busy life.

Source: PEOPLE