Who could replace Pat Sajak on 'Wheel of Fortune'?

Producers have big shoes to fill, and they may already have a front-runner

Pat Sajak hosting "Wheel of Fortune"
(Image credit: Eric McCandless / ABC via Getty Images)

Who will take the "Wheel"? Pat Sajak has announced he's retiring as host of "Wheel of Fortune" after more than 40 years, meaning an iconic game show once again has a job opening. Sajak won't exit until the end of the upcoming season, which begins in September, leaving producers plenty of time to find his replacement. According to one report, though, there may already be a front-runner. So who could be in the mix to give hosting "Wheel" a spin?

Ryan Seacrest

This is the only candidate where there's reporting to suggest he's being considered. Bloomberg's Lucas Shaw reported that "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest has been talking to the "Wheel" producers about the hosting gig, and "some sources say he's the front-runner," though others said he's "just one of many interested." Seacrest recently exited as host of "Live with Kelly and Ryan." Outside of "American Idol," he has game show experience, including hosting NBC's "The Million Second Quiz."

Maggie Sajak

Alternatively, could "Wheel of Fortune" keep things in the family? Pat Sajak's 28-year-old daughter, Maggie Sajak, has appeared on the show and recently filled in for Vanna White turning over the letters on "Celebrity Wheel of Fortune." She has also served as the show's social media correspondent. This has sparked speculation that producers could be preparing her to take over for her dad, though it's also possible she could instead succeed White when she retires.

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Vanna White

Speaking of White, might she be a candidate to take over as host herself? She already filled in for Sajak in 2019 after he had emergency surgery. This would allow "Wheel" to retain continuity by selecting someone who's already part of the show, similar to the way "Jeopardy!" tapped its most famous contestant, Ken Jennings, as a host.

Michael Strahan

In addition to his work on "Good Morning America," Michael Strahan also has game show experience, hosting ABC's "$100,000 Pyramid." Conveniently, this show is produced in association with Sony Pictures Television, which also produces "Wheel."

Brooke Burns

Another seasoned game show host is Brooke Burns, the original host of the U.S. version of "The Chase." She wasn't brought back for the quiz show's ABC revival, but she's currently hosting a similar show, "Master Minds," on the Game Show Network. Sara Haines, who hosts the ABC revival of "The Chase," could be another option.

John Michael Higgins

On top of starring in films like "Best in Show," actor John Michael Higgins is also a successful game show host. He currently hosts the "Family Feud"-esque "America Says" on the Game Show Network. He also began hosting another GSN show, "Split Second," this year and competed on "Celebrity Wheel of Fortune" in 2021.

Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik is currently sharing "Jeopardy!" hosting duties with Ken Jennings, though it's unclear how long this arrangement will continue. So considering "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel" are sister shows, might Bialik transition over to "Wheel" while Jennings takes over at "Jeopardy!" full-time?

According to TMZ, Sony bosses liked Bialik so much that they wanted her to host "Jeopardy!" solo, but the dual hosting plan came about because she was too busy, namely with her sitcom "Call Me Kat." That show has since been canceled. Bialik and Jennings recently competed on an episode of "Celebrity Wheel of Fortune."

David Faber

As long as we're considering people who have hosted "Jeopardy!", don't forget about CNBC host David Faber. He was one of the "Jeopardy!" guest hosts after Alex Trebek's death, and his stint was one the most well-received among fans. Even though Faber co-hosts CNBC's "Squawk on the Street," he said in 2021 he would have taken the full-time "Jeopardy!" job if it was offered.

Jane Lynch

"Glee" star Jane Lynch has been hosting NBC's "Weakest Link" reboot since 2020. She also previously hosted "Hollywood Game Night."

Alfonso Ribeiro

"Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" alum Alfonso Ribeiro has tons of hosting experience under his belt, including hosting "America's Funniest Home Videos" and "Dancing with the Stars." He has also hosted game shows like "Catch 21."

Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg has thrown her hat into the ring. On "The View," during a conversation about Sajak's retirement, she said, "I want that job!"

At this stage in the process, it would be premature to rule anyone out — except for Mike Richards, that is.

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.