Pat Sajak and Vanna White, hosts of syndicated access game show Wheel of Fortune, will continue hosting the program through the 2023-24 TV season. As part of his new deal, Sajak will also serve as consulting producer.
Announcer Jim Thornton, who is celebrating his 10th anniversary with the show, will be seen at the beginning of each episode as he introduces the two hosts. Sajak’s daughter, Maggie, will join the show as social correspondent, providing new content across all of the show’s social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok and on the show’s website.
Sajak and White's deal renewals come at a time when Sony Pictures Television, producer of Wheel and Jeopardy!, is once again looking for a permanent host for Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards had been named the successor to Alex Trebek, who died last November after a battle with pancreatic cancer, but Richard was dismissed from both jobs after reports surfaced about negative workplace behavior in his past.
When Wheel of Fortune premieres for season 39 on Monday, Sept. 13, it will debut a refreshed set and modernized music.
The game itself will also feature a few changes. For example, Sajak will no longer spin the final wheel of the game; instead, the contestant in control at the time will spin to determine how much each consonant is worth during the final sped-up round.
“If you think about it, by doing the ‘final spin,’ I, as host, had an impact on the outcome of the game and that has always bothered me because it just didn’t feel right,” said Sajak in a statement. “With this change, only the contestants determine the outcome of the game and the host does not impose themself in any way.”
More money will be up for grabs in season 39 with the removal of the “Free Play” wedge from the wheel, which was replaced by an $850 wedge. Also, a $4,000 bonus is being added to contestants who solve all three puzzles in the “Triple Toss-Up Round,” making the round worth $10,000. And finally, the minimum amount that can be won on the bonus wheel has been upped to $39,000, in honor of the show’s 39th season in syndication.
Finally, fans can once again look forward to the show’s annual “Secret Santa Holiday Giveaway” that gives online Wheel Watchers Club members the chance to win everything a contestant wins, up to the $1 million grand prize. To date, Wheel of Fortune has awarded nearly $3 million in cash and prizes to viewers through the Secret Santa promotion.
Wheel of Fortune is produced by Sony Pictures Television and distributed by CBS Television Distribution.
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Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.