Wheel of Fortune is getting ready to go XL for a milestone season.
“XL Week” (otherwise known as Extra Lucky and loaded with many prizes) will kick off the upcoming season in celebration of four decades of the game show.
Pat Sajak and Vanna White are on board to host, with the latter “working at a new LED screen puzzle board,” per the press release.
“XL Week” represents the roman numeral 40 for the 40th season and will feature extra prizes, puzzles, and hopes to be “XL (Extra Lucky)” for contestants and fans.
” During “XL Week,” not only will contestants have double the chances to win $1 Million with up to two full $1 Million wedges on the Wheel, but when they bring the $1 Million to the bonus round their chances are doubled because a second $1 Million envelope will be added to the Bonus Wheel. This week also introduces the “XL Wedge” with the chance to win an additional $40,000 when the player takes that to the bonus round for a minimum win of $80,000. Viewers will have big chances to win as well with a chance to win the Prize Puzzle featured in the round and the XL Bonus Round prize if it’s won,” the release notes.
Following “XL Week,” gameplay returns to normal, with the minimum amount that can be won at the Bonus Wheel bumped to $40,000 because, again, 40th season!
The fun kicks off on September 12, 2022, reportedly running through June 9, 2023.
And if you’re a huge WOF fan, don’t miss Celebrity Wheel of Fortune starting on Sunday, September 25, 2022 on ABC.
You can see the full 2022-2023 Fall TV schedule right here!
Pat Sajak Kicks Off Final Run on ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Season 41
The beginning of the end is officially upon us!
Wheel of Fortune Season 41 was set to kick off today, September 11, 2023, with a momentous premiere marking Pat Sajak’s final spin with the game show. Unfortunately, due to the Monday Night’s NFL Kickoff, the episode will not be airing in its regularly scheduled slot of 6:30 p.m. CT in some markets. Instead, episode 401 was preempted and scheduled on the lineup to air at 3:07 a.m. CT, while the second episode of the season, is set to air normally on September 12th at 6:30 p.m. CT.
The article has been updated to reflect this schedule change.
The longtime host announced his departure this summer. He has helmed the game show for 40 years alongside Vanna White, who is also set to return for the 41st season, though she will be away for a week as she came down with COVID-19 while filming, forcing her to miss a handful of episodes.
Still, it’s going to be a season to remember as things will never be the same again once Ryan Seacrest takes over, replacing Sajak in 2024. Sajak first joined in 1981, filling the spot previously held by Chuck Woolery and making the game show an American staple.
However, Sajak was ready to close this chapter of his life, previously declaring, “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.”
Fans aren’t looking forward to the change, with many commenting that it’s the “last” season they will watch on the WOF Instagram and Twitter posts promoting the premiere.
Guess who's back?
Back again (for the 41st time)? pic.twitter.com/11U14KQjIk
— Wheel of Fortune (@WheelofFortune) September 5, 2023
Wheel of Fortune Season 41 will kick off with the theme “European Vacation,” airing episodes every night of the week at 6:30 pm CT on ABC.
It’s unclear if White, who hasn’t gotten a raise in 18 years, will continue on with the show once Seacrest takes over, but since she’s so iconic and integral to the show’s success, we hope that she gets what she deserves!
And we hope everyone enjoys the final season with the iconic duo of Sajak and White!
When Is Pat Sajak Leaving ‘Wheel of Fortune’?
The end is near for Pat Sajak… well, almost.
On June 12, Sajak announced his retirement from the long-running game show—which he’s helmed for 40 years—writing, “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.”
The news shook fans, though it wasn’t entirely unexpected as he’s previously spoken out about a natural order of things, noting that everything must come to an end.
Since then, Wheel of Fortune has announced a replacement with American Idol host and former Live with Kelly and Ryan host Ryan Seacrest taking the reins.
Thankfully, fans will have ample time to get adjusted as the change won’t happen until Wheel of Fortune Season 42, which is set to air in 2024.
Sajak will stick around through the 41st season expected to air later this year in the fall. The new season is set to premiere on September 11, 2023.
America’s beloved game show wrapped up its 40th season on June 9, 2023—and Sajak has been having tons of fun with it. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for his final hurrah as we have no doubt the brains behind the scenes will make it special for Sajak and the loyal fans at home.
As for everyone wondering about Vanna White’s future, the immediate info is that she plans to stick around.
Is Vanna White Leaving ‘Wheel of Fortune’?
With Pat Sajak’s retirement announcement and the news that Ryan Seacrest is replacing him as a host starting with season 42, it’s understandable that fans are worried about Vanna White’s place on Wheel of Fortune.
Is her job secure? She’s only been the face of the brand alongside Sajak for 40 years!
The outlet revealed that she is “eyeing” a future with WOF beyond its 41st season, which will be Sajak’s final installment.
While a deal has not been reached yet, according to the outlet, she is allegedly asking for a pay raise as she’s never gotten one in 18 years.
Seacrest addressed his takeover of the game show shortly after the official WOF social media account named him as Sajak’s replacement, and he seemed keen on working alongside White, who fans know and love for being a welcoming presence and for her elaborate and incredible fashion pieces.
“I can’t wait to continue the tradition of spinning the wheel and working alongside the great Vanna White,” the American Idol host said in his statement while acknowledging 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.”
Wheel of Fortune pic.twitter.com/pQeTpWsPx7
— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) June 27, 2023
White has yet to speak out on all the changes happening behind the scenes of America’s game show, but it’s comforting to know that she plans to stick around for the time being and that fans won’t have to lose both Sajak and White simultaneously.
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