Pat Sajak’s Final ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Episode Reaches Biggest Audience in 4 Years With 11 Million Viewers

The host’s goodbye episodes marked five of the week’s 15 most-watched telecasts

Sony Pictures Television

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Pat Sajak’s final episode as “Wheel of Fortune” host drew the game show’s largest audience in four years.

The episode, which aired on Friday, June 7, scored 11.03 million viewers, according to Nielsen. That marks the show’s highest viewership in 1,072 episodes since April 29, 2020.

Also scoring a 6.22 household rating, Sajak’s farewell program ranked as the most-watched telecast for the week in both measurements, among household rating and total viewership when compared to all other broadcast, cable and syndicated programming, excluding sports.

The beloved host’s departure also boosted the game show’s viewership across the week of June 3, with “Wheel of Fortune” ranking as the No. 1 syndicated show of the week with an average household rating of 5.0 and an average viewership of 8.5 million. The week’s average household rating of 5.0 marks an 18-week high for the show, as well as a 16% uptick compared to the 4.3 average rating it brought in during the same week last year.

Overall, the five telecasts during Sajak’s last week ranked within the week’s Top 15 telecasts across broadcast, cable and syndication in both households and total viewers.

Sajak’s exit also boosted viewership for a June 7 repeat of “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune,” which aired on ABC the same night as Sajak’s farewell episode. Scoring 4.13 million viewers, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day figures, “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” ranked as the most-watched program across broadcast summer Fridays in four years, excluding sports.

The repeat, which featured Ken Jennings, Vanna White and Mayim Bialik, also marked ABC’s biggest audience for summer Friday telecast in seven years, as well as the ABC’s most-watched summer Friday telecast in the 8:00 p.m. timeslot in eight years.

Sajak announced last year that he would close out his hosting duties after the show’s 41st season, with Sony Pictures Television revealing shortly after that Ryan Seacrest will take over as “Wheel of Fortune” host alongside cohost Vanna White.

After 43 years hosting the show, Sajak shared his gratitude for fans as he said goodbye, noting, “It’s been an incredible privilege to be invited into millions of homes night after night, year after year, decade after decade.”

“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,” he continued. “But gradually, it became more than that. A place where kids learn their letters, where people from other countries hone their English skills, where families came together along with friends and neighbors and entire generations. What an honor to have played even a small part in all that.”

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