The season premiere of Wheel of Fortune this week left fans angry with the network that airs it. The show got pushed back in favor of Monday Night Football. As we previously reported in June, the game show’s 41st season will be host Pat Sajak’s last, with Ryan Seacrest taking over in 2024. Seacrest signed a “multi-year agreement” to host the show, with co-host Vanna White staying on and will also serve as a consulting producer. Sajak took the helm of the Merv Griffin-created show in 1981, six years after its creation, with White as his co-host, revealing letters on the game board.
The first show of the season aired on Monday (September 11) night, but it was not available for all viewers, as the pregame show for Monday Night football caused scheduling issues in some areas. For some fans, the show aired the following morning in the wee hours, and for others, the show was not available to watch at all, according to Fox News. Sajak took to social media to alert fans about the issue, writing: “Because of football and squabbles between stations and carriers, a lot of you won’t be able to see some episodes of Wheel this season. We’re as sorry as you are, but we are powerless to do anything about it.”
Because of football and squabbles between stations and carriers, a lot of you won’t be able to see some episodes of Wheel this season. We’re as sorry as you are, but we are powerless to do anything about it.— Pat Sajak (@PatOnWheel) September 12, 2023
One person commented on Sajak’s tweet writing: “Missed you tonight (darn football). Every show counts given we only have one more year with you.” Another criticized the “shortsightedness of both the carriers and stations,” adding that they are “shivving their customers in back. You’re exiting this wacky business at the right time.” One fan stated: “Nobody asked for Monday Night Football pregame. We don’t need talking heads chit-chatting behind a table or on an empty field way before the actual event. Go crazy during game time, but stop robbing Wheel of Fortune of ratings on ABC stations.”
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Wheel of Fortune airs on ABC, CBS, Fox, or NBC affiliates depending on where you live in the country. Viewers who tuned in to ABC to watch the show had the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets pre-game show take precedence. For some, this meant they could only watch the premiere episode in the middle of the night, while others did not get a chance to watch the episode at all.