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On Tuesday, Ryan Seacrest announced that he’d be taking over “Wheel of Fortune” after longtime host Pat Sajak retires. Sajak will finish his run with the show’s 41st season, which begins this September. It should make for a notably frictionless handoff – at least compared to the prolonged, messy path to new permanent “Jeopardy!” hosts.

But how are viewers feeling about the change? According to the latest CivicScience data, a strong majority of Americans hold a favorable view of Seacrest taking over. Sixty-one percent of all U.S. adults are at least ‘somewhat favorable’ to Seacrest hosting “Wheel” – with just 13% holding a ‘highly favorable’ view of the pairing. A similar percentage (14%) makes up the ‘highly unfavorable’ camp.

The ubiquitous host, who’s gigged between “American Idol,” “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” and many more high-profile gigs, also stands to be an especially big hit with regular “Wheel” viewers. One-third of adults who currently watch “Wheel” on a regular basis hold a ‘highly favorable’ view of the hire – more than doubling the Gen Pop’s enthusiasm. He plays worst with adults who never watched the show on a regular basis, but still commands a majority favorability among all levels of viewership.

While there were initially concerns about “Jeopardy!” losing viewer interest after Alex Trebek’s death – which were likely squashed by a run of super-champions – “Wheel of Fortune” will likely avoid shedding viewers with the Seacrest pick.

Unexpected insights about regular “Wheel of Fortune” viewers:

  • Regular “Wheel” viewers are drastically more likely to own an electric vehicle (27%) than those who have never watched the show regularly (5%). Occasional “Wheel” viewers are the most likely to be EV intenders (29%).
  • Consistent viewers are also the most likely of all levels of “Wheel” viewing habits to switch banks in the next three months (12% reporting it’s ‘very likely’ they’ll switch and an additional 17% rating it ‘somewhat likely’).
  • With student loan repayment concerns on the rise, regular “Wheel of Fortune” viewers seem poised to be exceedingly impacted. Thirty percent of regular viewers are at least ‘somewhat concerned’ about being able to pay back student loan payments – with 17% claiming to be ‘very concerned,’ outpacing all other types of viewer or non-viewer.

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