Wednesday, May 29, 2024

“American Idol” Stunt Casting Tonight: Will Vanna White Help Sinking Ratings?


“American Idol” is in need of immediate help.

Ratings so far this season are down 12% in total viewers, and 25% in the key age demo average from last year.

So what to do? A little stunt casting always helps. Host Ryan Seacrest announced on “Good Morning America” that Vanna White will be co-hosting with him tonight.

White, of course, has been the letter turner on “Wheel of Fortune” for the last 42 — yes, 42 — years. Next fall, she will be joined by Seacrest, who’s taking over for Pat Sajak as host. Sajak’s last show is this June 7th.

There was a lot of controversy about whether White would continue with Seacrest, or if she was leaving, too. What exactly she does besides turn the letters on “Wheel” is a mystery to me. I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard her speak more than three or four words at a time. But I guess tonight she will.

For ABC, the whole thing is a marketing crossover, and a good signal for next fall on “Wheel.” Of course, all of this means Seacrest will be on TV from September to June every year, and on double duty in the spring come 2025 — for better or worse.

Will you watch tonight? Maybe Vanna sings!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News