After Pat's other show, "Wheel of Fortune" (1975) enjoyed a surge of popularity in the late 80's, he decided to try his hand at hosting a late-night talk show. The format was similar to "... See full summary »




1   Unknown  
1990   1989  
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »


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Complete series cast summary:
 Himself - Host 11 episodes, 1989-1990
Dan Miller ...
 Himself - Announcer 9 episodes, 1989-1990
Geoff Bolt ...
Franklin Ruehl ...
 Himself / ... 5 episodes, 1989-1990


After Pat's other show, "Wheel of Fortune" (1975) enjoyed a surge of popularity in the late 80's, he decided to try his hand at hosting a late-night talk show. The format was similar to "The Tonight Show" (1962), consisting of comedy monologues, celebrity guests and musical numbers. Although many well-known celebrities appeared on his show, in the end, Sajak was unable to compete with Johnny Carson and David Letterman. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <>

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Make a break for ... The Pat Sajak Show See more »







Release Date:

9 January 1989 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The CBS strategy was simple and straightforward: Get Sajak on the air, let him settle in behind Johnny Carson in the ratings, and then let him grow until the moment Carson finally retired. Then CBS would have the incumbent show in place, ready to take command of late night. Sajak would present no treat at all to Carson, especially to the young viewers that Carson was apparently losing. See more »


Referenced in The Late Shift (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Another talk show disaster:Pat Sajak
12 October 2006 | by See all my reviews

Like a "Wheel Of Fortune" contestant attempting to buy "Y",the game-show host couldn't have been thinking too clearly when he accepted a gig as a late-night talk show host. What began as a 90-minute program when it premiered in 1989(the same year that The Arsenio Hall Show came onto the scene as well)on CBS within the first three months was reduced to an hour,but that didn't make it easier for the eternally grinning Pat Sajak to come up with compelling material. His interviewing skills as a late night talk show host were pathetic. He couldn't interview worth a damn. Having the audacity to try to unseat the king of late night-Johnny Carson,Sajak had the drapes,the spotlight,the band,and the couch but not the charisma. Because of this,CBS cancelled his show the following year. One of the few memorable episodes featured an interview with Robbie and Evel Knievel--the other was the one with Joan Rivers,who also had the audacity to unseat Johnny Carson too,but miserably fail.---This was so appropriate because the show itself was a disaster waiting to happen and the executives at CBS knew this too. After Pat Sajak's talk show was cancelled in 1990,CBS would have to wait another three and a half years before they finally hit payola in the competition for the late night talk show format,and they did in the fall of 1993,when they acquired David Letterman from NBC to CBS.

Before long,in 1990,the cancelled "Pat Sajak Show" was replaced by repeats of Jack Lord's crime drama series "Hawaii Five-O" and the Telly Savalas crime drama series "Kojak" along with repeated episodes of either "Columbo" or some other form of entertainment that replaced it for CBS Late Night. Pat Sajak returned to do what he did best-host a game show and this was something he knew how to do,brilliantly and successfully.

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