Ryan Seacrest is known to exude extreme confidence and focus, but the Wheel of Fortune universe is proving to be a tough challenge.

The television personality, 49, is slated to take over hosting duties on the long-running Sony Pictures Television game show at the start of season 42, which is slated to air this year. He will succeed host Pat Sajak, whose final episode will air Friday, June 7.

With his Wheel of Fortune debut fast approaching, a high-level source close to the show exclusively tells Closer, “Nobody in this business has a bigger fear of failure than Ryan,” noting that the Emmy Award winner began “coming into the show for production tests” in mid-April.

While there, the source says, “Ryan is being humble, he’s listening, he’s sucking up to [letter turner] Vanna [White] and the crew, and he’s utterly focused on interacting with the contestants and the regular people from ordinary America who come in and out of that show.”

Closer previously confirmed that Vanna, 67, will also be a part of the upcoming season as she extended her Wheel of Fortune contract through 2026.

Ryan is “carefully building a foundation for another 20-year run like he’s had on American Idol,” says the insider of the singing competition host. “But he has to build it one brick at a time and that means doing everything right as far as being charming and deferential to the many female execs involved in the show and of course, to Vanna.”

And while it seems that Ryan is putting his best foot forward when it comes to taking over Wheel of Fortune, which has aired since January 1975, there appears to be some unease surrounding the changing of the guard.

Explains the source, “The hesitation at the top of Sony about working with Ryan is his notorious ego when it comes to his own hosting talent, and that’s a weapon that is also wielded by his business team, who aren’t shy about reminding people of Ryan’s decades-spanning track record in live TV and radio.”

Still, the insider says, Ryan has been “acting accordingly and not like a dumb, arrogant teenager making radio shows in his basement.”

The source adds, “As everybody knows, that’s a little against his hype-beast nature but as hard as it’s been for him to adjust his tone, he’s pulling it off. And if he wants things to work long term, he doesn’t really have a choice in the matter. You’re going to see a different Ryan on this show because there’s already been a big change behind the scenes. But let’s see how long this really lasts!”

An official season 42 premiere date has not yet been revealed, though the radio personality previously gushed over the opportunity and the next chapter of his career.

“I have been a fan of this show forever,” Ryan said during a September 2023 appearance on Live With Kelly and Mark. “Pat Sajak is a legend. I cannot believe I have the opportunity to take over for him. I cannot wait to be on that set and give out tons of money every night.”