Source: The Washington Post / Getty
Levar Burton is coming to Jeopardy!
According to published reports, after an online petition began circulating nominating Levar Burton as the new host in replacement of the late longtime host Alex Trebek, fans are getting their wish–temporarily.
As previously reported, five months after Burton fans launched a Change.org petition in November calling for the actor to take over as host, Jeopardy! producers tapped him as the new guest host after the change.org petition racked up 246,000 signatures.
“Between hosting 21 seasons of the educational Reading Rainbow, playing the brainiac engineer Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and filling the role of Kunta Kinte in the ever-important mini-series Roots, LeVar Burton has inspired and shaped the minds of several generations of trivia-loving nerds,” the petition states. “This petition is to show Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and producer Harry Friedman just how much love the public has for Burton, and how much we’d all love to see him as the next host of Jeopardy!”
Burton, who shared the original petition thanking fans for the nomination, took to Twitter on Wednesday (April 21) to share the news of being named as guest host for a few episodes, before thanking fans for their “passionate support.”
“THANK YOU… to all y’all for your passionate support!” Burton tweeted. “I am overjoyed, excited, and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy!, and will do my utmost best to live up to your faith you in me. YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE! Go ahead and take my word for it, this time.”
Jeopardy! executive producer, Mike Richards, also responded to the announcement, letting fans of both Burton and the show that they are listening to their input and ideas.
“Our goal has been to present a wide variety of guest hosts with different skill sets and backgrounds on our path to finding a permanent host,” said “Jeopardy!” Richards said. “Our passionate fans are telling us what they like, and we are listening. All of the guest hosts have brought individualism, energy, and an authentic love of our show to each of their episodes. We look forward to sharing the rest of the season with our viewers.”
According to the official Jeopardy! Twitter account, show fan-favorite Ken Jennings was the first to guest host the series for season 37, followed by Katie Couric, Bill Whitaker, Mayim Bialik, Dr. Oz, Savannah Guthrie, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and Aaron Rodgers. In addition to Burton, the final guest hosts this season include Good Morning America anchors George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts, former Jeopardy! champ David Faber and sportscaster Joe Buck.
The show’s Tournament of Champions in May will be hosted by Jeopardy! all-star Buzzy Cohen.