On the heels of a steady and slow-burning recent online petition to have LeVar Burton host Jeopardy, the world has listened, and it is now officially making it happen. Although the actor hasn’t yet been named an official successor to former host Alex Trebek after his death, Variety is reporting that Burton will be one of the final guest hosts who will finish out the show’s current season. The dates Burton will rotate in have not yet been announced.
“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,” Jeopardy executive producer Mike Richards said in a statement (via Variety). “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.”
Since we last reported on the vocal push for Burton to be given a shot as host–which at the time was given a lift by the actor himself on Twitter–the aforementioned campaign has surged to over 246,000 digital signatures.
Since former host Alex Trebek’s death in November, a rotation of guest hosts have temporarily stepped in to command the podium and take contestant answers phrased in the form of questions. The current guest host is CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who has just stepped in for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Future guest hosts afterwards will include TV personalities Katie Couric and Dr. Mehmet Oz, actress Mayim Bialik, and Today host Savannah Guthrie. While no official successor has yet been named, long-time Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings had stepped in first as interim host.
Still, it’s hard to argue against Burton taking over for Trebek. The Star Trek actor has long since broadened his platform into a proven education-minded performer, hosting Reading Rainbow for 23 years.