Fans of “Jeopardy!” have to wait a little longer for LeVar Burton to take over as guest host, while the show’s executives prepare to name a permanent host.
Could it be Burton? The former “Star Trek” star and “Reading Rainbow” host certainly has the support, with a petition to name him the next host garnering more than a quarter-million signatures.
He undoubtedly wants the job, as well. He has often said on social media how much he clamors to take over the hosting role, alluding to such in a New York Times profile last week.
“I feel like this is what I’m supposed to do,” he told the Times. “I have been watching ‘Jeopardy!’ more or less every night of my life since Art Fleming was host. ‘Jeopardy!’ is a cultural touchstone, and for a Black man to occupy that podium is significant.”
The show announced in April that Burton would be among the show’s guest hosts. His episodes will air July 26-30.
Eleven men and women, including Ken Jennings, Aaron Rodgers and Katie Couric, have already hosted the show after Alex Trebek’s 2020 death from pancreatic cancer. CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta is in his second week as host, with “Good Morning America” co-anchors George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts on deck.
Then it will be time for Burton, much to the excitement of his fans.
“When I first began reading about @levarburton wanting to take over the position, I got really emotional in a really comforted way,” one Twitter user wrote. “We will all always miss Alex, but how amazing if LeVar Burton could be the ‘Jeopardy!’ host our kids grow up with.”
“I NEED LeVar Burton to get the ‘Jeopardy!’ job,” another user said. “Like in my bones need it. It’s so important for so many reasons.”
David Faber, the co-host of CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” and Fox sportscaster Joe Buck will each host “Jeopardy!” for a week in August.
A decision is expected to be made by late July or early August as to whom the next permanent host of the show will be, executive producer Mike Richards said on a Wall Street Journal podcast this spring, according to “Today.”
“You want to make an informed decision,” Richards said on the podcast. “In the end, we’re a pretty cerebral group, the ‘Jeopardy!’ team. We want to go at this with real analytics and real testing and not just go, ‘Hey, how about this guy?’ which is kind of how a lot of these decisions have been made historically.”
‘Jeopardy! guest host schedule:
June 28-July 9: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN chief medical correspondent
July 12-16: George Stephanopoulos, ABC’s “Good Morning America” co-anchor
July 19-23: Robin Roberts, ABC’s “Good Morning America” co-anchor
July 26-30: LeVar Burton, actor and former host of “Reading Rainbow”
Aug. 2-6: David Faber, co-host of CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street”
Aug. 9-13: Joe Buck, Fox sportscaster