Thursday, June 30, 2022

LeVar Burton Admits ‘It Will Hurt’ If ABC Doesn’t Hire Him to Host Jeopardy!

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*LeVar Barton recently opened up to The New York Times about his campaign to be the next host of Jeopardy! after the late Alex Trebek.

Burton is set to guest host the long-running game in July and he’s hoping it turns into a full-time gig.

“It will hurt. I’m not going to lie,” Burton told the publication. “But if that happens, I will get over it. I will be fine. Remember: Everything happens perfectly and for a reason. That is my default. It’s all going to be OK. Because it always is.”

Fans of the former Reading Rainbow star have launched an online campaign calling on the game show’s producers to hire Burton to take over Jeopardy! 

“I feel like this is what I’m supposed to do,” he continued. “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.”

READ MORE: LeVar Burton Thanks Fans for Their ‘Passionate Support’ After Scoring ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Gig

Burton added, “Look, I have had a career for the [expletive] ages. Roots, Star Trek, Reading Rainbow. Won a Grammy. Got a shelf full of Emmys. I’m a storyteller, and game shows are tremendous stories. There’s a contest, there’s comedy, there’s drama. If you don’t know your [expletive] on Jeopardy!, you’re sunk in full view of the entire nation. The stakes are high. I love that.”

Back in November, Burton fans created a Change.org petition calling for ABC to hire him as the new host of the network’s beloved game show. 

“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 roll 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. 

The petition continues, “This petition is to show Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and producers Mike Richards and 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!”

In April, Burton reacted to the online love and support in a series of tweets, writing, “Even if nothing comes from it, I can’t tell how much how I appreciate all y’alls love and support!”

The iconic game show has featured a rotating lineup of guest emcees since longtime host Alex Trebek died in November.

Per PEOPLE, the guest host lineup includes “Good Morning America” co-anchors George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts, CNBC journalist (and former Celebrity Jeopardy champion) David Faber, and sportscaster Joe Buck.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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