‘Jeopardy!’: Former Guest Host Tapped to Host Scripps National Spelling Bee

by Matthew Memrick

A former “Jeopardy!” guest host will dish out words for kids for the upcoming Scripps National Spelling Bee, and the name will ring a bell.

According to the Root, LeVar Burton will host the spelling bee finals June 1 and 2 at a location near Washington, D.C., Scripps told fans on Thursday.

“Hosting the Scripps National Spelling Bee will be an honor,” Burton said. “Like a lot of folks, I look forward to the competition every year and am excited to be a part of this wonderful tradition that celebrates excellence.”

The show will head to the ION and Bounce networks and the semifinals on June 1. The finals air on June 2. The show was on ESPN for 27 years.

Maybe the ratings for the show will go like a butterfly twice as high or something like that. No disrespect to Burton or his fans for that, by the way.

‘Jeopardy!’ Star Burton To Bee A Boon 

Scripps National Spelling Bee executive director Dr. J. Michael Durnil called Burton a “prominent advocate of children’s literacy,” and the star was “a perfect match” for the competition.

Durnil added that Burton and the spelling bee had “the same goals,” which were to “educate tomorrow’s leaders and build reading competency in all young people.”

Burton kept going during the pandemic, hosting live Twitter streams and podcasts featuring him reading aloud to children, teenagers, and adults.

‘Jeopardy!’ Put Burton Through the Wringer

LeVar Burton loved his time during the longtime game show’s hosting competition. Fans did too. He said he had fun, was nervous, and liked to get the gig. However, it didn’t work out.

During his time as host (July 26-July 30), the show’s ratings were a dismal 4.4. By comparison, “Jeopardy!” fan favorite and current co-host Ken Jennings scored a 6.0 during that time. Some chalked that up to going head-to-head with the Tokyo Olympics.

When the announcement came with former “Jeopardy!” executive producer Mike Richards getting the full-time gig, Burton seemed down about it, but not for long, it seemed.

But with the decision falling apart, he acted like a pro. “Jeopardy!” may be back on a quest for a new host, but Burton’s going to be ok.

‘Jeopardy!’ Competition A Springboard For Burton

After all that nonsense with the Jeopardy! Host competition, and it looks like Burton’s making out pretty well. The news comes as he will take over Trivial Pursuit hosting duties soon.

The Emmy and Grammy award winner will also be the Grand Marshal of the 2022 Rose Parade, with “Dream, Believe, Achieve” as its theme.

Burton’s longtime “Reading Rainbow” show taught millions of children about reading. He hosted the show and also worked as its executive producer.