LeVar Burton Said Support He Received To Host ‘Jeopardy!’ Was ‘Overwhelming’

by Joe Rutland

Don’t think for one minute that actor LeVar Burton did not appreciate the support of fans when pursuing the Jeopardy! host job.

“I felt the love,” Burton said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “I can hardly speak about the experience. It was overwhelming, and it came from all quarters of the fandom. People who are casual fans reached out and said, ‘This makes so much sense. You were done dirty.’ In the midst of all of that, one of the best things to come out of it was the love.”

Burton has fans both young and old alike. People who have watched his career for a long time remember seeing him in Alex Haley’s Roots. Others know him from his time on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Then you have parents and children who know of Burton from his Reading Rainbow days.

‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Made Their Voices Loud, Clear About Wanting Burton as Host

Those fans were loud and clear that they wanted him as the next host of Jeopardy! after the death of Alex Trebek. In the period of time that the game show had guest hosts, Burton got one week behind the podium.

But show producers chose to go with Mayim Bialik and executive producer Mike Richards as hosts. That backfired on Jeopardy! when salacious recordings and other evidence came out about Richards’ behavior. One week later, Richards was gone.

Bialik remains on Jeopardy! along with Ken Jennings, who has been on right now.

Burton is not even thinking about becoming a host on there. Why? He’s got a new gig as host of a game show based on Trivial Pursuit.

“Trivial Pursuit is one of the best-known brands in the gaming universe,” Burton said. “I am thrilled to have partnered with Hasbro and eOne to bring this beloved game to market as a premium show for television.”

Last month, Burton happened to direct an episode of NCIS: Hawai’i.

At One Time, Fans Believed Hosting Process Was Rigged Against Him

Back in August, Jeopardy! and Burton fans were hot under the collar about the whole process.

They wondered if Burton was the victim of some kind of host selection conspiracy. They also thought Richards rigged the contest. He was the show’s executive producer and had a hand in the selection process.

One Redditor cites an article from The AV Club that hinted at some shady dealings behind the scenes. The article quotes a Jeopardy! insider in saying that Richards gave tips and directions to guest hosts. Furthermore, the article says that guest hosts didn’t realize that they were competing with Richards for the job. It is curious that fan favorites like Burton and Aaron Rodgers didn’t make the final cut.