‘Jeopardy!’: LeVar Burton Speaks Out About the Drama Around Show’s Host

by Craig Garrett

LeVar Burton has recently opened up about the controversy surrounding his 2021 guest-hosting stint on Jeopardy! Of course, Burton hosted the long-running show while producers were searching for a permanent host. This past weekend at Rose City Comic Con in Portland, Oregon, Burton spoke on a Q&A panel about his experience on the show. He also answered fan questions about his thoughts on Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings being named the full-time co-hosts.

Jeopardy! hired the hosts that they wanted, so it’s all good,” LeVar Burton said. Although Burton enjoyed himself during the show, there were a few aspects he didn’t like, reports We Got This Covered. “I’ll always bet on myself, and given the opportunity to do it all over again, I would,” Burton explained. “Well, first, I would not believe the executive producer when he told me twice that he was not interested in the job; his job was to find someone to do the job. That’s the guy who gave himself the job.”

While Burton didn’t directly say who he was talking about, the description matches Mike Richards, the former Jeopardy! executive producer. Richards was named the new permanent host in August 2021 following months of guest hosts. Richards resigned from his position shortly after a 2013 podcast surfaced in which he made some disparaging comments.

LeVar Burton “enjoyed every moment,” but has reservations

“So if I were to do it all over again, I wouldn’t trust him,” LeVar Burton added. “But I would insist on knowing that this was a real audition for the job because that’s what I thought I was asking for.” Burton eventually explained that he felt like he was “pulled into a publicity stunt.” However, the actor understand he was eager to take the job. “I went in willingly. I just wish they had been more forthcoming at the beginning.” Burton also said that he “enjoyed every moment” of presenting the program.

However, LeVar Burton is staying busy. Now, he’s prepping for his next project: the upcoming TV game show Trivial Pursuit.“I invite you to stay tuned because, in 2023, I’ll be coming out with a game show that I’ve partnered with Hasbro on with a little I.P. called Trivial Pursuit… We’ve developed what I think is a really awesome game, and I can’t wait to share it with y’all.”

Not only that, but he’s returning to one of his most famous roles. LeVar Burton is reprising his Star Trek: The Next Generation part in the 3rd season of Picard. The veteran actor spoke about playing Geordi La Forge again recently at Megacon. “I’m so proud of us because I think we look pretty damn good, and what that means to me is not only are we aging and aging gracefully, but we’re aging appropriately,” he said. He feels that their shared experience adds to their performances. “Then there was the acting which, if you can imagine how good the chemistry is, it’s better now because our shared experiences are deeper and richer and have lasted longer, stood the test of time.”