The LeVar Burton “Jeopardy!” saga continues as it’s finally his time to shine. The former “Reading Rainbow” host and all-around TV star takes the stage for all to see this week. And the 250,000-plus folks who signed the online petition to make him the next permanent host of the iconic game show are far from finished.
To fully understand the significance of this week for LeVar Burton, one has to go all the way back to 2013. That’s when he first signed a petition that put him forward as the next potential host of “Jeopardy!” This all happened while the late host Alex Trebek was still killing it, winning Emmy Awards for his performance in the role, mind you.
“In 2013, I tweeted for the first time how much I would love to have that job when Alex retired. But more than anything, I am eager to put my skills up against those of anyone else in contention and then let the chips fall where they may. The important thing to me is that I have an opportunity to compete for the job. That’s all I ever really wanted,” Burton told The View in April.
After Trebek’s passing, however, and the game show began to explore the idea of rotating guest hosts, LeVar Burton’s petition gained new life. The support for his “Jeopardy!” dreams swelled and has resulted in the episodes airing this week.
“I don’t believe there is anyone out there who is better suited for this job than me. And I will go to my grave believing that,” Burton told Entertainment Weekly.
Now that he’s landed the opportunity, the folks who supported him initially are making sure their opinions are heard. And the best way for them to do that is by watching Burton on “Jeopardy!” in droves.
Despite the Olympics, LeVar Burton’s ‘Jeopardy!’ Viewership Could Be Crazy
Based on the amount of support we’re seeing via social media, there are going to be a whole lot of people tuned in for each one of LeVar Burton’s episodes.
Tweets like these stretch on for days. And Burton doesn’t take the support for granted.
“They want this for me as much as I want it for me, I believe, because it makes so much sense to them too. Love of the franchise, check. Loves knowledge and curiosity, check. I spent 26 years talking directly to people through the camera lens, check. I bring an audience of Gen X-ers and millennials—checkmate!” Burton continued in his interview.
Now, ratings aren’t the sole factor in deciding who is going to be the next host of “Jeopardy!” But it’s hard to imagine a world in which someone is this passionate about an opportunity, with all of this support, contributes to the show’s success and still doesn’t get the job.
There are certainly a lot of people out there who’d put a vote in for Burton if they could.