‘Jeopardy!’: LeVar Burton Gets Another Major Celebrity Endorsement After Mike Richards Steps Down

by Josh Lanier

Another celebrity is throwing their support behind LeVar Burton to become the new Jeopardy! host. That brings the Reading Rainbow host’s total endorsements to — checking the math — the entire planet excluding Sony executives.

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is the latest to plead with Jeopardy! bosses to hire Burton. He tweeted, in the name of “Jesus H. Trebek,” to give Burton a chance.

Burton is not wanting for endorsements from the public or celebrities. When Sony named Jeopardy! producer Mike Richards as host earlier this month, the outrage online was instantaneous. Burton was robbed, the internet claimed.

Now, after one of the biggest flameouts in recent memory, Richards is out as the host of Jeopardy!. And once again, Burton has a chance to charm his way back onto the Alex Trebek Studio stage. His supporters are working a full-court press online to get him back behind the host’s lectern.

And Burton has a host of A-List stars and massive celebrities in his corner.

MacFarlane joins Ryan Reynolds, Dick Van Dyke, Stephen Colbert, Burton’s Star Trek co-stars Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes, Oscar-nominated director Ava DuVernay, and so many more in supporting LeVar Burton’s quest to takeover Jeopardy!

Burton openly campaigned for the job, and he did get a chance to guest host this summer. Though he only got one week while most other guest hosts were given two. He received mostly positive reviews for his time at the lectern.

However, the massive fan campaign earlier this year failed to land Burton the gig. Even though it was enough to sway Vegas oddsmakers who had Burton as the clear front runner, just ahead of Ken Jennings, heading into the summer. So, it’s unclear if this new big push from fans will have any impact on Sony leaders’ decisions.

What’s Next for ‘Jeopardy!’

After Alex Trebek died in late 2020, Mike Richards organized 16 guest hosts — including himself — to fill in as Jeoaprdy! tried to find its next host. Now, after Richards was hired and then resigned over past inappropriate comments, the show is back where it started last year.

The next season of Jeopardy! starts airing on September 13th. Richards will host the first week, as he filmed five episodes during his one day of hosting duties. But after that, we will return to a cavalcade of celebrities and former Jeopardy! champions at the podium.

Who those will be is unclear as Sony is scrambling to find fill-in hosts as quickly as they can. But whoever they choose will need to do some serious damage control following Richards’ exit, some say.

“I think that one reason why Jeopardy! was aspirational for many of its contestants was its sense of integrity,” Kristin Sausville, a 2015 Jeopardy! champion, told The Ringer in its expose on Richards. “There was something intrinsic to the show and Alex Trebek’s hosting of it that elevated it above other game shows.

“The baggage Mike Richards has brought from his previous experience as an executive producer, as well as the optics of what comes across as his self-selection as host, have tarnished that,” she continued. “I think there’s a real danger of Jeopardy! becoming just another syndicated game show, and that makes me concerned for its longevity and standing.”