‘Jeopardy!’: LeVar Burton Reportedly Was Never Considered for Permanent Hosting Gig

by Madison Miller

It’s safe to say that LeVar Burton has been one of the most backed fan-favorites for the job as full-time “Jeopardy!” host, both before and even now after all the drama.

The “Reading Rainbow” and “Star Trek” icon made it clear before, during, and after his stint as a guest host that this would be a dream job for him. Despite that, “Jeopardy!” executives selected Mike Richards as the syndicated host of the show.

He ended up dropping out nine days after the announcement after problematic comments he’s made in the past came to light. “Jeopardy!” took nearly a year to make a decision on the host, only for it to crumble to pieces once they did.

LeVar Burton Never Considered for ‘Jeopardy!’ Role

According to an article from TMZ, a Sony Studios executive said that LeVar Burton was never considered for the role in the first place. Apparently, these executives believe that Burton was fantastic as a guest host but just wasn’t the right fit to take over the show completely. Apparently, this was the case for most of the guest hosts to appear during this last “Jeopardy!” season.

Reportedly, Mayim Bialik was always the preferred choice to replace Alex Trebek. However, her busy schedule from filming her sitcom “Call Me Kat” made it hard to be the solo host. This is why Bialik got that secondary role as the primetime host of any tournaments or competitions. Now, these executives are reportedly trying to work around her schedule following the scandal to get her in full-time.

Mayim and Richards were apparently the only two to discuss the possibility of being the full-time host. Sony has apparently been in talks with LeVar Burton about other projects he could be a part of the outside of “Jeopardy!”

Despite it all, Burton has remained grateful and gracious of his time. Burton tweeted on August 5, “I have said many times over these past weeks that no matter the outcome, I’ve won. The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and fans alike has been incredible! If love is the ultimate blessing and I believe that it is, I am truly blessed beyond measure.”

Public Support for Burton

It seems like fans want LeVar Burton to host even more now following the drama.

He even has the support of some pretty prominent people. One of which is late-night host Stephen Colbert who tweeted, “I think LeVar Burton should host Jeopardy! As Geordi La Forge. And the buzzers should be phasers. And Data should be the judge. And it should be in space. And just be Star Trek.”

Dick Van Dyke also shared a petition for people to sign to get Burton the role. Even actor and comedian Seth MacFarlane is onboard and tweeted out, “Dear Jeopardy people: Jesus H. Trebek, hire @levarburton.”

Meanwhile, LeVar Burton seems to be in hot demand outside of “Jeopardy!” Several networks and Hollywood executives have reportedly reached out to him. One of which is Ava DuVernay, known for “13th,” “A Wrinkle in Time,” “When They See Us,” and “Middle of Nowhere.”

She tweeted about trying to come up with a show idea for Burton and he even responded with “Check your DM’s!”