‘Jeopardy!’: LeVar Burton Says the Support from Fans Who Want Him To Host Has ‘Meant the World’ To Him

by Samantha Whidden

Following the news that the “Make LeVar Burton the Next Host of Jeopardy!petition attracted more than 285,000 signatures, Burton addressed the support in a recent interview. 

While speaking about the petition, Burton stated, “Throughout this entire [Jeopardy!] thing the love that I have felt and the support has meant the world to me. It’s been very cool.”

The latest statement from Burton comes just days after the former Reading Rainbow host took to Twitter to express his appreciation for the love and support he has received as Jeopardy! guest host.

“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.”

According to its creator, the Change.org Petition was launched last Fall on a whim. The creator, Joshua Sanders, noted that to him, Burton is the correct pick for the next host of Jeopardy! “I never dreamed that the petition would get this sort of response.”

The Petition’s description highlighted Burton’s most well-known roles over the years. This includes him being the “brainiac” engineer, Geordi La Forge, on Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well s hosting 21 seasons of Reading Rainbow. 

“This petition is to show Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and producers Mike Richards and Harry Friedman just how much love the public has for Burton, and how much we’d all love to see him as the next host of Jeopardy!”

‘Jeopardy!’ Continues Search For Permanent Host

Meanwhile, Jeopardy! is continuing its season for a permanent host after Michael Richards departed. Richards notably stepped down from his short-lived hosting duties after a series of questionable comments he made years ago as a podcast co-host surfaced. 

In his departure statement, Richards said, “I was deeply honored to be asked to host [Jeopardy!] and was thrilled but he opportunity to expand my role. However, over the last several days it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans. [It’s] not the right move for the show.”

Richard shared hosting duties with former Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik. As previously reported, she will be hosting Jeopardy!’s specials while Richards was to host for daily games. Recently, Bialik showed interest in taking on daily host duties, but her schedule would cause some issues. She will be the first guest host for the show. 

Jeopardy!’s Season 38th is set to premiere on September 13th. The show’s latest promo commercial focuses on the new season’s contestants. Richards, as well as any guest hosts, were not in the clip.