Jeopardy! recently released the first photo of LeVar Burton behind the host’s lectern, which has reignited a heated online debate. That being who should replace Alex Trebek as host of the popular game show
You can the 64-year-old actor at the podium along with all of the past and upcoming Jeopardy! guest hosts remaining here.
Burton, best known for his work on Star Trek: The Next Generation and as host of Reading Rainbow, won’t serve as Jeopardy! guest host for more than a month. But his fans’ online lobbying for the job has made his guest-hosting stint, which is set for July 23-30, one of the most anticipated. TODAY host Savannah Guthrie starts her second week as guest host on Monday.
Shortly after Alex Trebek’s death late last year, Jeopardy! announced they would finish out this season using all guest hosts. Sony executives have said they plan to name a full-time replacement this summer when next season’s episodes begin filming.
Burton was one of the first to publicly state he wanted the job. Fans started a Change.org petition for him to be named host, which garnered thousands of signatures in a few days. So far, more than 250,000 people have signed it, with a goal of 300,000.
“LeVar and I’ve been speaking for a very long time,” Jeopardy! Producer Mike Richards told USA Today said. “I think he was the first person to reach out to me after Alex passed away … so this is not a new conversation.”
But Richards added that while it the show cares about its fans opinions, that wouldn’t be the deciding factor.
“What we’re going to look for is the best candidate for the show,” he told the paper. “… We’re going to look for the best people. That would be the Jeopardy! way.”
Guthrie, ‘Jeopardy!’ Raise $100K for Charity
Part of the guest hosting process is the charity spotlights. Each guest host chooses a charity and Jeopardy! will donate the equivalent of contestants’ winnings during their stint on the show. CNN’s Anderson Cooper chose two charities.
In her first week on the show, TODAY show co-host Savannah Guthrie raised $105,801 for The Bowery Mission. The Mission helps New York’s homeless and hungry, a charity that would have been close to Alex Trebek’s heart.
Trebek and his wife gave large amounts of money to charity and helping the homeless was very important to them. The couple donated $500,000 to the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, which is creating the Trebek Center for the homeless.
Construction crews are renovating a former skating rink to create The Trebek Center. The 23,000-square-foot facility will have 107 beds, as well as onsite social services, mental health services, substance abuse counseling, and job training and placement, according to the LA Daily News.