After weeks of flubs and snubs, Jeopardy! is finally getting its act together and bringing in the big gun. LeVar Burton, the host of childhood favorite Reading Rainbow and the star of Star Trek: The Next Generation, will fulfill fans’ wishes and get a shot at reading answers on the quiz show’s 37th season. The announcement, delivered by Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards, comes after weeks of fan campaigning to get Burton the gig.
Burton hasn’t exactly been sitting on the sidelines as fans championed the 13-time Emmy winner. Earlier this month, he told Entertainment Weekly, “I don’t believe there is anyone out there who is better suited for this job than me.” He continued to say that his hosting “makes sense.”
In addition to Burton, Richards also announced that Good Morning America anchors Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos would each get a week at the lectern, as would New York Times best-selling author David Faber and Emmy-winning sportscaster Joe Buck.
While almost all of those hosts are better than Dr. Oz, who did a stint hosting earlier this year for some reason, Burton has been a fan favorite to take over for late host Alex Trebek. Earlier this month, a Change.org petition amassed more than 250,000 signatures and received the endorsement of Burton himself, who shared the petition and tweeted, “Leaving this here in the event the powers that be are listening...” And listen they have.
Speculation surrounding who would take up Jeopardy! hosting duties began following Alex Trebek’s death in 2020. Since then, producers have paraded out several guest hosts, including Jeopardy! GOAT Ken Jennings, TODAY anchor Savannah Guthrie, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, and Superbowl champ and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers, who became one of the most well-received guest hosts. It certainly beats Mayim Bialik, who had to make a YouTube video earlier this year to explain that she’s not an anti-vaxxer but rather someone who simply hasn’t gotten a vaccine in 30 years.
Still, it’s LeVar Burton that fans want, and it’s LeVar Burton they’ll get. Burton’s episodes will air from July 26, 2021 through July 30.