LeVar Burton seems to be getting serious about becoming the new host of Jeopardy! following the death of Alex Trebek. Back in November, a fan petition emerged calling on Sony Pictures Television and the show’s producers to name Burton as Trebek’s successor while citing his well-respected work on Reading Rainbow and Star Trek: The Next Generation. When the petition came to Burton’s attention, he reacted to its presence with grace and humility, but he didn’t seem too optimistic about its chances.
“Even if nothing comes from it, I can’t tell how much how I appreciate all y’alls love and support,” Burton tweeted in the fall.
However, there’s been a development. On Monday night, the Roots actor re-upped the fan petition and included a message to Jeopardy! producers. “Leaving this here in the event the powers that be are listening…” Burton wrote above the link.
Leaving this here in the event the powers that be are listening… https://t.co/xB3x8atDCv
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) April 6, 2021
As of this writing, the petition is sitting at 135,399 signatures with a goal of 150,000, and it does make a compelling case for tapping Burton as the new Jeopardy! host. Via Change.org:
Between hosting 21 seasons of the educational Reading Rainbow, playing the brainiac engineer Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: the Next Generation, and filling the roll of Kunta Kinte in the ever important mini-series Roots, LeVar Burton has inspired and shaped the minds of several generations of trivia-loving nerds. 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!
Recently, the show’s producers gave Dr. Oz a controversial two week guest-hosting stint, which sparked a petition of its own denouncing the decision to showcase Oz and his history of questionable medical advice (that doesn’t embody Jeopardy!‘s history of promoting science and learning). In comparison to Oz, Levar is clearly a fan favorite.
(Via LeVar Burton on Twitter)