Fans push for LeVar Burton to host Jeopardy

"Burton has inspired and shaped the minds of several generations of trivia-loving nerds," a Change.org campaign said

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Fans online are making it known that LeVar Burton is their ideal successor for the late Alex Trebek and are urging producer to consider Burton to host the beloved quiz show, Jeopardy!

The New York Post reported that Joe Buck will return to Jeopardy! as a guest host, which puts him in the running for the permanent position. The announcement received push back on social media from fans who want to see Burton, the beloved host of PBS’ Reading Rainbow, fill Trebek’s role.

MSNBC anchor Joshua Johnson tweeted, “So, fans are clamoring for @LeVarBurton to succeed Alex Trebek. They’re literally saying, I’d watch @Jeopardy every night if he’s the host. And Burton told me in an interview that the job would make him ‘exceedingly glad.’ Nothing against Joe Buck, but… am I missing something?”

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Burton, known for his roles in “Roots” and “Star Trek,” is the host of the podcast “LeVar Burton Reads,” where he invites listeners to “dive into a great story.” He recently told Entertainment Weekly, “I think my whole career is an advertisement for being the host of Jeopardy.”

LeVar Burton attends Sir Patrick Stewart placing his handprints and footprints In cement at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on January 13, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

A petition on Change.org, directed towards Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., and producers Mike Richards and Harry Friedman, was created to bring attention to the public’s interest in seeing Burton as the new host. The petition was also supported by television legend Dick Van Dyke, much to Burton’s surprise.

“Burton has inspired and shaped the minds of several generations of trivia-loving nerds,” the campaign said. More than 241k people have signed out of the 300k goal.

Trebek, who died on Nov. 8, 2020, at the age of 80 after his battle with pancreatic cancer, hosted from 1984 until his death and became an iconic figure in television. Throughout his career, he won a total of seven Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Host, according to his biography.

He once joked in an interview with ABC News, months before his death, that he would choose Golden Girls actress Betty White, saying, “Because they want somebody younger, somebody funnier. She checks all those boxes.”

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On Twitter, fans sounded off in support of Burton including Bree Newsome who says that one iconic host “have to follow up with another iconic personality.”

“I haven’t watched an episode of Jeopardy since Trebek left & LeVar Burton is the only potential host whose name I’ve seen floated around that would make me interested to watch again. I just think Trebek is so iconic that you have to follow up with another iconic personality,” she tweeted.

Ashley K. Smalls simply asked, “Why are they avoiding Levar Burton?”

Marlow Stern, Senior Entertainment Editor of The Daily Beast, said simply, “Let @LeVarBurton host ‘Jeopardy,’ you cowards!”

Writer and podcast host Amanda Smith said, “The fact that LeVar Burton has to lobby this loudly for the Jeopardy gig while Dr. Oz is allowed on that stage is absurd.”

Journalist Yashar Ali said: “They will do everything they can but give @levarburton a guest host spot and @thelauracoates a guest host spot. (Alex Trebek said that Laura would be his pick for a woman Jeopardy host).”

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