With tens of thousands of LeVar Burton fans signing a petition for the Reading Rainbow star to become the next host of Jeopardy!, many other fans of the show are insisting that Ken Jennings should get the job. Just days ago, Trebek passed away after a difficult battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He'll be appearing in several new episodes to air on television for the rest of the year, but discussions have since begun on social media about who would be a worthy successor to the legendary game show host.
Before long, LeVar Burton came up as a top contender, and the petition for Jeopardy! to hire him spread very quickly online. Although he's clearly solidified as one of the most popular choices, another name that's entered the fray in these fan discussions is Jennings, who's very well-known for holding the record for the longest winning streak in the show's decades-long history. He has since been hired as a consulting producer to help out behind the scenes, so his foot is already in the door to potentially expand his duties as the next host of the show.
Additionally, a TV Insider poll also asks readers to select their favorite choice out of a list of six names to become the next Jeopardy! host. Along with Ken Jennings, the other choices include James Holzhauer, Austin Rogers, Buzzy Cohen, Brad Rutter, and even The Golden Girls star Betty White. Burton wasn't offered as a choice in this particular poll, but it does prove Jennings' popularity with Jeopardy! viewers as he was overwhelmingly selected as the best choice.
Meanwhile, the Panama-based gambling website SportsBetting.ag lists Jennings as the odds-on favorite to get the job. Tied in second place on the list are Burton and Stephanopoulos, with names like Pat Sajak, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jane Lynch, and Neil Patrick Harris also on the board. Perhaps the most surprising name included is president Donald Trump, although this is clearly a longshot as he's listed at the very bottom as the least likely candidate.
Just days before Alex Trebek's passing, Jennings spoke with TV Insider about the potentiality of one day stepping in as the next host of the iconic game show. "It's really hard for me to answer that question because it requires envisioning a version of Jeopardy! without Alex Trebek. As great as that job would be, I am not emotionally prepared to do that right now. I have one host of Jeopardy! in my heart," the famous Jeopardy! contestant explained.
Burton also spoke about the fan campaign for him to get the Jeopardy! hosting gig.
"Of course while I'm very flattered by the petition, my thoughts are definitely with Alex Trebeck's family and his millions of fans and the devastating loss of this irreplaceable legend," Burton told his followers on Twitter. He also said, "Even if nothing comes from it, I can't tell how much how I appreciate all y'alls love and support!"
Social media has also been filling up with requests from Jeopardy! viewers for Jennings to be given the job, although Burton's fans are just as passionate about the Star Trek: The Next Generation star coming in. No final decision has yet been made, and for now, fans can enjoy Trebek's last run as the host of the show with his final episode of Jeopardy! airing on Christmas Day. Details of this story come to us from SportsBetting.ag and the publication TV Insider.