Reading Rainbow star LeVar Burton is once again emerging as the top choice with Jeopardy! fans to become the next permanent host of the show. Following longtime host Alex Trebek's final episode, record-holding contestant Ken Jennings has stepped in to serve as a guest host. As of now, his hosting duties will be limited, as a handful of other celebrities have also recently been announced as upcoming guest hosts.
Perhaps the most random of the names set to host Jeopardy! is Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, though he has a link to the show as a previous winner of Celebrity Jeopardy!. Other names confirmed as guests hosts include journalist Katie Couric, The Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik, and 60 Minutes host Bill Whitaker. Despite the fan interest, Burton has not yet been named as a guest host.
On social media, most of the fan responses to the news of these different guests hosts are filled with references to LeVar Burton. Some fans are clearly rather bummed that Burton wasn't included in the list of names that have already been announced. Others are going so far as to say that Burton needs to already be named as the permanent host of Jeopardy! as he's the perfect choice for the job. In any case, if the social media response is any indication, most fans of the legendary game show would be satisfied in seeing Burton come on board.
"Look, and nothing against Aaron here, all I'm saying is that if athletes like Rodgers are getting a chance to guest host Jeopardy!, then we better get to see LeVar Burton have a chance!" tweets one fan.
"Nice for all of these folks to fill in before official host LeVar Burton takes the podium," another hopeful fan tweeted.
Says another fan, "I keep reading articles about people hosting #Jeopardy but @levarburton has not yet been mentioned. Hoping that just means they're saving the best for last."
And, echoing countless other posts, another tweet reads, "Hey @Jeopardy , you need someone that champions education and positivity as the next permanent host. There is one person that clearly deserves the job: @levarburton . But you don't have to take my word for it."
There has already been immense fan interest in seeing Burton hosting Jeopardy! since Trebek passed. A petition was launched calling for Burton to get the job, and the movement has since collected over 112,000 signatures.
"Of course while I'm very flattered by the petition, my thoughts are definitely with Alex Trebek's family and his millions of fans and the devastating loss of this irreplaceable legend," Burton tweeted when the petition first went viral. In another tweet, he added, "Even if nothing comes from it, I can't tell how I appreciate all y'alls love and support!"
Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards previously spoke about the network's plans for the show moving forward without Trebek. As everyone is still reeling from the devastating loss of Trebek, producers are in no rush to pick a permanent replacement at this time, and that decision likely won't be made until this spring. He also made it clear that while some of these guests hosts might be considered to stay as the permanent host, that won't be the case for all of them.
"You will also see big-name people who are not going to be considered for the role but they just love the show, love Alex and wanted to pay tribute. So not everyone who comes on is auditioning," Richards told Deadline. "We are going to go in a lot of different directions, I don't think we want to be in a hurry to name a new person. We all are still mourning the loss - certainly I am - of Alex, and I think just turning around and naming someone would be irresponsible and not thoughtful, which is antithesis of Jeopardy!"
If you want to add your name to the petition to get LeVar Burton on Jeopardy!, head on over to Change.org.