Our first look at LeVar Burton hosting Jeopardy! has been revealed. Following the death of Alex Trebek in November, various celebrity guest hosts have been taking turns hosting the game show in his absence. Some of the guest hosts we've seen so far include Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Aaron Rodgers, Sanjay Gupta, and Mayim Bialik. You can take your first peek at Burton behind the podium below.
From the start, many fans had been rooting for Burton to get the job. A popular online petition was launched for Burton to host Jeopardy! with more than 254,000 fans signing their names. Even Burton took to social media to thank the fans for their support, and he made it clear he'd be up for hosting the show if the producers were to give him a call. In April, his name was revealed as one of the final guest hosts of this season.
This is a dream job for Burton, so it would be even better for him if he's able to end up becoming the permanent host of the show moving forward. Leading up to his guest hosting gig, Burton previously spoke about how he's been a Jeopardy! fan his whole life. In an interview on The Week with Joshua Johnson, the Reading Rainbow host explained how he's essentially been preparing for this job his entire career.
"I am a huge Jeopardy! fan," Burton said. "Have been since I was kid going back to the days of Art Fleming. In many respects, I feel like I have been preparing my whole life for the job...should that job come my way, I would be exceedingly glad."
It is still unclear who may end up becoming the permanent host of Jeopardy!, as the plan for now is to continue using these guest hosts. Back in January, producer Mike Richards told Deadline that the plan was to take their time and talk to a lot of people with no rush to name the full-time host at that time. Last month, Richards expanded on what the show is looking for in their next host in a separate interview with Next TV.
"Very early on, we came up with a list of qualities that this person should have," he said. "The list wasn't about what they shouldn't be, knowing that no one would check every box. We wanted them to be credible, to have a good voice, to feel like they were caring for the contestants and on the contestants' side, and to present the show in a manner deserving of Jeopardy! It was a number of things like that, plus they needed to have a little bit of a sense of humor."
The producer added: "By the end of July or early August, we will have a permanent host in place. Some of the episodes won't have aired before we make this decision, but we've already been doing lots of research on all of the guest hosts."
Burton will serve as the final guest host of this season of Jeopardy! from July 26 to July 30. With our fingers crossed, he will hopefully return in the next season, at least for another stint as a guest host. If he takes to the job as well as expected, we just may end up seeing him stick around permanently.