A permanent Jeopardy! host has yet to be named following the death of Alex Trebek, and LeVar Burton would be up for the job if the opportunity comes his way. When Trebek passed away last year after a battle with pancreatic cancer, the decision was made to use revolving guest hosts to keep the show going until a permanent host is picked. Ken Jennings, Katie Couric, Aaron Rodgers, Dr. Oz, and Anderson Cooper are among the temporary hosts.
One popular choice with Jeopardy! fans for the next longtime host would be LeVar Burton. Along with acting roles including Roots and Star Trek: The Next Generation, Burton is very well known for hosting the children's education series Reading Rainbow for many years. Feeling that LeVar would make the perfect host of the show, a petition was launched calling for him to get the job, and over 115,000 fans added their names to the movement.
As it turns out, Burton himself agrees with this fan sentiment, feeling this is the job he's been preparing his whole life for. Speaking about the possibility of hosting Jeopardy! on The Week with Joshua Johnson, Burton explained how he'd jump at the chance to host the show if he were to get the offer.
"I am a huge Jeopardy fan. 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."
Playing in Burton's favor is the endorsement of Jane Lynch. After winning two Primetime Emmy Awards hosting Hollywood Game Night, Lynch has also been hosting the Weakest Link reboot which has already been renewed for a second season. In response to Burton volunteering for the job, Lynch tweeted: "Such a solid choice of a host!"
"Thanks, Jane... High praise coming from you!" Burton responded.
For now, the popular game show will be hosted by interim host Katie Couric, whose stint begins with Monday's episode. This makes her the first female guest host in Jeopardy! history, even if her time on the series will be limited at this time. Couric's run will wrap on March 19 as other guest hosts prepare to step behind the podium. Because producers are evaluating those who serve as temporary hosts along with other potential names, it's possible that Couric or one of the other guest hosts could end up getting the job permanently.
In January, producer Mike Richards told Deadline that the search for a new host is "going very well," noting they've had some discussions with different people. While there might be certain names under consideration behind the scenes, Richards also made it clear that the Jeopardy! team is in no rush to name Alex Trebek's successor.
"We are going to take our time and talk to a lot of people, have some people guest host and see what our fans think as well," he said.
For what it's worth, Burton has my vote to get the job. At the very least, he should definitely be given the chance to guest host a week or two of Jeopardy!, given the immense fan interest and how much he personally wants to be involved. Someone needs to make this happen. This news comes to us from The Week with Joshua Johnson.