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LeVar Burton wanted to host 'Jeopardy!' for years. Thanks to an online campaign, he finally will.

LeVar Burton wanted to host 'Jeopardy!' for years. Thanks to an online campaign, he finally will.

Burton has been tapped for a guest-hosting run on the 37th season of 'Jeopardy!' His episodes are set to air from July 26 to July 30.

LeVar Burton has been eyeing the Jeopardy! hosting gig for at least eight years now. In fact, the Reading Rainbow alum has expressed interest to stand behind the lectern on the famed quiz show as far back as 2013 when he called it his "dream job" in a tweet. His dream is now finally coming true—in yet another display of the power of fan support—as Sony Pictures Entertainment announced on Wednesday that Burton has finally been tapped for a guest-hosting run on the 37th season of Jeopardy! According to The Washington Post, the 64-year-old's episodes are set to air from July 26 to July 30.

 



 

 

"THANK YOU... to all y'all for your passionate support! I am overjoyed, excited, and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy! and will do my utmost best to live up to your faith in me," Burton tweeted following the announcement. "YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE! Go ahead and take my word for it, this time." As we previously reported, the long-running trivia show has brought on a series of guest hosts—including former champion Ken Jennings, talk show host Dr. Oz, and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers—to lead the show since its revered host, Alex Trebek, died of pancreatic cancer in November.

 



 

 

While the show's loyal fanbase has had a mixed response to this revolving cast of guest hosts, thousands of them have been lauding Burton as the perfect candidate for the job. A Change.org petition calling for the Star Trek: The Next Generation star to be made the permanent new host of Jeopardy! has been in circulation since late last year when a Denver fan urged fellow Burton enthusiasts to show the show's producers just how much love America has for him. The petition has collected nearly 250k signatures since November.

 



 

 

"Between hosting 21 seasons of the educational Reading Rainbow, playing the brainiac engineer Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and filling the role of Kunta Kinte in the ever-important mini-series Roots, LeVar Burton has inspired and shaped the minds of several generations of trivia-loving nerds," the petition states. "This petition is to show Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and producers Mike Richards and Harry Friedman just how much love the public has for Burton, and how much we'd all love to see him as the next host of Jeopardy!" Burton himself shared the petition on Twitter a couple of times and thanked his fans for their efforts. "Even if nothing comes from it, I can’t tell how much how I appreciate all y'alls love and support," he wrote.

 



 

 

As is evident from Burton's status as a major advocate for lifelong learning, a seasoned and respected TV host, and a beloved cultural icon, he's definitely a great choice for Jeopardy! hosting gig. Families invited him into their homes as the host of Reading Rainbow for over two decades, during which he opened children's minds to literature and won 13 Emmys for the show. Burton has also written two books—one for adults and one for his young fans—and hosts a podcast called "LeVar Burton Reads." Additionally, he began live-streaming a reading series three days a week on Twitter in April last year when the country shut down due to the pandemic, as a way to help people feel less isolated in their homes.

 



 

 

Fans who signed the petition made a strong case for why Burton deserves to step up to the Jeopardy! podium, with one Rashad Smith writing: "Burton has been most instrumental in helping tell the most critical stories that make up America. From Kunta Kinte in Roots to teaching kids and adults how to explore the world through reading, how to learn from good and bad habits, and best practices to adjust attitudes for the better as host of Reading Rainbow. Even more, as this country deals with the portrayals and perceptions of Black people and their BIPOC and White allies, the culture and communities across the Globe deserve a daily reminder from a Black man in America who is a content and context expert."

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