People Are Calling on ‘Jeopardy!’ To Allow LeVar Burton, Former Host of ‘Reading Rainbow’, to Host the Show
If you’re in your 30s or 40s, chances are you grew up watching the show “Reading Rainbow” which was hosted by LeVar Burton. The show lasted for 21 seasons. That’s a lot of children who were motivated to read and learn because of Burton. Many are lifelong fans who would like to see him on their TV screen again.
There is a Change.org petition urging Sony Pictures Entertainment and “Jeopardy!” executive producers Mike Richards and Harry Friedman to let Burton guest host a couple weeks of “Jeopardy!” and ideally take over as the show’s new host.
The petition was started by Joshua Sanders who explains why Burton would be the perfect person to replace the late Alex Trebek as the host of “Jeopardy!”
“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 roll 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. 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!”
The petition already has over 239,000 signatures. The goal is to get to 300,000, and ultimately the goal is for Sony to see the petition and give Burton a chance to host.
It’s not just fans that want Burton to host “Jeopardy!” He wants to host the show too. He told Entertainment Weekly, “I’ve thought and thought and thought — I’ve asked friends and family to help me identify someone out there who’s more qualified for the job than I am. I don’t believe there is anyone out there who is better suited for this job than me. And I will go to my grave believing that.” He added, “I think my whole career is an advertisement for being the host of ‘Jeopardy!'”
Burton knows about the Change.org petition and even shared it on Twitter. He loves that he has the support of his fans.
Leaving this here in the event the powers that be are listening… https://t.co/xB3x8atDCv
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) April 6, 2021
Burton has a long list of reasons why he believes he should be the next host of “Jeopardy!” For starters, has has been watching the show since he was in 4th grade. Then, in 1995, it was like a dream come true for him when he actually got to compete on the show during “Celebrity Jeopardy.” By the way, he won. He told Entertainment Weekly, “Having the correct answer for Final Jeopardy is now crossed off my bucket list.”
Besides being a fan of the show and being great as a contestant, Burton makes sense as a host because of his his life-long history of promoting learning and literacy. Besides “Reading Rainbow,” he also has a podcast called “LeVar Burton Reads.” His philosophy is, “If you are ever going to fulfill your full potential, then learning needs to be your friend.”
In addition to his qualifications and knowledge of the show, Burton would also bring a younger audience to the show. As proven by the Change.org petition, many of his fans want to see him host “Jeopardy!,” and that means they would be watching. Currently, the audience skews pretty old, and bringing in the 30s and 40s crowd could really help the show.
Currently, there are 7 weeks of “Jeopardy!” without a guest host. Fingers crossed Burton gets to stand behind the podium for at least 2 of those weeks.
Who do you think should be the next host of “Jeopardy!”? Do you agree with Burton and over 200,000 of his fans that he would be the perfect host to replace Trebek?