The perennially popular game show Jeopardy revealed Wednesday that Star Trek icon LeVar Burton will be among its final slate of guest hosts as it rounds out its 37th season.
The selection of 64-year-old Burton was a vindication for fans, many of whom signed a Change.org petition requesting him as a guest host following Alex Trebek’s death from pancreatic cancer in November.
The final guest slots of the season will also be filled out by GMA co-hosts George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts, plus CNBC anchor David Faber and sportscaster Joe Buck.
Audience favorite: Popular TV star LeVar Burton, 64, will be among the final Jeopardy guest hosts for season 37, the show announced Wednesday
‘Our goal has been to present a wide variety of guest hosts with different skill sets and backgrounds on our path to finding a permanent host,’ said Jeopardy Executive Producer Mike Richards in a statement.
‘Our passionate fans are telling us what they like, and we are listening. All of the guest hosts have brought individualism, energy and an authentic love of our show to each of their episodes. We look forward to sharing the rest of the season with our viewers.’
Burton seems to have becoming an unofficial frontrunner to take over for Trebek, at least among fans.
A Change.org petition urging Jeopardy producers to make him the show’s next full-time host has more than 246,000 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon, and social media users have been clamoring for him to at least get a chance to guest host the program.
Iconic career: Burton is best known for playing Kunta Kinte on Roots, hosting Reading Rainbow from 1983 to 2006 and playing Geordie La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation; still from Roots
Fan favorite: A Change.org petition urging Jeopardy producers to make him the show’s next full-time host has more than 246,000 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon
‘Our passionate fans are telling us what they like, and we are listening,’ said Jeopardy Executive Producer Mike Richards in a statement; still from Star Trek: The Next Generation
Burton’s first on-screen role came in 1976, but his breakout came a year later with the the wildly popular and influential miniseries Roots.
He starred in the early portions as Kunta Kinte, a fictional slave inspired by one of writer Alex Haley’s ancestors.
Burton continued to work steadily, but he’s best known to people from Gen X through Gen Z for hosting the PBS series Reading Rainbow, which he began in 1983 and continued hosting until 2006.
The actor also starred in Star Trek: The Next Generation and several subsequent films as Geordi La Forge, the chief engineer of the USS Enterprise-D who is blind and wears a special visor to allow him to see.
They did it! On Twitter, Burton thanked his fans for their support, which seemed to be essential in getting him on Jeopardy
Gratitude: A follow-up tweet acknowledged the petition, with him giving a ‘Special shout-out to Joshua Sanders’ for starting it
On Twitter, Burton thanked his fans for their support, which seemed to be essential in getting him on Jeopardy.
‘THANK YOU… to all y’all for your passionate support!’ he wrote while quoting Jeopardy’s announcement.
‘I am overjoyed, excited, and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy!, and will do my utmost best to live up to your faith you in me. YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE! Go ahead and take my word for it, this time.’
A follow-up tweet acknowledged the petition, with him giving a ‘Special shout-out to Joshua Sanders’ for starting it.
New blood: The host of This Week With George Stephanopoulos will also be taking a crack at hosting Jeopardy at the end of the season; seen in March 2021 in NYC
Colleagues: His GMA cohost Robin Roberts will also be hosting a series of episodes; seen in January 2020 in NYC
Stacked cast: Polarizing sportscaster Joe Buck and CNBC Squawk On The Street co-anchor David Faber will round out the hosts; Buck seen in 2019 in NYC
The host of This Week With George Stephanopoulos will also be taking a crack at hosting Jeopardy at the end of the season.
His GMA cohost Robin Roberts will also be hosting a series of episodes.
The polarizing sportscaster Joe Buck will also try his hand at the quiz show, as will CNBC Squawk On The Street host David Faber.
Former Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings was the first person to guest host Jeopardy following Trebek’s death late last year.
Other guests have included Katie Couric, Mayim Bialik, Savannah Guthrie, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers in particular has received praise for his recent episodes, while many fans vowed to boycott the series while Dr. Oz was hosting due to his long history of pushing pseudoscientific treatments on his television show and during guest appearances.
Not fans: Many viewers vowed to boycott recent episodes hosted by Dr. Oz due to his history of pushing pseudoscientific treatments on his show and during guest appearances elsewhere