LeVar Burton opened up to The New York Times about his campaign to be the next host of Jeopardy! after the late Alex Trebek but producers of the beloved game show never seriously considered him for the role.
Here’s more from TMZ:
Production sources tell us … Sony Studios execs loved the “Reading Rainbow” star as a guest host, but they didn’t think he was the right fit for the daily syndicated quiz show … and the same can be said about almost all the other guest hosts. As we first told you … “Jeopardy!” honchos wanted Mayim Bialik to replace Alex Trebek as the sole host, but her busy schedule wouldn’t allow it.
Jeopardy! producers are said to be bending over backward to accommodate Mayim’s schedule, as they really want her as the sole host of the game show.
I have said many times over these past weeks that no matter the outcome, I’ve won. The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and fans alike has been incredible! If love is the ultimate blessing and I believe that it is, I am truly blessed beyond measure.
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) August 5, 2021
As we reported earlier … newly appointed Jeopardy! host Mike Richards stepped down last week amid controversy over past disparaging comments he made about women. He is now out after one day of filming. Fans have now called on Mayim to be canceled over her stance on vaccines.
Fans of Burton launched an online campaign calling on the game show’s producers to hire him to take over Jeopardy!
“I feel like this is what I’m supposed to do,” Burton told the NY Post.“I have been watching Jeopardy! more or less every night of my life since Art Fleming was host. Jeopardy! is a cultural touchstone, and for a Black man to occupy that podium is significant.”
Burton added, “Look, I have had a career for the [expletive] ages. Roots, Star Trek, Reading Rainbow. Won a Grammy. Got a shelf full of Emmys. I’m a storyteller, and game shows are tremendous stories. There’s a contest, there’s comedy, there’s drama. If you don’t know your [expletive] on Jeopardy!, you’re sunk in full view of the entire nation. The stakes are high. I love that.”
In April, Burton reacted to the online love and support in a series of tweets, writing, “Even if nothing comes from it, I can’t tell how much how I appreciate all y’alls love and support!”
In July, Buton filled in as guest host for a week.
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