Petition gives former ‘Reading Rainbow’ host LeVar Burton shot at ‘Jeopardy!’
LOS ANGELES (AP):
The 200,000-plus LeVar Burton boosters who signed a petition calling for him to be the new Jeopardy! host will get to see him try the job on for size.
Burton is among the final group of guest hosts for the quiz show, which lost its long-time host Alex Trebek to cancer last November and has put off announcing his successor.
Burton’s supporters seized the opportunity to launch an online petition for the actor, who starred in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Roots and was the host of Reading Rainbow, the children’s educational programme.
In his career, Burton has “inspired and shaped the minds of several generations of trivia-loving nerds”, according to the petition that had 246,000 and counting signers as of Wednesday.
In an email, a spokeswoman for Burton said he believes the petition drive and his social media interactions with fans were factors in the invitation for him to be a guest host.
There was no immediate reply to a request for comment from producer Sony Pictures Television.
TV anchors and journalists George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts of ABC and David Faber of CNBC and sportscaster Joe Buck are the other temporary hosts getting one-week stints, Sony said Wednesday. The air dates weren’t announced.