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As the world continues to mourn Alex Trebek, there's also been some speculation on who would take over his mantle as the host of Jeopardy!. Some clear favorites are certainly towards the top in terms of odds they'll be the next host, though there's been a real concerted effort by some to put Levar Burton in the mix to help bring the franchise into a new era.
According to new information from Bet Online, that effort may be paying off. LeVar Burton, who is known for his roles in Reading Rainbow, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Roots, is now the third most likely person in the eyes of oddsmakers to become the next host of Jeopardy!. That puts only two men ahead of him with better odds of getting the job, Jeopardy! GOAT Ken Jennings, and famous ABC news anchor George Stephanopoulos.
This update comes following a viral petition circulating to give LeVar Burton the gig, which as of writing has over 83,000 signatures. Though he has no experience hosting a game show, there seems to be a growing number of people who can get behind the idea of seeing it happen for the first time. Burton took notice of the petition and shared it with fans while expressing his gratitude for the consideration.
While it is true that LeVar Burton is the third-highest person on oddsmakers' list to host Jeopardy!, it should be stated that Burton's odds of becoming host currently aren't rated as entirely likely. Burton's odds of becoming host are currently at +900, which is better than the next man in line Neil deGrasse Tyson who has +1400 odds. With that said, George Stephanopoulos has considerably more favorable odds at +325, and Ken Jennings odds are +100. When compared to those two, it seems like the people determining bets do not think Burton are incredibly high.
Of course, that's not entirely Burton's fault, but because there are so many who think the job is for Ken Jennings to turn down. Jennings is the record holder of some of Jeopardy!'s most prestigious records and, as mentioned earlier, defeated other prominent players James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter to receive the title of Greatest of All Time. Jennings also recently became a consulting producer of the show in 2020, so one would think the transition to host would be rather easy.
Of course, just because it's easy doesn't mean that's what will happen. Oddsmakers are wrong all the time and, for all we know, Jeopardy! could end up giving the job to a relatively obscure newcomer the public is not familiar with. Really, we just don't know what will happen yet, so it's silly to count anyone out just yet, including LeVar Burton.
Jeopardy! will have some time to think about its decision, as Alex Trebek's remaining episodes are set to run until Christmas day 2020. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for more on the franchise in the meantime, and for the latest news happening in television and movies.