LeVar Burton's Very First Jeopardy Episode Featured A Record-Breaking Performance (In A Bad Way)

This week marked an exciting milestone for fans of both Jeopardy! and Star Trek vet LeVar Burton, as the two entities combined for the very first time. Burton is the latest guest host to take over the podium in the extended wake of Alex Trebek's death, and his first episode on July 26 was a moment that viewers could take partial responsibility for, considering the fandom appeared to play a noteworthy role in convincing Jeopardy! producers to bring him in. And amusingly enough, it only took a single episode for Burton to witness a record-breaking performance, for better or worse.

While just about all of LeVar Burton's first episode of Jeopardy! was by the books, contestant Patrick Pearce was apparently on a mission from the game show gods to make his presence stick out in some way, shape, or form. And in this case, that form happened to take on "the lowest recorded score in Jeopardy! history," as pictured below.

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LeVar Burton definitely had his work cut out for him as far as telling contestants their answers were wrong goes, with Patrick Pearce ending the game with -$7,400, which is a rather baffling score to reach at any point in any game show in all of TV. But if one is going to be eliminated before reaching the Final Jeopardy round, then I guess it's best to go as hard as possible in that specific direction. Which is what Pearce did, ending his one-episode Jeopardy! run with the lowest score ever recorded on the show. Not the kind of total that one would want to see going towards a charitable donation, but a record is a record.

Maybe this wasn't the most ideal record-breaking performance for LeVar Burton and fans to experience together, but it'll certainly cement Burton in the Jeopardy! annals for presumably years to come, regardless of whether he becomes the permanent host or not. That said, the previous "lowest score" record holder was Stephanie Hull, whose -$6,800 was non-earned in January 2020. So perhaps Patrick Pearce shouldn't get too comfortable in his Worst Ever throne. Which just might be what he'd prefer anyway.

LeVar Burton's wife apparently thought her husband's efforts during his first episode weren't that great either. That said, she didn't go so far as to say they were worth "negative $7,400," which is obviously a sign of a happy marriage. We'll just have to wait and see if she thought the Reading Rainbow vet's hosting skills picked up as the episodes progress. (It'd have to be a super-quick learning curve, though, since a week's worth of Jeopardy! episodes are filmed in a single day.) Here's hoping Burton himself doesn't end up earning the stats for lowest-rated episodes.

With LeVar Burton set for five total episodes of guest-hosting, Jeopardy! airs weekdays in syndication, so check your local listings to see when and where you can find it.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.