The question of who will be the next permanent host of Jeopardy! to fill Alex Trebek's shoes behind the podium has been on many minds since the beloved host's death back in November 2020. Guests ranging from game show experts to TV stars to even an NFL player tried their hands at hosting, and Star Trek and Reading Rainbow vet LeVar Burton has been a fan-favorite. Now, signs suggest that somebody else will become the next Jeopardy! permanent host, and Burton has responded.
News broke recently that Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards is expected to be named the next permanent host of the long-running series, which was bad news for fans who have been pushing for LeVar Burton as host for months now. For his part, Burton had a gracious response to the reports. Taking to Twitter, Burton posted:
Mike Richards has not yet been confirmed as the next permanent host of Jeopardy!, so nothing is settled just yet, but LeVar Burton made it clear that he's grateful for the experience he had as guest host of Jeopardy! even if that didn't result in him getting the top job. "Blessed beyond measure" is a touching way to describe his time on the show, and hopefully softens the blow of somebody else likely becoming host for fans who had their hearts set on Burton.
Of course, LeVar Burton wasn't shy about his enthusiasm for hosting Jeopardy! He described hosting the popular game show as the "natural progression" of the last 45 years of his career earlier this summer, saying that it's a "good fit" for him. He also shared a message of how overjoyed he was at being named one of the Jeopardy! guest hosts after that news broke back in April. He's also not the only guest host to pitch himself as a potential permanent host.
It's no surprise that LeVar Burton emerged as a fan-favorite for the Jeopardy! job even before he was named as a guest host. Between his work on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Reading Rainbow, he established himself as a figure in pop culture with a lot of knowledge. Star Trek obviously has a devoted fandom, and his time as host of Reading Rainbow spanned 23 years from 1983 - 2006, meaning that he also is a figure from the childhoods of a lot of people.
As much as there may be many disappointed Jeopardy! viewers even despite LeVar Burton's lovely message, Mike Richards does make sense as a host to follow in Alex Trebek's footsteps. He may not have the most name recognition of all the guest hosts who stepped in front of the camera over the months since Trebek's death, but he has been an executive producer on Jeopardy and game shows in general for many years.
For now, though, we can only wait for confirmation one way or the other about the next permanent host of Jeopardy!, expected to be Mike Richards. As for some other TV options now and in the coming weeks, our 2021 summer TV premiere schedule can point you in the right direction.