Why LeVar Burton Missing Out On Jeopardy Host Job Isn't Necessarily A Bad Thing

levar burton jeopardy screenshot

The long search for a permanent Jeopardy host following the death of Alex Trebek took some ups and downs with the guest hosts over the past year, and Reading Rainbow and Star Trek vet LeVar Burton was a clear favorite among fans for the job. In fact, there were fans pulling for him to become host before he even made his debut as a guest, and hopes were high that he would get the permanent position behind the podium. Unfortunately for those fans, that hasn't happened, but there may be a silver lining to Burton getting such a strong push for a prominent job.

Although TMZ cites production sources stating that Sony Studios executives didn't consider LeVar Burton the right fit to host Jeopardy as a daily syndicated series, Sony did reportedly have conversations with Burton about non-Jeopardy projects. The outlet also states that Burton has been contacted by a number of other networks and Hollywood executives about collaboration.

Plus, Ava Duvernay herself did hit Twitter with a comment about wanting to create a show for LeVar Burton to host. Sure, the tweet may have been more of a joke than anything else (albeit not at Burton's expense), but his response of "Check your DM's!" at least indicates that he was happy to open a line of communication. (Of course, who in showbiz wouldn't want to work with Ava DuVernay on a personalized project after all her accolades?)

There are no details at the time of writing about what projects LeVar Burton may have been approached about or what contacts have been made, but the fan push for him to become Jeopardy host seems to have paid off for him, even if not in the form of him getting the hosting job. While Burton was openly supportive of those fans' efforts, he responded to the news that somebody else got the job with a very gracious message.

The role of permanent host went to Jeopardy executive producer Mike Richards, although it didn't exactly turn out to be permanent. Less than three weeks after he was announced as the new host, he stepped away as comments and lawsuits from his past kept resurfacing.

Although that did create another vacancy at Jeopardy, the game show didn't turn to LeVar Burton or any of the other guest hosts other than Mayim Bialik, who was originally slated to host primetime Jeopardy events while Mike Richards would host the syndicated version of the show, as Bialik's busy schedule with Call Me Kat wouldn't allow for a full-time commitment. Bialik will serve as full-time host for three weeks' worth of episodes, however, while Jeopardy works out what to do for a new host after the Mike Richards scandal.

So, while Jeopardy figures out what direction it wants to go that doesn't seem to include LeVar Burton in any kind of permanent capacity, fans have every reason to be hopeful that all the attention Burton received will be enough for him to land a series or project of his own moving forward. He was a fun and enthusiastic guest host whose work on the show could lead to even better things, so maybe even those who were most passionate about him hosting Jeopardy can be optimistic about what comes next.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.