It's Not Jeopardy, But LeVar Burton Landed A New Gig As Game Show Host
Love it, love it, love it.
While Jeopardy! has managed to remain largely (if not completely) controversy-free as of late, with the headline-making hosting controversy largely solved by the double-header decision to have former champ Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik trade off until a permanent fixture is found. Star Trek franchise vet LeVar Burton was formerly a top fan choice to take over the beloved game show, and he was as initially disappointed as anyone when it didn't happen. But Burton has now found the pot of gold at the end of the (reading) rainbow, and has been tapped to serve as host for a brand new-ish game show.
Fans will hopefully soon get to see LeVar Burton in his new digs as host of Trivial Pursuit, the latest TV iteration of Hasbro's best-selling board game. As far as trivia-based franchises go, Trivial Pursuit is about as close to Jeopardy! as it gets in terms of mixing general knowledge with hyper-specific facts. So if there was ever a way to classily thumb a nose at a former employee, I haven't seen it.
What's more, Burton isn't just being brought in to head up the new show, but he's also a key element behind the scenes. According to Variety, Trivial Pursuit will be a co-production between the entertainer's LeVar Burton Entertainment and the Hasbro-owned eOne. So he's getting in on the ground up, and will also serve as an executive producer. Here's what Burton had to say in a statement:
At this time, no networks or streaming services are attached to Trivial Pursuit, but this seems like catnip for Game Show Network, not to mention any broadcast networks looking for another daytime series to pair up with Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune and Family Feud across daily schedules. That said, with Peacock's Frogger and Create the Escape, as well as other streaming game shows on Netflix and beyond, it's possible the pie-centric trivia challenge could land at one of those services.
First released to the public in 1981, Trivial Pursuit has been a household mainstay ever since, with a wide variety of dedicated offshoots alongside sporadic releases of core editions. The game first made the jump to live-action from 1993-1994, with game show host icon Wink Martindale heading up a changed-up iteration for TV audiences. More than a decade later, former Brady Bunch cast member Christopher Knight hosted another format-adjusted take called Trivial Pursuit: America Says. That one wrapped up back in 2009.
The actor, director, author, and Big Bang Theory guest star had his day in the Jeopardy! sun back in July, with his first episode being quite noteworthy for featuring the lowest single game score in Jeopardy! history. Unfortunately his episodes aired in the midst of the 2021 Summer Olympics, and closer to the then-presumed end of the guest-hosting phase, causing his episodes’ ratings to fare worse than earlier installments. But Burton came out of that experience with a desire to stick around the game show genre, and it’s awesome that it all culminated in the return of Trivial Pursuit.
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