LeVar Burton Lands Another Post Jeopardy! Gig He Should Be A Great Fit For

levar burton master class
(Image credit: Master Class)

Star Trek: The Next Generation vet and Reading Rainbow mastermind LeVar Burton has had kind of a tough professional life in 2021. After being the fan’s choice to take over hosting duties on Jeopardy! after Alex Trebek’s death, his guest hosting stint failed to light many viewers on fire. Then, after a permanent host was chosen and then unchosen in quick order, Burton was still passed over for the job. Now, though, he’s landed yet another post-Jeopardy! Gig that he should be a great fit for: hosting the National Spelling Bee!

It was just back in September that LeVar Burton revealed that he hadn’t really considered hosting any game show other than Jeopardy!, but was considering his options now that he had a true taste for the gig and that long-held dream wasn’t going to be a reality. He soon landed himself the job of hosting and executive producing the upcoming Trivial Pursuit game show, and now Burton has also been announced as the host of next year’s 94th Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Burton will handle the hosting duties during the televised semifinals and finals, which will take place on June 1 and June 2, 2022, respectively, somewhere near Washington D.C. The news of his new job has come shortly after it was announced that the National Spelling Bee will now be available to the largest audience in its entire history, with the Burton-hosted installments set to be broadcast on ION and Bounce, two channels that are accessible for free and over the air, as well as streaming and on cable. Those airings will accompany a full broadcast and streaming schedule, which will be revealed early next year. 

Obviously, this appointment is 1000% right up LeVar Burton’s alley, as the executive director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Dr. J. Michael Durnil, noted in a statement he gave about Burton becoming their host with the most (soothing voice) for the upcoming competition:

The selection of Mr. Burton as host aligns with the mission of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. To have such a prominent advocate for children’s literacy involved in this special and unique competition is a perfect match. We have the same goals: to educate tomorrow’s leaders and build reading competency in all young people.

As noted above, Burton has made it his life’s work to help children not just learn to read, but learn to love reading, through his children’s show, Reading Rainbow, which ran from 1983 through 2006 on PBS, and a number of other professional pursuits. So, the idea of him leading the charge at the country’s longest-running competition geared towards learning, makes complete sense

For his part, LeVar Burton noted that hosting the National Spelling Bee “will be an honor,” and for his millions of fans (whether they enjoyed his time on Jeopardy! or not) it’s certainly good to see him get the kind of gigs that we know he’ll be even more perfect for. 

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Yennefer's apprentice, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.