While Jeopardy! fans mourn the loss of Alex Trebek, speculation is mounting about who could replace him as host on the popular quiz show – and many people want to see LeVar Burton in the role.
The actor and host of children’s television is best known for his role as Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation and as the front man of the PBS educational show Reading Rainbow.
Other names touted as possible Trebek replacements include Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, actress Rosie Perez and ABC News host George Stephanopoulos.
Even the controversial podcast host Joe Rogan was mentioned in the discourse.
This week, a petition with nearly 9,000 signatures was launched to support Burton being named the new host of Jeopardy!
“Between hosting 21 seasons of the educational Reading Rainbow, the role of the brilliant engineer Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation and the role of Kunta Kinte in the increasingly important mini-series Roots, LeVar Burton has inspired and shaped the minds of several generations of trivia-loving nerds,” wrote the petition’s author. “This petition is intended to show Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and producer Harry Friedman how much the public loves Burton and how much we would all like to see him as the next host of Jeopardy!
Burton has publicly spoken of his desire to be the host of Jeopardy! Already in September, he twittered: “I won’t lie, I feel like I’ve spent my whole life preparing to take the podium of the @Jeopardy presenter when Alex retires. #@Jeopardy.”
I won’t lie, I have the feeling that I have prepared my whole life to take the podium of @Jeopardy presenter when Alex retires. #Jeopardy https://t.co/N1HrMTCaYI
– LeVar Burton (@levarburton) September 22, 2020
Sony Pictures, which produces Jeopardy!, announced on Newsday Sunday in Washington that the company does not yet intend to announce details of a new host.
For now, however, Burton has a lot of people who want to see him ask the questions on the podium.
I know it is far too early to decide this, but when the time comes @levarburton is the one my heart says should be host @Jeopardy after the tragic loss of #AlexTrebek.
That is all. This is the tweet.
– yvette nicole brown (@YNB) November 11, 2020
Just signed… I am a long time Jeopardy fan and long time LeVar fan. The wise and wonderful @levarburton is the perfect man for this job. â¤ï¸
Sony Pictures Entertainment: LeVar Burton should be the next host of Jeopardy – Sign the petition! https://t.co/83x62cdoXb via @Change
– Rosalind Chao (@rosalindchao) November 12, 2020
Jeopardy! does not need an expert or champion for hardcore quizzes as a host. Do we think the host writes the questions or something like that? All I know is that LeVar Burton looks like someone you would like to see five days a week. Such an obvious choice, I think.
– James Pethokoukis (@JimPethokoukis) November 12, 2020
The production company celebrated Trebek’s career in a moving statement on Twitter.
“Today we have lost a legend and a beloved member of the Sony Pictures family,” the statement began. “For 37 amazing years, Alex Trebek was that comforting voice, that moment of escape and entertainment at the end of a long, hard day for millions of people around the world.
Trebeck died peacefully last Sunday. His death occurred almost two years after the television personality first announced his diagnosis of late-stage pancreatic cancer.
His death led to an outburst of sadness among the fans who remember the host and his profound influence on pop culture over the last four decades.