Fans of Levar Burton can rejoice: the star “Roots” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation” join the list of interim hosts for “Jeopardy!”. The program announced Wednesday after a long campaign to step into the shoes of former “Reading Rainbow” host Alex Trebek, who passed away last year and whose iconic hosting role has since been filled by a rotating group of celebrities and TV personalities. .
Burton, an advocate for children’s literacy who hosted the PBS program Reading Rainbow, expressed his joy over the news on Twitter. With him on the list of temporary hosts are anchor Robin Roberts, the Good Morning America, ‘The Week with George Stephanopoulos’, anchor George Stephanopoulos, author and former’ Jeopardy! Celebrity’s champion David Faber and award-winning sports broadcaster Joe Buck.
“Our goal was to offer a wide range of hosts with different skills and backgrounds on our way to finding a permanent host. Our passionate fans tell us what they like, and we listen,” says Mike Richards, executive producer – who also served as host – reads a press release shared by the games program.
In November 2020, a petition was started on Change.org to have Burton hired as a replacement for Trebek. It was endorsed by Burton himself at the beginning of April and now has almost 250,000 signatures. Burton thank the person which started the petition on Twitter after the announcement of the match program.
According to the release, Burton and this new crop of hosts will take the desk for a week’s tournament, starting in June. Burton hosts from July 26 to July 30.
So far this season, the program has been presented by Ken Jennings – who was the first host of the new season – Richards, Katie Couric, Dr. Oz and Aaron Rodgers. Anderson Cooper is currently the host and is followed by Bill Whitaker, “Jeopardy!” All-Star Buzzy Cohen, actress Mayim Bialik, Savannah Guthrie and Dr. Sanjay Gupta.