The Truth About LeVar Burton's Stint On Jeopardy!

LeVar Burton, the actor famous for his stints on "Roots," "Reading Rainbow," and "Star Trek: The Next Generation," will do a weeklong stint as guest host of "Jeopardy!," USA Today reported on April 21.

The longtime quiz show has been without a permanent host since former host Alex Trebek died in 2020. Once Trebek's final episodes as host aired, the show took a brief hiatus, and then returned with former contestant Ken Jennings as guest host. Jennings has been followed by a slew of temporary guest hosts each doing two-week gigs; executive producer Mike Richards has hosted, as have Dr. Mehmet Oz, news anchor Katie Couric, and CNN correspondent Anderson Cooper, among others. In the coming weeks, actor Mayim Bialik and "60 Minutes" correspondent Bill Whitaker are included in the list of upcoming guest hosts, according to Good Housekeeping.

Burton is scheduled to host the show on the episodes that will air July 26-30, according to NPR News. He will be among the last guest hosts to helm the show this season, the airing of which ends in August.

Jeopardy! fans campaigned for Burton to be the show's permanent new host

Back in November 2020, as USA Today reported at the time, "Jeopardy!" fans were entreating upon Sony Pictures Entertainment, the media company that owns the production and syndication rights to the show, to name Burton as Trebek's permanent replacement. To that end, fans put up an online petition at, referencing the actor's credibility as an entertainer and an intellectual as good reasons to put him behind the podium.

"LeVar Burton has inspired and shaped the minds of several generations of trivia-loving nerds ... This petition is to show Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and producer Mike Richards just how much love the public has for Burton, and how much we'd all love to see him as the next host of 'Jeopardy!,'" the petition read in-part, as quoted by USA Today.

At the time, the petition had 75,000 signatures; as of April 21, that number had grown to over 200,000.

Executive producer Mike Richards, who himself served as a guest host of his own show, said in a statement that the fans' voices were heard.

"Our passionate fans are telling us what they like, and we are listening," he said, according to USA Today.

Burton said he was honored by the fans' enthusiasm for him

Appearing in mid-April 2021 on the "Mothership" podcast, before Sony had announced that he would be given a guest-hosting spot, Burton referenced the petition to have him host "Jeopardy!," and agreed that it was a good fit.

"This is something that I really think is a good idea. I think it's a good fit of what the show is, what the show requires and what I feel like I bring to the table," he said, via USA Today.

Once the announcement was made that he would, indeed, be given a shot as guest host, Burton took to Twitter to announce his excitement about the gig.

"THANK YOU... to all y'all for your passionate support! I am overjoyed, excited, and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy!, and will do my utmost best to live up to your faith you [sic] in me. YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE!" he tweeted.

It bears noting that, though he's been awarded a weeklong guest-hosting spot, Burton has not, as of this writing, been named as the permanent new host of the "Jeopardy!" game show. Indeed, no decision has been made on that matter as of April 22. Author Claire McNear, who has written a book about the show, told NPR News that she expects such a decision to be made before July, when taping of the next season is set to begin.