Popular game show “Jeopardy!” is getting closer to deciding who will become the permanent host of the show, and it looks like LeVar Burton did not make the cut.
For months, the show has been hiring guest hosts after the tragic passing of long-time host Alex Trebek. However, it looks like after auditioning a few people, “Jeopardy!” is going to settle with one of their own. Variety announced on Aug. 4 that Sony Pictures Television has its eyes on “Jeopardy!” executive producer Mike Richards.
While the decision is not set in stone, it’s said that Richards “is in advanced negotiations with Sony Pictures Television to become permanent host of the venerable quiz show.” Along with Richards being a guest host, other notable people agreed to take on the gig like ABC-TV’s Robin Roberts, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Dr. Mehmet Oz from “The Doctor Oz Show,” and Burton, who is best known for playing the lead role in “Roots” and later becoming a host on “Reading Rainbow.”
Fans were the first to suggest Burton as the next best person for the job in November, just days after Trebek lost his battle to pancreatic cancer. They even went so far as to create a petition where nearly 250,000 people gave their approval of the idea with their signatures. Burton himself confirmed in April his strong desire to host the game show. He even told “Entertainment Weekly” he doesn’t “believe there is anyone out there who is better suited for this job than me.” Later on that same month, it was announced that he was hired to be a guest host for a few episodes in July.
While Burton has yet to speak on the recent news about Richards, one could imagine that he probably doesn’t feel the best about the news. In June, when the New York Times asked how he would feel if he was not chosen for the full-time gig, he said, “It will hurt, I’m not going to lie,” but also added, “I will be fine.”
While Burton may be okay, the same can not be fully said for fans. On Twitter, a few reacted to the news, with one person writing, “JUSTICE FOR LEVAR BURTON.”
Someone else said, “If SONY is going to play this game and hire the inside guy they knew they were going to hire to host Jeopardy after acting like they were going to entertain a diverse candidate, then I’m going to need SOMEBODY’S network to give @levarburton his own educational quiz/game show.”
Another wrote, “This does not include @levarburton and that means it is the wrong choice. Levar did an incredible job as guest host.”