LeVar Burton is being a good sport after learning he was not chosen as the permanent new host for the game show “Jeopardy!”
Variety announced that the show is strongly considering its executive producer Mike Richards as Alex Trebek’s successor. Trebek was the previously beloved and long-time host of “Jeopardy!” up until he passed away in November 2020 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
While many fans expressed their clear disapproval of the game show’s decision, Burton went out with his head high. Just hours after the news, he tweeted, “I have said many times over these past weeks that no matter the outcome, I’ve won. The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and fans alike has been incredible! If love is the ultimate blessing and I believe that it is, I am truly blessed beyond measure.”
It’s been almost a year since fans first advocated for Burton to be the “Jeopardy!” host. In November, a fan created a petition that reached almost 250,000 signatures. Months later, in April, the “Reading Rainbow” star told “Entertainment Weekly” that his “whole career is an advertisement for being the host” of ‘Jeopardy!’ ”
Later, “Jeopardy!” announced that Burton was selected to be one of the guest hosts and that the episodes he would host would air on July 26 to July 30. On July 27, he talked to hosts of “Good Morning America,” two of which (Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos) were selected to be guest hosts as well, and Burton explained how his wife, Stephanie Cozart Burton, reacted to one of his tapings.
She came on set to watch him, and when he asked her how he did, Burton said she replied, “‘Ehhh. It wasn’t you.’ ” It doesn’t seem like Burton took any offense to his wife’s unimpressed response and instead laughed it off with the GMA crew. He said, “Thank god for marrying a woman that will tell you the truth.”