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On to Bigger Better Things: LeVar Burton to Host Scripps National Spelling Bee Next Year Following ‘Jeopardy!’ Scandal

LeVar Burton will be hosting the 94th Scripps National Spelling Bee next year.

Scripps made the announcement on Dec. 16 and the talented actor, director and educator said that he is honored to be hosting.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 03: LeVar Burton attends the 2020 Breakthrough Prize at NASA Ames Research Center on November 03, 2019 in Mountain View, California. (Photo by Ian Tuttle/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize )

“Hosting the Scripps National Spelling Bee will be an honor,” said Burton. “Like a lot of folks, I look forward to the competition every year and am excited to be a part of this wonderful tradition that celebrates excellence.”

The Scripps National Spelling Bee will be held near Washington, D.C., and Burton will host the semifinals and finals on June 1 and June 2 of next year.

Burton won 21 Emmy Awards for his long-running children’s television show on PBS, “Reading Rainbow.” The award-winning actor was also nominated for an Emmy for his role as Kunte Kinte in the miniseries “Roots” and won the NAACP Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture in 1980 for “The Hunter.”

Fans also will remember the accomplished actor as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Burton played the role on the television series from 1987 until 1994. In addition to his numerous awards, Burton was also honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1990.

The television broadcast will start with the spelling bee’s semifinals on June 1 and end with the finals the following day. Scripps also made an announcement on Twitter, which Burton also shared on his Twitter account.

“Take a look at who we booked! @levarburton will host the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee. An accomplished actor and lifelong children’s literacy advocate, Burton will host the Semifinals and Finals, broadcast on @iontv and @Bouncetv. Learn more: http://spellingbee.com/competition.”

Barton shared the post with a caption reading, “I’m thrilled! #bydhttmwfi.” The actor also posted a recent picture on Twitter of him wearing a sweatshirt that read, “Kunta Kinte.”

This follows the controversy surrounding “Jeopardy!” after the beloved actor wasn’t offered the hosting gig. After much outrage from fans, LeVar let everyone know that he has moved on.

“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,” he tweeted.

The executive director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Dr. J. Michael Durnil, gave a statement noting Burton’s work as an advocate for children’s literacy.

“The selection of Mr. Burton as host aligns with the mission of the Scripps National Spelling Bee,” said Durnil. “To have such a prominent advocate for children’s literacy involved in this special and unique competition is a perfect match. We have the same goals: to educate tomorrow’s leaders and build reading competency in all young people.”


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