LeVar Burton Explains Why He Doesn’t Want to Host ‘Jeopardy!’ Shortly Before Announcing New Game Show Gig

Last year, when  Jeopardy! was searching for a host, fans campaigned hard for LeVar Burton to take over the role. Burton himself was super excited about the prospect of landing the gig, too. It wasn’t meant to be. While Burton did appear in a few episodes as a guest host, he didn’t ultimately land the job. While fans and Burton were initially disappointed, he has since rebounded, and it looks like he’ll get the chance to host a trivia show after all. 

LeVar Burton’s five-episode run on ‘Jeopardy!’ was enough for him to know he didn’t want the gig long term

Burton actively campaigned, alongside fans, to land one of the coveted guest-hosting spots. The campaign worked, and Burton served as a guest host for five episodes. Those five episodes were enough for Burton to know that Jeopardy! wasn’t the show he wanted to be a part of long-term. He said he might have been more interested in competing for the role than actually working it every day in an interview. 

During a sit-down interview for The Daily ShowBurton revealed that his appearance on the famed gameshow opened up many new opportunities and that those are far more exciting to him than hosting Jeopardy!. He said, “If you had given me a pen and paper and said, ‘Well, so what do you want this to really look like?’ If it doesn’t include ‘Jeopardy!,’ I wouldn’t have been this generous to myself.”

LeVar Burton has been tapped to host a new game show based on Trivial Pursuit 

Once Burton knew Jeopardy! wouldn’t be a part of his life moving forward, his team started to move in another direction. During his interview with Trevor Noah, Burton alluded to upcoming opportunities. Now he’s finally let fans in on the big news. 

LeVar Burton joins Gayle King and Anthony Mason as a guest host on 'CBS This Morning'
LeVar Burton | Clifton Prescod/CBS via Getty Images

On November 17, Burton, along with Hasbro and eOne, announced that he’d be hosting a brand new television show based on the classic game, Trivial Pursuit. Trivial Pursuit is a trivia game that quizzes players about a variety of topics. Players compete to answer questions correctly in each category to fill up their game piece first. According to TV Line, there are no further details on how the game show will be structured or when fans can expect to see it on the air. 

‘Jeopardy!’ continues to suffer from an identity crisis in the wake of Alex Trebek’s death

While Burton has moved on to a game show version of Trivial Pursuit, Jeopardy! is still suffering from a bit of an identity crisis. Following the death of Alex Trebek, the famed show went in search of a new permanent host. Their method seemed to make a lot of sense, initially. ABC brought in more than a dozen different guest hosts and used the data collected from those appearances to decide who would be best to step into the role. The plan might have been sound, but it just didn’t work out well.

Initially, Jeopardy! announced that longtime executive producer Mike Richards would split hosting duties with The Big Bang Theory alum, Mayim Bialik. It didn’t take long for Richards to be ousted. The show announced the new hosts in early August; by the end of the month, offensive comments made by Richards had surfaced. He agreed to step down as host. He has since parted ways with the show completely.  

Ken Jennings and Bialik have been named interim hosts through the rest of 2021. The show’s fate beyond that remains a mystery. Bialik permanently filling the spot remains a possibility, but it seems equally likely that Jeopardy! will search for an entirely different host for the following year. For now, fans of the show are experiencing its growing pains, and they aren’t necessarily enjoying the process.