LeVar Burton Opts out of Hosting ‘Jeopardy’ Full-Time

The search to find a permanent Jeopardy host remains in limbo. Following the death of Alex Trebek in November 2020, producers relied on celebrities such as Aaron Rodgers and Robin Roberts to fill in as hosts. The game show is continuing this method as season 38 is currently underway. There are many viable candidates from the previous group of guest hosts to replace Trebek. However, one celebrity has pulled himself from contention, and that’s actor LeVar Burton.

Actor LeVar Burton dressed in a blue suit during a May 2021 appearance on 'CBS This Morning.'
LeVar Burton I Clifton Prescod/CBS via Getty Images

LeVar Burton doesn’t want to be ‘Jeopardy’ host

Out of all the guest hosts, Burton was the fan favorite to take over Jeopardy host. Thanks to the help of a fan petition with over 280,000 signatures, Burton became the leading candidate to fill Trebek’s shoes. Burton finally got his chance at guest-hosting earlier this summer. As for taking over full-time, that’s not happening.

According to Deadline.com, Burton no longer has an interest in being the Jeopardy host. During a recent appearance on The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, Burton discussed withdrawing his name from contention. “They say be careful what you wish for because what I found out is that it wasn’t the thing that I wanted after all,” the actor explained. Although he may not have the Jeopardy gig, Burton revealed he’s open to hosting another game show.

LeVar Burton’s performance as ‘Jeopardy’ guest host

Burton’s guest host spot for Jeopardy came during the week of July 26 thru 30. Fans tuned in to see how well Burton fared in the gig. His hosting got off to a rocky start as he appeared nervous the first episode but found his groove as the show progressed. According to TVLine.com, Burton admitted his nervousness at hosting the iconic game show. “I’ve jumped out of airplanes, I’ve walked over hot coals, but this was a real challenge,” he explained.

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Aside from mixed reactions, Burton’s performance also didn’t do well in the ratings. According to Entertainment Weekly, Burton’s week of hosting drew low ratings. However, the show going up against the Olympics played a contributing factor in the dismal ratings.

Mike Richards’ scandal put a damper on ‘Jeopardy’ plan

With Burton out of the running and no permanent replacement found, actor Mayim Bialik and former contestant Ken Jennings are stepping in to co-host Jeopardy. Bialik and Jennings will take turns hosting the game show through the remainder of the year. News of Bialik and Jennings co-hosting comes weeks after Mike Richards’s scandal.

In August 2021, executive producer Richards was announced as the new host of Jeopardy. However, when past allegations of insensitive comments and a discrimination lawsuit resurfaced, Richards resigned and was later fired as a producer. Despite the scandal, the show is moving forward. While Bialik and Jennings take over, hopefully, Jeopardy producers can finally find a full-time host.