This "Reading Rainbow" star has been named a guest host of "Jeopardy!"
Who is LeVar Burton?
Burton, the iconic star of "Roots" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation," has been announced as part of the final group of guest hosts for the iconic game show to close out its 37th season. A rotation of guest hosts have stepped in to host the show following the passing of longtime host Alex Trebek, as producers search for the next permanent host.
Burton joins sportscaster Joe Buck, CNBC's David Faber, and Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos of "Good Morning America" fame as the final crop of guest hosts for Season 37. Recent guest hosts have included NFL star Aaron Rodgers and former contestant Ken Jennings.
“Our goal has been to present a wide variety of guest hosts with different skill sets and backgrounds on our path to finding a permanent host,” executive producer Mike Richards, who also took a turn as guest host, said in a statement. “Our passionate fans are telling us what they like, and we are listening. All of the guest hosts have brought individualism, energy and an authentic love of our show to each of their episodes. We look forward to sharing the rest of the season with our viewers.”
But Burton, in particular, has been publicly lobbying to host the show, with many fans thinking he'd be the perfect successor to Trebek. A change.org petition to make Burton the permanent host has garnered over 246,000 signatures.
"This is something that I really think is a good idea," Burton said on an episode of USA Today's "The Mothership" podcast, which aired Friday. "I think it’s a good fit of what the show is, what the show requires and what I feel like I bring to the table."
"I feel as strongly about my rightness for this as I did about Kunta and Geordi. And I’m that invested in getting the job," Burton said, adding that he wants to do "justice to the legacy of Alex."
"He was unbelievably smooth," Burton said of Trebek, who passed away in November. "You sense that on TV. In person it’s even more apparent just how comfortable he was. And relaxed. And very, very, very, very smooth. Just effortless. And I know how much work it takes to make it look that easy."
"I’ve watched it almost every night my entire life" dating back to the fifth grade, Burton said of the show. "Like everybody else in America, I just think the world of the game. Because I think we all just love to measure ourselves against what we know is a very high pressured situation. That’s why it’s as popular as it is."
Burton's episodes will air in July.