We know that a good percentage of the internet wanted LeVar Burton to be the next host of Jeopardy! both prior to and after his guest-hosting stint. With that being said, did producers ever take him seriously as a candidate?
According to a new report from TMZ, the answer seems to be a pretty-clear “no.” Sources tell the site that studio Sony loved LeVar as a guest host, but didn’t feel he was the right fit for the program. However, he was not the only guest-host to get such an assessment. The majority of the show’s guest hosts were never considered to be serious candidates for the full-time job, with Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik being the two that executives were laser-focused on for most of the process.
As we’ve discussed before, Bialik was Sony’s top candidate, but her Call Me Kat schedule made it impossible to host full-time; because of this, Richards got the call and there’s controversy aplenty about his role in this whole process. (As of right now, he is still listed as a Jeopardy! executive producer.)
So is Richards’ departure from the hosting gig opening the door for LeVar? Anything is possible, but there hasn’t been too much public discussion about it. The TMZ report notes that Sony did speak with the Reading Rainbow host about other opportunities, and we know that other producers in Hollywood have expressed an interest in working with him, as well. Burton will certainly be fine no matter what happens, and he’s coming out of this a winner no matter what.
Would it have been nice to see him get the full-time gig? Sure, but even if that didn’t happen, it would’ve also been nice for him to get more than a one-week audition in the middle of the Olympics, when ratings were bound to be significantly lower. Even without sources or reports, you can just look at his hosting slot alone as a sign that he was never atop the producer or executive wishlist.
Who do you want to see become the Jeopardy! host now?
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