Jeopardy! fans on Twitter have made it very clear the only person they think should host the show is LeVar Burton, but the next rumored guest host is... not LeVar Burton. This, of course, set off a wave of anger from fans on social media, even though the show's producers have not officially announced the move. On Saturday, sources told The New York Post that Joe Buck, one of the most divisive sports commentators, will have a guest-hosting stint in the summer.
Buck, 51, is the second personality from the sports world to host the show, following Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, whose own run ended on Friday. Buck's episodes will air in the mid-summer, according to the Post's sources. It is not clear how long his run will last, but the previous guest hosts have emceed episodes for two weeks. The Post also reports that Buck's turn as guest host puts him "in contention" for the permanent job.
After Alex Trebek died last fall, Sony Pictures Television, the studio behind Jeopardy!, enlisted a group of celebrity guest hosts starting in January. The first was former champion Ken Jennings, followed by executive producer Mike Richards, journalist Katie Couric, TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Rodgers. CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, 60 Minutes journalist Bill Whittaker, actress Mayim Bialik, Today Show anchor Savannah Guthrie, and CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta are also on the hosting schedule. Sony has not announced a host to follow Gupta yet.
Thats Levar Burton's job. Levar taught me to read, Joe Buck taught me to mute the TV. https://t.co/N9DmNZqYko— Matt Marsden (@MarsAttacks81) April 17, 2021
Since Trebek's death in November, Burton has been the top pick to replace him for many fans. The Emmy-nominated actor, who starred in Roots and Star Trek: The Next Generation, is beloved for hosting Reading Rainbow. Many believe his work on the PBS series is evidence that he would be the perfect host for Jeopardy!.prevnext
The entire world tells Sony they should hire LeVar Burton. Sony asks, "how 'bout Joe Buck, instead?" The world is broken. https://t.co/AncaYZRFOj— Scott Croker (@ScottSCroker) April 17, 2021
While some stars do not respond to "fan-casting," Burton has. In November, he shared a link to a Change.org petition, thanking fans for their support. "Even if nothing comes from it, I can’t tell how much how I appreciate all y’all's love and support," he wrote at the time. In a follow-up, Burton added, "Of course while I’m very flattered by the petition, my thoughts are definitely with Alex [Trebek's] family and his millions of fans and the devastating loss of this irreplaceable legend."prevnext
Asking for LeVar Burton and getting Joe Buck instead is like asking for a cookie and getting...Joe Buck instead. https://t.co/sroohXTVfH— TAQUITOOOOS...And a Clown With No Head (@CTTrekkie) April 17, 2021
On April 5, Bruton shared the Change.org petition again. "Leaving this here in the event the powers that be are listening," he wrote. The petition now has over 240,000 signatures, and the goal was increased to 300,000.prevnext
I will never ever watch a single episode of Jeopardy featuring #JoeBuck.April 17, 2021
"Between hosting 21 seasons of the educational Reading Rainbow, playing the brainiac engineer Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and filling the [role] of Kunta Kinte in the ever-important mini-series Roots, LeVar Burton has inspired and shaped the minds of several generations of trivia-loving nerds," petition creator Joshua Sanders wrote. "This petition is to show Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and producers Mike Richards and Harry Friedman just how much love the public has for Burton, and how much we'd all love to see him as the next host of Jeopardy!"prevnext
Even before Trebek's death, Burton said he would love to host Jeopardy!. During a 2018 Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, Burton said he "made it very clear" that he wants to host. "Sorry, brother! There is only one game show I’ve ever wanted to host... This Is Jeopardy!" Burton also tweeted that year.prevnext
This is a weird way to spell LeVar Burton https://t.co/H5z33cBuwD— L D Lewis, Double Hugo Finalist 🚀 (@Ellethevillain) April 17, 2021
"So, fans are clamoring for [Burton] to succeed Alex Trebek. They're literally saying, I'd watch [Jeopardy!] every night if he's the host. And Burton told me in an interview that the job would make him 'exceedingly glad,'" one fan noted Saturday. "Nothing against Joe Buck, but... am I missing something?"prev