LeVar Burton Explains His Public Push to Host 'Jeopardy!'

Levar Burton is excited to be hosting a few episodes of Jeopardy!, adding that the position is "a natural progression" in his prolific career. The host explains while visiting The Tamron Hall Show that the experience has been like a long-term dream finally come true. "I think that having the job of hosting Jeopardy!, for me, it just feels like a natural progression," he explains to Tamron Hall. "It encompasses almost everything that I've been about for the last 45 years of my career. It just seems like a good fit to me."

"That's why I was so public about it," he continued. "It could have backfired, but I felt like if I didn't do everything I could to advocate for the job, I would never forgive myself. So, I took a risk, and was very, very public about wanting the job." Burton became a part of the famous list of guest hosts after his fans launched a campaign to see him on the show. More than 250,000 fans signed a Change.org petition requesting that Jeopardy! executives give the Reading Rainbow host a shot.

"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 miniseries Roots, LeVar Burton has inspired and shaped the minds of several generations of trivia-loving nerds," the Change.org petition reads. "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!"

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"Even if nothing comes from it, I can't tell how much how I appreciate all y'alls love and support!" Burton said in response to the campaign on social media. The show announced Burton would be appearing alongside a slate of other guests to close out the series' 37th season in April. He joined TV personalities Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, David Faber, and Joe Buck. "THANK YOU... to all y'all for your passionate support! I am overjoyed, excited, and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy!, and will do my utmost best to live up to your faith you in me. YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE! Go ahead and take my word for it, this time," Burton tweeted following the announcement.