LeVar Burton may not have landed the role of permanent Jeopardy! host, but that doesn't mean he's walking away from game shows altogether. The Reading Rainbow star is teaming up with Entertainment One to host a game show based on Hasbro's beloved Trivial Pursuit game. A network is not attached to the game show at this time. The game show will be the latest confirmed to be in development based on Hasbro's games, with the company also working on Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons, among others.
In addition to hosting, Burton will also executive produce the series under his production company LeVar Burton Entertainment, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Joining him are Hasbro, which owns the rights to the iconic board game, as well as Tara Long, president of global unscripted television at eOne, Geno McDermott, and LBE's Sangita Patel. Burton said of his new gig, "Trivial Pursuit is one of the best-known brands in the gaming universe. I am thrilled to have partnered with Hasbro and eOne to bring this beloved game to market as a premium show for television."
"LeVar Burton has been an iconic member of American pop culture for decades from Roots to Reading Rainbow to Star Trek and beyond," Long added. "His love for intellectual curiosity paired with his ability to connect with audiences worldwide make him the perfect partner to bring Hasbro's beloved trivia game to households in a new and exciting way."
Burton's new role comes just months after he stepped onto the Jeopardy! stage as one of the numerous guest hosts brought onto the show following the death of Alex Trebek. Although Burton had been considered a frontrunner in the search for Trebek's permanent replacement and garnered plenty of fan support, the role ultimately went to Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards, who was later fired amid controversy. Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings are now set to host.
During an appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah in September, Burton admitted that he "found out is that it wasn't the thing that I wanted after all." At the time, he teased that "the opportunities that have come my way as a result of not getting that gig, I couldn't have dreamt it up."
Burton is best known for playing Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation and four Star Trek movies. His breakthrough role came as the young Kunda Kinte in Roots, a role that earned him an Emmy nomination. He is also beloved by generations as the host of PBS' Reading Rainbow, a series developed to encourage young children to read.