LeVar Burton reacted to the widespread petition to get him on Jeopardy! in an interview on The View on Monday. Burton appeared on the talk show to discuss his upcoming term as guest host of the game show from July 26 to July 30. He said that he is "absolutely" campaigning for a permanent spot on the show.
"For a long time — 2013 — I tweeted for the first time how much I would love to have that job when Alex [Trebek] retired," Burton said. "More than anything, I am eager to put my skills up against those of anyone else in contention and then let the chips fall where they may. The important thing for me is that I have an opportunity to compete for the job, and that's all I ever really wanted." Jeopardy is currently running through a long slate of celebrity guest hosts, each taking over for one or two weeks at a time until the end of this season. After Alex Trebek's passing late in 2020, the show announced it would not pick a permanent replacement until the end of the season.
.@levarburton reacts to the epic online campaign to have him guest host @Jeopardy, exclusively telling @TheView co-hosts that “it’s such a wonderful feeling to be at the center of that much grace.” https://t.co/f8u2wbJuik pic.twitter.com/mROcwqFNd8— The View (@TheView) April 26, 2021
Burton was not originally on that list of guest hosts, but the fans put him there with a swell of support on social media. Petitions to get Burton the job drew thousands of signatures, and on Wednesday, April 21, Jeopardy! producers finally announced that Burton had secured the gig. He posted a message of thanks to fans on Twitter.
"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," Burton tweeted. "YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE! Go ahead and take my word for it, this time."
Burton feels like a natural pick for Jeopardy because of his intelligent yet reserved demeanor, and his reputation from shows like Reading Rainbow in the past. Author Claire McNear wrote a book called Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider's Guide to Jeopardy, and in an interview about the new permanent host with NPR, she said that it would have to be someone "who projects that sort of gravitas, that academic air to them that Trebek, of course, had. And so I think that's why a lot of people have been really clamoring for LeVar Burton."
Burton has had a handful of prominent roles in recent years, but has is not currently committed to any ongoing series or looming movie projects. Jeopardy airs on weeknights at 7 p.m. ET — check your local listings for the correct channel.