LeVar Burton is adding a new credit to his resume. Months after fans first began rallying their support behind him, the Reading Rainbow host has been confirmed to be an upcoming Jeopardy! guest host as the long-running series continues on its quest to find Alex Trebek's replacement. Burton will be among the final guest hosts of the game show's 37th season.
Burton's time at the lectern was confirmed Wednesday as Jeopardy! announced the next and final roster of guest hosts. In addition to the Star Trek: The Next Generation actor, the final batch of rotating guest hosts includes Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts, CNBC's David Faber, and Sports Emmy-winning sportscaster Joe Buck. Burton is set to have a week-long stint on the series, taking over the reins from Roberts beginning on Monday, July 26, with his turn ending following the July 30th episode.
The news was met with an overwhelming amount of excitement from fans, who have been calling on Jeopardy! to make Burton the permanent host ever since Trebek's passing in November. Just days after the late host died following a battle with cancer, fans created a Change.org petition calling on the show's producers to make him "the next host" of the show. Naming Sony Pictures Entertainment and Jeopardy! executive producers Harry Friedman and Mike Richards, the petition said that "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," Burton has "inspired and shaped the minds of several generations of trivia-loving nerds." The petition added that its goal was to show "how much love the public has for Burton, and how much we'd all love to see him as the next host of Jeopardy!"
In the months since it was created, the petition has garnered more than 245,000 signatures, with Burton himself even drawing attention to it. Immediately after it was created, he tweeted it and wrote that "even if nothing comes from it, I can't tell how much how I appreciate all y'alls love and support." He again shared the petition in April, just weeks before Jeopardy! confirmed he would be getting the chance to show them that he's got, writing that he was "leaving this here in the event the powers that be are listening." Now that he has the gig, at least temporarily, Burton said he is "overjoyed, excited, and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy!, and will do my utmost best to live up to your faith you in me." He even gave "a special shout-out" to the petition's creator, Joshua Sanders.