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Posted under: News

The People Have Spoken And They Want LeVar Burton As The Next Jeopardy Host

Thousands of people are hoping Sony chooses LeVar Burton as the replacement for Alex Trebek.

Jeopardy! fans across the world were saddened to hear that longtime host Alex Trebek had passed away at age 80 on Nov. 8 following a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. 

Trebek spent 36 years educating and entertaining legions of fans with his dry wit and unmatched comedic timing. His passing, however, has sparked a discussion online about who should fill his massive shoes as host of the famous game show.

A petition has since been created throwing its support behind legendary actor and TV host, LeVar Burton. The campaign now has more than 87,500 signatures and is steadily gaining more by the day. 

In the petition, superfan Joshua Sanders wrote 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, LeVar Burton has inspired and shaped the minds of several generations of trivia-loving nerds."

"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," Sanders continued. 

Burton took notice of the petition and expressed gratitude to his fans for putting his name in the running. 

"Of course while I’m very flattered by the petition, my thoughts are definitely with Alex Trebeck’s family and his millions of fans and the devastating loss of this irreplaceable legend. #LongLiveAlex," Burton wrote in another tweet.

Sony already has a shortlist prepared with names like Ken Jennings, Rosie Perez, Joe Rogan and George Stephanopoulos, according to The New York Times and USA Today.

USA Today noted that Jennings, who is the show's biggest winner, may be the most obvious choice since he already works for the program. 

Betting sites are already pegging Jennings, Burton and Stephanopoulos as the candidates with the highest odds to take the job, along with other big names like Katie Couric, Ryan Seacrest, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Jimmy Kimmel.

Claire McNear -- author of Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider's Guide to Jeopardy! -- recently spoke with The Today Show regarding Burton hosting the show. 

"There's so much about this choice that makes sense. He's this beloved, trusted, universal figure, and coming from Reading Rainbow he has that academic intelligent side to him. This has been an obsession of fans for years," McNear said.

In July, Trebek was asked about a potential replacement on Good Morning America and the host used his trademark wit to answer the question.


"I joke with the audience all the time and I say, 'Betty White,' because they want somebody younger, somebody funnier. Betty and I have been friends for a long, long time," he joked.

According to Entertainment Tonight, in 2018, Trebek mentioned two other potential replacements.

"I mentioned to my producer before that the fellow who does play-by-play for the Los Angeles Kings, they should consider him. There is an attorney, Laura Coates, she's African American and she appears on some of the cable news shows from time to time," Trebek said.

Although various names have been floated as potential hosts for the show, it remains unclear who will be selected or if the selection process has actually already begun. 

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