The discussion to have the “Reading Rainbow” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation” actor be the permanent replacement for Alex Trebek has been inescapable since a fan petition was signed by more than 270,000 people shortly after the previous host’s death in November of 2020.
While chatter surrounding Burton is widespread, TMZ reports that Sony never actually seriously considered making him the new host. While executives reportedly enjoyed his week-long guest-hosting stint, it’s reported that only Richards and Mayim Bialik were ever truly in consideration for the job. So, while this comes as a dash of cold water to Burton’s hopefuls, it also means that none of the other guest hosts were ever in serious contention to take over.
Sources close to Burton told the outlet that he’s made his peace with the fact that he won’t be the new permanent “Jeopardy!” host and he’s moving on. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean his working relationship with Sony is done. The source claims that Burton has been approached by the studio for other projects outside of the “Jeopardy!” brand.
LeVar Burton was reportedly never truly considered for the ‘Jeopeardy!’ guest hosting gig. (Sony Entertainment)
Although the new report casts doubt on one of the more probable picks to host “Jeopardy!” things are still up in the air following Richards’ exit after a bevy of inappropriate comments he made on a podcast in the past resurfaced. After the controversy, Richards announced he was stepping down as host.
Soon after, Sony Pictures Television confirmed that former “Big Bang Theory” star, Bialik, will tape three weeks of episodes before announcing yet another round of celebrity guest hosts as it continues the hunt for someone permanent.
When Richards was announced as the new host of regular gameplay, it was revealed that the “Call Me Kat” actress had agreed to headline an upcoming crop of spinoff and special event games such as the upcoming “Jeopardy! National College Championship” at ABC. It seems those ideas haven’t changed, she’s merely expanded her role as the first returning guest host.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to join the Jeopardy! family. What started out with my 15-year-old repeating a rumor from Instagram that I should guest host the show has turned into one of the most exciting and surreal opportunities of my life! I’m so grateful and excited to continue to work with Mike Richards, and I’m just over the moon to join forces with him and Sony. After all the conversations we’ve had about this partnership, I am just so ready to get started!” Bialik said at the time of her initial announcement as the host.