The “Reading Rainbow” and “Star Trek” actor is the latest person to keep “Jeopardy!” running following Alex Trebek’s death in November 2020. Of all the guest hosts who have stepped up to the plate, arguably none have drawn greater attention from fans than Burton.
Before “Jeopardy!” announced Burton as a guest host, an online petition to get the actor on the “Jeopardy!” stage generated more than 142,000 signatures, the Deseret News reported. To date, that petition — which calls for Burton to become the next official host of “Jeopardy!” — has more than 250,000 signatures.
“THANK YOU ... to all y’all for your passionate support!” Burton tweeted in April. “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. YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE!”
Now, as Burton’s time behind the hosting lectern draws near, fans are sharing their excitement on Twitter. And Burton — who has been vocal about his desire to host the quiz show — is sharing some of his favorite reactions.
My wife prohibits me from watching Jeopardy because I tend to shout correct answers at the screen in frustration, but I believe she'll allow me to watch your episodes if I tone it down. We're both big fans of yours. Would love it if it were a full time gig for you...— Remus 'Fully Vacinated' Lupin🌊 (@RemusJLupin2017) July 21, 2021
Burton is currently scheduled to host “Jeopardy!” from July 26 through July 30. But the actor is interested in potentially taking on the gig permanently — just a couple of months before Trebek’s death, Burton took to Twitter to express his interest in hosting “Jeopardy!” the Deseret News reported.
“Not gonna lie, I feel like I’ve been preparing my whole life to occupy the Jeopardy host podium when Alex retires,” Burton wrote at the time.
During Burton’s stint as guest host, “Jeopardy!” will match the winnings of the contestants and donate to Burton’s charity of choice: Reading Is Fundamental, according to the “Jeopardy!” website. The nonprofit organization develops content and resources to help improve childhood literacy, according to the organization’s website.
Following Burton, David Faber and Joe Buck will each take a weeklong turn as host. The 37th season of “Jeopardy!” concludes on Aug. 13, and the show is expected to name an official host when it begins filming its 38th season during the late summer, the Deseret News reported.
Ratings will likely play a major role in determining Trebek’s official successor — so far, Ken Jennings, who was the first guest host back in January, holds the strongest ratings. But according to Mike Richards, the executive producer of “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune,” the job will likely be extended to one of the several guest hosts who have stepped in during the 37th season.
“It’s going to come down to the heads of Sony (Entertainment) to make that decision, ultimately, and it’ll come down to testing,” Richards recently told The Wall Street Journal’s podcast “The Journal.” “They’ve been a part of it. They know what’s going on in the studio. They’re watching the feed, the tapings. It’s very extensive. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of, as far as testing in its size and scope.”