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Who should host ‘Jeopardy!’? Fans want this person to have a shot

Next week, “Jeopardy!” enters a new era of celebrity guest hosts

SHARE Who should host ‘Jeopardy!’? Fans want this person to have a shot

In this Sept. 14, 2016, file photo, actor, director LeVar Burton smiles as he takes his seat in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress in Washington. As of March 1, a petition to make the “Reading Rainbow” star the next host of “Jeopardy!” is nearing 115,000 signatures.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Associated Press

Starting next week, “Jeopardy!” enters a new era of celebrity guest hosts.

It’s a lengthy list — everyone from renowned journalist Katie Couric to NFL star Aaron Rodgers. But there’s still at least one other person “Jeopardy!” fans want to see get a shot as host: LeVar Burton.

As of March 1, a petition to make the “Reading Rainbow” star the next host of “Jeopardy!” is nearing 115,000 signatures.

“LeVar Burton has inspired and shaped the minds of several generations of trivia-loving nerds,” the petition reads.

Burton recently spoke with “CBS Sunday Morning” about how Fred Rogers and shows like “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” shaped his understanding of the good television can do.

“He taught me that it was ... possible to enlighten while entertaining,” Burton said. “That the two don’t cancel each other out.”

Shortly after that interview, Burton retweeted a fan’s push for him to host “Jeopardy!” — responding to it with a thumbs up gif.

“Your daily reminder that @levarburton should be the new permanent host of @jeopardy,” the initial tweet reads. “He would best continue the mission of the pursuit of knowledge and learning that #Jeopardy champions.”

Before Trebek’s death, Burton even tweeted about his interest in hosting the quiz show, according to the Deseret News.

“Not gonna lie, I feel like I’ve been preparing my whole life to occupy the Jeopardy host podium when Alex retires,” he wrote in September 2020, two months before Trebek’s death.

To date, “Jeopardy!” has not announced that Burton will be hosting at any point.

So far, the two people who have guest hosted the show — Ken Jennings and Mike Richards — have predominantly received praise from “Jeopardy!” fans.

Both regularly pay tribute to late host Alex Trebek on the show and have a clear familiarity with and love for the game.

“Working with Alex was even better than you could’ve imagined,” Richards said at the start of a “Jeopardy!” episode last week, according to the Deseret News. “His intensity for this show, his humor, his kindness, but most impressively, his love for his wife, Jean, and his kids. He was everything you could hope for and more. He was an idol of mine, and I will work every day to try to live up to the example he set.”

Richards, who is the executive producer for “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune,” continues hosting through Friday, March 5.

And then “Jeopardy!” viewers will see some new faces, starting with Couric, who will serve as “Jeopardy!” host from March 8-19.

“It is such a thrill to be here guest hosting a show I’ve watched for years, and a real honor to help as we recover after Alex,” Couric said in a statement, according to the Deseret News.

Dr. Mehmet Oz will then host from March 22-April 2, followed by Rodgers, who won “Celebrity Jeopardy!” in 2015. The NFL star will host from April 5-16, according to the “Jeopardy!” website.

“Jeopardy!” has not yet announced specific show dates for its other guest hosts, including Anderson Cooper, “Today” host Savannah GuthrieDr. Sanjay Gupta — the chief medical correspondent for CNN — “Big Bang Theory” actress Mayim Bialik and “60 Minutes” correspondent Bill Whitaker, the Deseret News reported.

Richards recently told USA Today that “Jeopardy!” is not rushing to name an official replacement and may not make an announcement until the new season starts in September.

”Let’s make sure we get someone we are going to feel even better about in a decade than we do this year,” Richards said.