It’s been a rough couple weeks for fans of Jeopardy! and especially for fans of LeVar Burton. The Reading Rainbow host and Star Trek: TNG alum was one of the most popular potential replacements for late host Alex Trebek, who passed away last November. The job went to Mike Richards, one of the show’s executive producers, prompting widespread derision. He wasn’t even given the spin-off show, to be hosted by Mayim Bialik. Now there’s more sad news.
As per Entertainment Weekly, a rumor started circulating that Sony Pictures Entertainment, which produces the beloved game show, was going to offer Burton his own production deal, to produce and/or star in or host his own show. But a spokesperson for the performer said that ain’t happening either.
“There is no truth to this at all,” said the spokesperson. “None whatsoever. Everyone has been misled, unfortunately. Perhaps some minion chatter.”
When Burton lost the coveted spot, social media blew up, with people furious that the producers went with a relative nobody over a more popular choice. But Burton was extremely diplomatic.
“I have said many times over these past weeks that no matter the outcome, I’ve won,” he wrote over Twitter. “The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and fans alike has been incredible! If love is the ultimate blessing and I believe that it is, I am truly blessed beyond measure.”
That said, perhaps someone in power will notice all the love sent Burton’s way and give him a swanky production deal. Jeopardy! doesn’t have to be the only brainy game show in town.