We Finally Know LeVar Burton’s Game Show-Hosting Future
Fans of LeVar Burton got their hopes up earlier this year when the “Stark Trek” actor appeared as a guest host on “Jeopardy!” following the death of longtime host Alex Trebek. Before his passing in November 2020, Alex Trebek hosted “Jeopardy” for a total of 37 seasons (via IMDb). Celebrities ranging from “The Big Bang Theory” alum Mayim Bialik to “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings lined up to serve as guest hosts, all vying for the new permanent position. Burton did a week-long stint on “Jeopardy!” in July after reportedly showing interest in hosting the program for more than a decade (via Vox).
Ultimately, Burton was not chosen as the new “Jeopardy!” host and what followed was an unmitigated PR disaster for the beloved game show. The decision to pick executive producer Mike Richards to be the new host proved controversial. In addition to the fact that most people had never even heard of him, a series of problematic comments made on a podcast years earlier by the new host was unearthed (via The Ringer). Richards departed the host gig after only a week on the job and, shortly thereafter, was also fired as executive producer of the long-running program (via Variety).
In the aftermath, Burton fans held out hope that he would potentially return to host, but the “Star Trek” actor bowed out of the race, telling “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah, “It wasn’t the thing I wanted after all” (via Variety). However, just because Burton isn’t interested in leading “Jeopardy!” anymore doesn’t mean he’s completely out of the running for all game show host positions.
LeVar Burton is the host of a game show based on a board game
According to a Tuesday announcement from The Hollywood Reporter, LeVar Burton has signed on to host an upcoming game show titled “Trivial Pursuit.” The series, which is not yet tied to a network, will be produced by Hasbro and Entertainment One. Based on the board game of the same name, the new series will feature contestants who engage in a battle of wits focused on trivia.
“‘Trivial Pursuit’ is one of the best-known brands in the gaming universe,” Burton said. “I am thrilled to have partnered with Hasbro and eOne to bring this beloved game to market as a premium show for television.”
In addition to hosting, Burton will also executive produce the series alongside LeVar Burton Entertainment CEO Sangita Patel, Entertainment One president of global unscripted television Tara Long, and Entertainment One president of U.S. alternative programming-unscripted television Geno McDermott.
“LeVar Burton has been an iconic member of American pop culture for decades from ‘Roots’ to ‘Reading Rainbow’ to ‘Star Trek’ and beyond,” Long said. “His love for intellectual curiosity paired with his ability to connect with audiences worldwide make him the perfect partner to bring Hasbro’s beloved trivia game to households in a new and exciting way.”
Hasbro purchased the popular board game in 2008 for a total of $80 million (via Hasbro) and quickly attempted to regain its money by adapting the game to television. Sadly, that iteration of the series, which was hosted by “The Brady Bunch” actor Christopher Knight, only lasted a single season (via IMDb). A previous attempt in 1993, hosted by Wink Martindale and Randy West, was also canceled after one season (via IMDb).