“THANK YOU to y’all for your passionate support!” Burton tweeted on Wednesday, after Jeopardy! made it official on Twitter. “I am overjoyed, excited and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy!, and will do my utmost best to live up to your faith in me.”
More than 247,000 fans had signed a petition to see Burton host the show. Many of them shared their nostalgic love for his past roles as Kunta Kinte in Roots and Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Many more hailed him as an inspired choice to host Jeopardy! based on his 21 seasons as the host of Reading Rainbow, an educational show that encouraged children to read books.
Burton embraced the petition with a tweet promoting it on April 5. He was chosen for the show two weeks later.
Burton will host Jeopardy from July 26-30, according to a news release from Sony Pictures.
He joins a rotating list of celebrities and on-air personalities who have been hosting the show since Trebek’s death from cancer last year.
Jeopardy! also added sportscaster Joe Buck and TV journalists Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos and David Faber to its list on Wednesday.
Fans remember Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper recently took over the hosting duties after a two-week run by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Past hosts have included the likes of Mehmet and Ken Jennings. Mayim Bialik, Savannah Guthrie and Dr. Sanjay Gupta are also on the roster for future episodes.
“Our goal has been to present a wide variety of guest hosts with different skill sets and backgrounds on our path to finding a permanent host,” executive producer Mike Richards said in a statement. “Our passionate fans are telling us what they like, and we are listening.”
Richards guest-hosted the show earlier this year.
Burton’s fans celebrated his selection on Twitter Wednesday, with many crediting him for encouraging them to read.
“I grew up with this guy reading to me,” one person tweeted. “Couldn’t possible be a better choice in my opinion.”
“We did it everybody!” another wrote. “Now keep doing it until we’re all hearing ‘Welcome to Jeopardy! with your host LeVar Burton’ for the next few decades.”
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