LeVar Burton has set his heart on becoming the permanent host of "Jeopardy!"
The "Star Trek" star has joined a slew of celebrity guest-hosts who are currently filling in the role left empty after Alex Trebek died on Nov. 8, 2020, at age 80, but Burton is hoping it will become a full-time gig.
"It's difficult to explain, but there's something inside me that says this makes sense," he told The New York Times. "I feel like this is what I'm supposed to do. I have been watching Jeopardy! more or less every night of my life since Art Fleming was host. Jeopardy! is a cultural touchstone, and for a Black man to occupy that podium is significant."
Responding to a question about how he would feel if the show chose someone else as its permanent host, Burton admitted "it will hurt."
"I'm not going to lie. But if that happens, I will get over it. I will be fine," he said. "Remember: Everything happens perfectly and for a reason. That is my default. It's all going to be OK. Because it always is."
The actor’s ambitions have garnered plenty of support. Fans launched a petition last year calling on Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and show producers to consider making Burton, best known as Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," the permanent host.
Burton recently shared the petition, which has amassed over 255,700 signatures and is well on its way to becoming one of the top signed petitions on Change.org, to his social media accounts.
"Even if nothing comes from it, I can’t tell how much I appreciate all y’alls love and support!" he wrote in a tweet that included a link to the petition.
Viewers have been patiently waiting to hear who the official host for "Jeopardy!" will be and answers are on the way. Executive producer Mike Richards, who spoke on The Wall Street Journal’s podcast “The Journal,” revealed that a decision will be made before the next season of the show begins taping in July or August. He also explained the reasons for the delay in announcing who will fill Trebek's shoes.
"We started talking about it internally that to name someone right away would be very hard for us because we were still reeling from the loss [of Alex Trebek]," he explained.
"[For] the Jeopardy! family — which is the fans, the country, the staff — that if on Friday it’s Alex’s last show and then Monday it’s a new person’s show, that would probably be unfair to the person stepping in to do it."
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