LeVar Burton is going to guest host Jeopardy! after all.
The former Reading Rainbow host and Star Trek: The Next Generation actor was included in the final batch of Jeopardy! guest hosts for the season.
The decision comes after hundreds of thousands of fans lobbied online for Burton to get a shot to potentially replace the late Alex Trebek. A Change.org petition supporting Burton guest hosting the show racked up 246,000 signatures. “THANK YOU… to all y’all for your passionate support!” Burton tweeted Wednesday. “I am overjoyed, excited, and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy!, and will do my utmost best to live up to your faith you in me. YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE! Go ahead and take my word for it, this time.”
The other final guest hosts for season 37 include Good Morning America anchors George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts, author and former Jeopardy! champ David Faber and sportscaster Joe Buck.
Meanwhile, recent guest host Aaron Rodgers has been scoring ratings touchdowns and raves from viewers. The Green Bay Packers quarterback helped give the syndicated staple its highest-rated week in a month.
Jeopardy finished in first place on the syndication chart for the week ending April 11 with a 5.6 national rating, up 14 percent from the prior week.
The bump came after two weeks of the game show hosted by Dr. Mehmet Oz (a crossover effort by parent company Sony Pictures Television that was widely derided by fans), and then two weeks of Katie Couric.
Fan favorite Ken Jennings, however, is still the top rated guest host since Trebek passed, with a 6.2 rating for his debut week in January. Jennings was also able to largely hold onto his strong ratings for six weeks, so he likely remains a strong contender to take over the hosting role next season.
by James Hibberd