LeVar Burton is ‘flattered’ fans want him to replace Alex Trebek on ‘Jeopardy!’

Alexander Kacala
·2 min read

Following the death of Alex Trebek, "Jeopardy!" fans have begun to speculate who might replace the television giant on the long-running game show.

From record-breaking champion Ken Jennings to "Golden Girls" icon Betty White,lots of names have been thrown into the hat.

Some fans felt so passionate about one potential candidate that they began an online petition to get him to the podium. Whether you know him as the longtime host of "Reading Rainbow" or as an actor on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" or "Roots," fans say LeVar Burton and his longtime presence on the big and small screen alike make him perfect for the gig.

LeVar Burton (David Livingston / Getty Images)
LeVar Burton (David Livingston / Getty Images)

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"LeVar Burton has inspired and shaped the minds of several generations of trivia-loving nerds," the petition reads. "This petition is to show Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and producers Mike Richards and Harry Friedman just how much love the public has for Burton, and how much we'd all love to see him as the next host of 'Jeopardy!'"

On Thursday, Burton responded to the petition, which has been signed by more than 70,000 fans so far. The 63-year-old tweeted, "Even if nothing comes from it, I can’t tell how much how I appreciate all y’alls love and support!"

In a subsequent tweet, he added, "Of course while I’m very flattered by the petition, my thoughts are definitely with Alex Trebek’s family and his millions of fans and the devastating loss of this irreplaceable legend. #LongLiveAlex."

Back in September, Burton said that he was definitely up for the challenge to one day try and fill Trebek's shoes. "Not gonna lie, I feel like I’ve been preparing my whole life to occupy the @Jeopardy host podium when Alex retires," he tweeted at the time.

TODAY tapped a few game show experts to consider who producers might pick and why.

When it comes to Burton, Claire McNear, author of "Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider's Guide to 'Jeopardy!'", said, "There's so much about this choice that makes sense.

"He's this beloved, trusted, universal figure, and coming from 'Reading Rainbow' he has that academic intelligent side to him. This has been an obsession of fans for years," she added.

For now, "Jeopardy!" episodes hosted by Trebek will air through Dec. 25. The show has not announced any plans for a new host at this time.