We've been waiting for this!
After months of waiting, fans will finally be able to watch LeVar Burton guest-host "Jeopardy!" this week. The former host and executive producer of "Reading Rainbow" will take the helm of the beloved show, July 26-30, following the departure of "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts, who was the guest host previously.
Last November, fans launched a petition to get Burton as permanent host of the long-running show after Alex Trebek, esteemed host for decades, passed from pancreatic cancer. Then in April, we reported that the "Star Trek: Next Generation" star would join several others guest hosting the game show before a permanent host is selected.
Burton told reporters that he is "thrilled" to get the chance to work on the show and honor Trebek's legacy.
"I've been a fan of 'Jeopardy!' all my life. When this opportunity came up, I could not pass it up," he said. "The highlight for me has been meeting the contestants and seeing how good they are at this game. I've been in this business for 45 years, and the team here at 'Jeopardy!' is one of the best I've encountered in my entire life."
The petition created to get Burton as a full-time host currently has more than 250,000 signatures on it. If selected as a permanent host, he will be the first Black or person of color to host the show, which Burton said would be necessary for the culture and the country.
"There's nothing like 'Jeopardy!' in the cultural consciousness. It's not that I'm trying to put it on the same level, but I liken it to Barack Obama being elected president in the United States in 2008. I personally never thought I would see that happen in my lifetime. Did his election mean that we were in a post-racial America? Obviously not at all. But it was an important step," he told the Associated Press. "Every time we reach that milestone of a first, it does say something about us. It also tells us something that we continue to have these moments of firsts.... that white is the normative default. The reason that white is the default is the conversation that we are trying to have in this country now, that there's so much resistance to."
During his time on the show, the childhood literacy advocate will raise money for Reading Is Fundamental, a charity that will receive a contribution from the show after his time as guest host ends.
"They provide thousands of books to children every year," Burton said of the organization's work. "In most instances, these kids are getting their own books for the very first time."
You can watch LeVar on "Jeopardy!" July 26 to 30 at 7 pm EST on ABC!
We're rooting for you, LeVar!
Photo Credit: LeVar Burton/Twitter