LeVar Burton “Humiliated” After Being Denied As Jeopardy! Host06/01/2022
LeVar Burton was the fan favorite to take over hosting responsibilities on Jeopardy! and he’s still resentful that the show’s producers decided to give him a pass. The Reading Rainbow star called the experience a “very public defeat” that left him “not just disappointed, but wrecked.”
Following the death of Alex Trebek in 2020, a slew of possible replacements were named to take over the role that he had filled on the game show for 37-years.
Ken Jennings, Mike Richards, and Mayim Bialik quickly became the frontrunners to replace Trebek, but Burton made the show’s producers aware that he too wanted to be considered for the role.
The Star Trek: The Next Generation alum finally received a chance to showcase his hosting chops after a petition calling on the show’s producers to select him caught fire.
Unfortunately, during his 4-day hosting stint, the show’s ratings plunged—though not through any fault of Burton—but due to tapering audience curiosity and forced viewership competition with NBC’s coverage of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
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Jeopardy! producers passed on Burton and instead hired The Big Bang Theory actress Mayim Bialik who co-hosts the show with Ken Jennings.
“Experiencing a very public defeat, humiliation, if you will, was sobering,” Burton told Christian Bryant during an interview with Newsy’s In the Loop podcast. “And what I learned from the experience, really, is that it reinforced my belief that everything happens for a reason, even if you cannot discern the reason in the moment.
He added: “In the fullness of time, everything will be revealed. And like I said, it was I think in that first week of feeling really sort of not just disappointed, but wrecked. I didn’t expect that I would not be their choice for host.”
The actor is still hard at work, and he’s set to host the 2022 Scripps Spelling Bee, something he says would have never happened had he ended up getting the job.
“The doors have been opened. Windows have been opened. The phone hasn’t stopped ringing, and I never would have experienced those things that I’m experiencing, like hosting the Scripps Spelling Bee, had I gotten that job,” Burton stated.
Source: New York Post, EntertainmentWeekly
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