During the final week of July, the former Reading Rainbow host Levar Burton, filled in as a guest host for Jeopardy!, the iconic game show. Even after overwhelming support from fans, on Wednesday (August 5) evening, it was announced that the show’s executive producer Mike Richards – not Burton – was in advanced negotiations with Sony Pictures Television to replace the late Alex Trebek.
The deal hasn’t officially been finalized, and other candidates are reportedly in the running, but Richards is “clearly the front-runner,” according to Jeopardy! sources who spoke with Variety. Richards had previously hosted Divided and The Pyramid, two other series on the Game Show Network, as well as several reality shows.
Despite Richards’ resume, that news did not go over well with Burton fans, who had campaigned aggressively to get him onto the hit game show, only to watch him get passed over. A social media campaign to get Burton named as a permanent became widely popular.
Below, are some reactions from Twitter:
However, Lavar Burton’s short stint as a guest host on Jeopardy! did assist him in earning a nice amount of money for his charity of choice, Reading Is Fundamental. Despite only hosting for a week, the children’s literacy organization received almost $205,000 due to Burton’s efforts.
As for his feelings on the matter, Burton shared that no matter where the chips may fall, he still feels like a winner. “I have said many times over these past weeks that no matter the outcome, I’ve won,” he tweeted. “The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and fans alike has been incredible! If love is the ultimate blessing and I believe that it is, I am truly blessed beyond measure.”