LeVar Burton is set to host his own game show as Trivial Pursuit is being formatted for television. According to Variety, the 64-year-old is hosting the upcoming series as part of a deal between eOne, which is owned by Hasbro, and Burton’s LeVar Burton Entertainment (LBE). He will also produce the show alongside LBE’s Sangita Patel and Tara Long and Geno McDermott from eOne.
“LeVar Burton has been an iconic member of American pop culture for decades from Roots to Reading Rainbow to Star Trek and beyond,” said Long, president of global unscripted television for eOne. “His love for intellectual curiosity paired with his ability to connect with audiences worldwide make him the perfect partner to bring Hasbro’s beloved trivia game to households in a new and exciting way.”
The news comes after Burton was passed as permanent host of Jeopardy after Alex Trebek’s death despite fan pleas. Petitions were launched to get him the job as he joined the show’s list of rotating guest hosts. The petition earned over 200,000 signatures.
“Even if nothing comes from it, I can’t tell how much I appreciate all y’alls love and support,” he said of the petition at the time.
After his time as guest host, the actor shared more on his experience during an interview on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah in September.
“The crazy thing is that when you set your sights on something…they say be careful of what you wish for, because what I found out is that it wasn’t the thing that I wanted after all,” Burton told the late-night host. “What I wanted was to compete. I mean, I wanted the job, right, but then, when I didn’t get it, it was, like ‘Well, OK, what’s next?’”
The organizer of the digital movement, Johsua Sanders issued an update to followers following the Trivial Pursuit news.
“Thank you one and all for adding your voices over the last year to this petition in support of LeVar Burton! We can never know for certain, but I truly believe that the sheer numbers we were able to put up for this petition along with the subsequent response in the media led to the Jeopardy producers’ decision to audition Mr. Burton. And how could they not after all of this? Alas, as we all know by now, it was not meant to be. I know how disappointing it was to legions of LeVar’s fans (myself included) to see him passed over for the big podium,” reads the landing page.
“Perhaps the Jeopardy podium was never a good fit for the legacy of LeVar Burton in the first place; perhaps a new, more fitting, seat for his legacy was in order all along!”