LeVar Burton fans want the TV personality to be the next host of Jeopardy!, following in the footsteps of the legendary Alex Trebek, who died last week.
Earlier this week, fans created a Change.org petition lobbying for Burton, the beloved host of PBS' Reading Rainbow, to take over as the lead of ABC's long-running game show. As of Friday, the petition had over 62,000 signatures.
"Between hosting 21 seasons of the educational Reading Rainbow, playing the brainiac engineer Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: the Next Generation, and filling the roll of Kunta Kinte in the ever important mini-series Roots, LeVar Burton has inspired and shaped the minds of several generations of trivia-loving nerds," states the petition.
It continues, "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!"
Burton, 63, reacted to the news in a series of tweets on Thursday, writing, "Even if nothing comes from it, I can't tell how much how I appreciate all y'alls love and support!"
"Of course while I'm very flattered by the petition, my thoughts are definitely with Alex Trebeck's [sic] family and his millions of fans and the devastating loss of this irreplaceable legend. #LongLiveAlex," he added in a follow-up tweet.
Trebek died on Sunday at the age of 80, over a year after he was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in March 2019. He had hosted Jeopardy! for more than 30 years, and the legendary TV host previously said that he had already "rehearsed" what his final days on set would be like.
"I've kind of, in my mind, rehearsed it already, and what I would do on that day is tell the director, 'Time the show down to leave me 30 seconds at the end. That's all I want,'" he said in January during ABC's What Is Jeopardy? special.
"And I will say my goodbyes and I will tell people: 'Don't ask me who's going to replace me because I have no say whatsoever. But I'm sure that if you give them the same love and attention and respect that you have shown me … then they will be a success and the show will continue being a success.'"
New episodes of Jeopardy! featuring Trebek will continue to air through Dec. 25. His final day in the studio was Oct. 29 — just 10 days before his death.
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