So, it appears Jeopardy! game show execs were playing a real game with LeVar Burton and all of our emotions.
Jeopardy! is still scrambling to find a full-time host to properly succeed Alex Trebek, as executive producer Mike Richards’ single day with the gig ended with him resigning in shame. But as the show once again picks up its search we’re learning more about how it made that disastrous first pick of Richards.
Much of the fan outcry around the situation is about Richards’ past, yes, but also that LeVar Burton didn’t get a fair shake at the job. And while some of that is subjective, a report indicates that Burton was never really an option for the job regardless of his performance. According to a TMZ report, not only did Burton not get an offer for a deal, as was rumored in recent weeks, he was not seen as the “right fit” for the full-time role after his less-than-stellar week at the podium.
Production sources tell us … Sony Studios execs loved the “Reading Rainbow” star as a guest host, but they didn’t think he was the right fit for the daily syndicated quiz show … and the same can be said about almost all the other guest hosts.
Our sources say Mayim and Mike were the ONLY guest hosts who had talks with Sony about hosting full-time … so LeVar getting snubbed wasn’t personal, and he wasn’t alone.
However, we’re told Sony did speak with LeVar about other projects outside of the “Jeopardy!” brand … and those opportunities are still a possibility.
As we’ve written here before, there are a lot of reasons why Burton wasn’t particularly great. He also got a single day to tape, and there’s rumblings Richards was involved in what the focus groups saw that largely contributed to the show making its first pick. But it’s certainly interesting to see that Sony apparently “loved” Burton even if he was never really an option for Jeopardy! in their eyes.
LeVar Burton’s contributions to Black culture are undeniable. He deserves all his flowers.