LeVar Burton's 'Jeopardy!' Petition Surpasses 200K Signatures as Fans Plead for Him to Host

An online petition directed at Sony Pictures Entertainment to make actor and director LeVar Burton the next host of Jeopardy! has just surpassed 200,000 signatures.

The show is seeking a new permanent host to succeed Alex Trebek, who died November 8, 2020, after hosting Jeopardy! since 1984. The show has since featured a range of celebrity guest hosts.

"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!," the petition's statement on Change.org, written by Burton fan Joshua Sanders, reads. The petition was started last November.

Burton acknowledged the petition in a Monday tweet that expressed his apparent interest in the job.

"Leaving this here in the event the powers that be are listening...," Burton wrote, with a link to the petition. His post garnered more than 40,000 likes and 11,000 retweets.

Leaving this here in the event the powers that be are listening... https://t.co/xB3x8atDCv

— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) April 6, 2021

"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," the petition statement says.

Born in Landstuhl, Germany, Burton, 64, had his first starring role in ABC's Roots as the character Kunta Kinte, a fictional African slave. The miniseries aired in 1977 and won numerous awards, including a Golden Globe.

He is also well known from his role as Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation, which aired from 1987 to 1994. He continued in the role in such films as Star Trek: Generations in 1994 up until the character's final movie appearance in Star Trek: Nemesis, released in 2002. He hosted the PBS children's series Reading Rainbow for 23 years.

Following Trebek's death, Sony Pictures Entertainment told Newsweek that the company did not want to share details at that time about who the next host would be.

"When I started this, I never dreamed it would get this kind of response," Sanders wrote Thursday in a petition update. "Now we're over 200,000 folks showing their love for LeVar; this might actually get the right peoples' attention! Keep sharing, friends!"

Newsweek reached out to Sony Pictures Entertainment for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

LeVar Burton speaks at a ceremony
LeVar Burton speaks at the TCL Chinese Theatre on January 13, 2020. Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images