LeVar Burton fans, your prayers have been answered. He may not be hosting Jeopardy!, but his game show career seems to be just getting started.
Burton’s LeVar Burton Entertainment has partnered with Entertainment One (eOne), a studio owned by game company Hasbro, to turn the beloved board game Trivial Pursuit into a televised game show, eOne announced in a press release Tuesday. Burton is slated to host, as well as serve as co-executive producer, the release states.
“Trivial Pursuit is one of the best-known brands in the gaming universe. I am thrilled to have partnered with Hasbro and eOne to bring this beloved game to market as a premium show for television,” Burton said in Tuesday’s release.
Burton, who’s become a beloved pop culture icon due to his roles in shows like Reading Rainbow and Star Trek: The Next Generation, was among those who auditioned to host Jeopardy! following the death of long-time host Alex Trebek. Despite abundant support on social media, Burton was ultimately not chosen.
The show’s then-executive producer Mike Richards nabbed the role, but stepped down (and was fired as executive producer) following controversy surrounding offensive statements he’d made during a podcast years earlier, according to USA Today. Former contestant Ken Jennings and actress Mayim Bialik were then tapped to host the show for the remainder of 2021.
But for Burton, missing out on being a part of the Jeopardy! legacy may have been a blessing in disguise.
“The crazy thing is that when you set your sights on something, you know, 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 said during an interview with The Daily Show in September. “What I wanted was to compete. I mean, I wanted the job, but then when I didn’t get it, it was like, ‘Well, OK, what’s next?’ And so, the opportunities that have come my way as a result of not getting that gig, I couldn’t have dreamt it up.”
It’s unclear what network will ultimately air Burton’s new show, or exactly when it will premiere. In the meantime, Burton also confirmed the news via his Twitter account on Tuesday, sharing a Variety article and writing, “Hey y’all, this is happening!”
It’s a move that Burton’s partners seem optimistic about as well.
“LeVar Burton has been an iconic member of American pop culture for decades from Roots to Reading Rainbow to Star Trek and beyond,” Tara Long, president of global unscripted television for eOne and an executive producer of the new Trivial Pursuit show, said in Tuesday’s release. “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.”
Who will be hosting a new Trivial Pursuit game show? LeVar Burton! /p>