LeVar Burton Gets A Job As Host... But Not For 'Jeopardy'
By Dave Basner
December 17, 2021
In the wake of Alex Trebek's passing, many Jeopardy viewers were hopeful that actor LeVar Burton would be chosen to replace the long-time host, but producers went in a different direction and the star of Reading Rainbow didn't get the job. However, Burton has just been hired for another high-profile hosting gig - the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Following the announcement, Burton spoke with the Associated Press, revealing that when the offer was made, he immediately said yes. LeVar, who describes himself as "an above-average but hardly distinguished speller," explained what he hopes to do in the position, stating, "Helping to tell the stories of these kids, that's something that I know I can bring to the proceedings."
He went on to say, "I want to normalize the pursuit of knowledge in this culture. That wouldn't be a bad thing, would it? Not just making stuff up and calling it a fact. Achievement through knowledge, scholarship, putting in the work to gain the reward."
While LeVar's exact duties as host haven't yet been determined, it comes at a time of change for the bee. For the first time in 27 years, it won't air on ESPN, instead, it will stream online and air on the Scripps-owned networks ION and Bounce.
Last year's bee was cancelled and this year it was mostly virtual. The 2022 bee is scheduled for June 2nd and according to organizers the hope is to have it entirely in person, with over 200 spellers taking part.