The writing was pretty much on the wall for LeVar Burton upon the announcement from Sony Pictures Television to initially pick Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik. With Richards' controversy stemming from his stint on The Price is Right as well as offensive podcast comments, he was subsequently ousted from the game show altogether not only as host but also as executive producer. Even with the second-chance opportunity for fans to hit up Sony TV again to push for Burton to get Richards' spot, the studio went with former champion & first guest host Ken Jennings to share hosting duties with the Call Me Kat and Big Bang Theory star for at least the remainder of the year. Now, the Reading Rainbow host is closing the book on hosting Jeopardy!, saying "Enough is enough" during a conversation with Trevor Noah on The Daily Show.
"You know, we did a Kickstarter several years ago," Burton explained. "I discovered then that the generation of adults now, who grew up on 'Reading Rainbow,' they were down with whatever it is I wanted to do, and the same was true with this 'Jeopardy!' thing. I made it public that I wanted it for myself, that it made sense to me, and they were all about it. It made as much sense to them as it did to me. And, so, they wanted it for me as much as I wanted it."
The Star Trek: The Next Generation actor learned something valuable after finding out he didn't get the job. "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," he said. "What I wanted was to compete. I mean, I wanted the job, right, but then, when I didn't get it, it was, like, well, okay, 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. If you had given me a pen and paper and said, well, so what do you want this to really look like? If it doesn't include 'Jeopardy!' I wouldn't have been this generous to myself."
Burton remains humble about having the opportunity to host during the summer and the doors elsewhere it may have opened for him. "I never thought about hosting any other game show outside of 'Jeopardy!' But now, they went in a different direction with their show, which is their right, and now I'm thinking, well, it does kind of make sense, let me see what I can do. So we're trying to figure out what the right game show for LeVar Burton would be." As far as getting caught in the middle of fan strife and their grievances with Sony, Burton offered some context about what he was going through recalling a conversation he had over Twitter (and let's just say that folks should remember that you never know who's reading your tweets.