Poll finds ‘Jeopardy!’ fans overwhelmingly wanted LeVar Burton, not Mike Richards to host

Entertainment

NEW YORK – APRIL 19: LeVar Burton joins CBS This Morning Co-Hosts Gayle King and Anthony Mason as Guest Host while Tony Dokoupil is on Parental leave, May 19, Live from the Broadcast Center in NY. Pictured: LeVar Burton. (Photo by Clifton Prescod/CBS via Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – If it was up to “Jeopardy!” viewers, LeVar Burton would have been chosen to succeed Alex Trebek as the game show’s host, a new poll found.

The 64-year-old “Star Trek” actor received 14% of the votes, with just 3% throwing their support behind new host Mike Richards, Morning Consult found. In second place was actress Mayim Bialik with 13%.

Last week Sony Pictures Television announced that Richards, the show’s executive producer, would become the new host, with Bialik taking the over during primetime and spin-off “Jeopardy!” specials, including the upcoming “Jeopardy! National College Championship.”

The decision came after months of try outs by well known guest hosts, from legendary contestant Ken Jennings to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Morning Consult poll found that 12% backed Jennings to be the next host.

Burton, who captured millions of children’s hearts as the longtime host of “Reading Rainbow,” got a shot at the job after more than 260,000 hopeful fans signed a petition to make him the new host of “Jeopardy!” The show’s ratings sagged during his try-out period, however, which coincided with the start of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

While Richards may not be as well known as many of the hosts who tried out, he’s not new to the lead role. His resume includes hosting “The Pyramid” and “Beauty and the Geek,” as well as serving as executive producer of “The Price Is Right” and “Let’s Make a Deal.”

Alex Trebek hosted “Jeopardy!” for more than 36 years before his death in November at age 80 following a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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