Actor LeVar Burton’s name continues to be a talking point for fans who are disappointed he did not land a permanent hosting gig on “Jeopardy!”
The latest source of disgruntlement comes from reports that Burton’s poor ratings during his week as guest host, July 26–30, were shockingly disappointing. In fact, Burton’s ratings were the lowest of the months-long string of celebrity guests hosts who were equally chomping at the bit to stand behind the podium of former host Alex Trebek.
The “Roots” actor pulled in a 4.4 audience share — meaning 4 percent of viewers participating in Nielsen Media Research surveys — for his week; the highest rating went to former “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings, whose ratings hit as high as 6.1 during his six weeks hosting that began in January. However, Burton’s relatively low ratings cannot solely be summed up as viewers simply not wanting to tune in; he also was competing against Tokyo Olympics coverage, which pulled viewers away as well and often preempted the show from its usual time in many markets to a much later viewing time.
But regardless of the numbers, fans who were rooting for Burton to land the permanent gig are largely uninterested in what the varying factors behind executives’ decision might have been.
Show executives ultimately settled on two hosts — which shocked viewers — “Jeopardy!” executive producer Mike Richards and “The Big Bang Theory” actress Mayim Bialik.
While fans may still be licking their wounds, Burton has put on a gracious face and moved on with his life. Ahead of the official news regarding show hosts, Burton reassured his loyal following that he had already won because of the outpouring of love and support extended to him.
Plus, who know’s what is in the works since filmmaker Ava DuVernay expressed feverish excitement in creating a new show for Burton to serve as host. “Jeopardy!” viewers who have sworn they won’t be tuning in again after this ordeal already have a slew of ideas to get their favorite candidate back on television.