The show announced Wednesday that Burton, best known for his years as host of children's show Reading Rainbow and as an actor on Roots and Star Trek, would be part of this season's final lineup of guest hosts. In addition to Burton, the slate includes Good Morning America anchors Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos, CNBC financial analyst David Faber and sportscaster Joe Buck. This last group will host for one week each, and Burton's episodes are scheduled to air July 26-30.
Burton was ecstatic about the news, and he thanked fans for their "passionate support."
"I am overjoyed, excited, and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy!, and will do my utmost best to live up to your faith [sic] in me," he pledged. "YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE!"
They were pretty pumped too.
Calls for Burton to stand behind the podium reached fever pitch in recent weeks, as a Change.org petition to "make him the next host" amassed more than 246,000 signatures. Burton added to the excitement when he confirmed his interest in the job. In fact, he said he wants to become the permanent host of Jeopardy! — something it needs following the November death of the beloved Alex Trebek, who had hosted the quiz show since it debuted in its current form in 1984.
For now, Burton is one of many potential permanent hosts, just like journalist Katie Couric, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and other celebrities. Current episodes feature CNN's Anderson Cooper at the helm.
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