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LeVar Burton Implies Jeopardy! EP Mike Richards Lied to Him

"If I were to do it all over again, I wouldn't trust him," says the fan-favorite guest host (without naming any names).
  • LeVar Burton hosts Jeopardy!. (Photo: NBC)
    LeVar Burton hosts Jeopardy!. (Photo: NBC)

    LeVar Burton "wouldn't trust" Jeopardy!'s executive producer if he had to do it all again.

    During a fan Q&A this weekend at Rose City Comic Con, the Reading Rainbow host got real about his experience with the long-running quiz show. As a fan-favorite guest host of Jeopardy! following the death of long-time presenter Alex Trebek, Burton seemed like the right man for the job. Unfortunately, however, the position went to executive producer Mike Richards - a move Burton says he should have seen coming.

    "I'll always bet on myself and given the opportunity to do it all over again, I would," he said. "Well, first I would not believe the executive producer when he told me twice that he was not interested in the job, his job was to find someone to do the job. That's the guy who gave himself the job."

    Richards' stint as host was short-lived, as he stepped down just nine days after beginning his run when offensive comments he'd made on a 2013 podcast resurfaced. "So if I were to do it all over again, I wouldn’t trust him," Burton continued. "But I would insist on knowing that this was a real audition for the job because that’s what I thought I was asking for."

    "Jeopardy! hired the hosts that they wanted so it’s all good," Burton concluded. Despite his disappointment with how things worked out, Burton "loved every minute" of his time as guest host - and has something else in the works. "In 2023, I’ll be coming out with a game show that I’ve partnered with Hasbro on with a little I.P. called Trivial Pursuit," said Burton. "We’ve developed what I think is a really awesome game, and I can’t wait to share it with y’all."

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    Jade Budowski is a freelance writer with a knack for ruining punchlines and harboring dad-aged celebrity crushes. She was previously a reporter/producer at Decider and is a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow her on Twitter: @jadebudowski.

    TOPICS: LeVar Burton, Jeopardy!, Mike Richards