Nearly 200,000 sign petition to make LeVar Burton next ‘Jeopardy!’ host, and numbers are growing

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(NEXSTAR) – LeVar Burton captured millions of children’s hearts as the longtime host of “Reading Rainbow,” and now he’s gotten over 180,000 signatures in an online petition aiming to secure him a spot as the host of another popular show.

As of Thursday morning, nearly 200,000 people had signed a petition on Change.org that seeks to get Burton the top job at “Jeopardy!”

The post was left vacant last year when the beloved host who was synonymous with the gameshow, Alex Trebek, died of cancer.

Since his death, a roster of celebrity hosts have filled Trebek’s very large shoes, including Katie Couric, Dr. Oz and Aaron Rodgers.

Burton, who has appeared in “Roots” and “Star Trek,” supports the petition himself.

As the petition gained momentum in recent days, it grabbed the attention of “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert:

Burton’s fans and petition signers are also speaking out to give the “powers that be” a nudge toward hiring the “Reading Rainbow” host.

“For my entire life LeVar Burton has been a beacon of wisdom, literacy, and humanity. I can think of no better successor to the late Alex Trebek,” one wrote.

Another said: “Now that I’ve seen this, I can’t think of any other host candidate. Burton probably taught Jeopardy! contestants how to read as children and would bring the same gentle gravitas as the incomparable Trebek.”

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