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Updated Odds to Be Next Host of Jeopardy! – LeVar Burton Now Favored Over Ken Jennings

JJ De La Torre

by JJ De La Torre in Entertainment

Updated Apr 26, 2021 · 10:00 AM PDT

Jeopardy! Updated Odds - LeVar Burton & Ken Jennings
LeVar Burton attends the 70th National Book Awards ceremony in New York on Nov. 20, 2019. Burton will serve as guest host on the game show "Jeopardy!" (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP, File)
  • Producers are still deciding who will be the next host of fan favorite television show Jeopardy!
  • The brainy game show has featured a rotation of guest hosts since legendary host Alex Trebek passed away last fall
  • See below for updated odds and best picks for Jeopardy!‘s next full-time host

Nearly six months since the untimely passing of beloved game show host Alex Trebek, and Jeopardy! still doesn’t have a full-time host.

Naturally, after 36 years running the program, Trebek has left some big shoes to fill. The decision for Trebek’s successor is no small decision. Sony Pictures Entertainment, owners of the program, have a tough decision on their hands.

For now, Jeopardy! still has a rotation of temporary replacement hosts still in effect until the end of season 37. With this coverage lasting through August, there’s still some time to figure out who should host Jeopardy! permanently.

Odds to Be Next Full Time Host of Jeopardy!

Person Odds
LeVar Burton +150
Ken Jennings +250
Aaron Rodgers +500
Mike Richards +1000
Alex Faust +1200
Mayim Bialik +1400
Anderson Cooper +1800
Bill Whitaker +2000
Sanjay Gupta +2000
Savannah Guthrie +3000

All odds as of April 26th

Behind the Podium – A Who’s Who

2021’s Jeopardy! has been historic. Since Trebek passed, contestants and audiences have experienced over a dozen rotating guest hosts. Whether they appeared just for fun or as a test drive for the permanent gig, it’s been interesting to see different styles and personalities coming to life behind the podium.

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First, prior all-star Jeopardy! contestant Ken Jennings began hosting as the initial post-Trebek guest host. Since then, executive producer Mike Richards, NFL star Aaron Rodgers, and former Blossom star Mayim Bialik have all had their shot.

Additionally, notable television stars Katie Couric, Savannah Guthrie, Bill Whitaker, Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Anderson Cooper have all had their turns offering clues to contestants. More recently, news and talk show personalities George Stephanopoulos and Roberts have been slated to host Jeopardy! in the interim, along with Reading Rainbow star LeVar Burton, among others.

Burton’s Campaign

With so many options, the next host is not only confusing, it’s overwhelming. But one star sticks out, thanks to a recent campaign gunning for the gig. Initially, LeVar Burton wasn’t in line at all for Jeopardy!— even in a guest host capacity. But after over 250,000 fans signed a petition, Burton was booked to host for an upcoming week-long stint this July.

“I am overjoyed, excited, and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy!” Burton said on his Twitter. Fans backed the numbers, but Burton himself had expressed interest in the hosting gig. Via interviews and social media, Burton has had his eyes on the host role since Trebek announced years ago he may be leaving the program.

With this recent update, Burton has slid into first place odds-wise, at +150. When odds opened, Ken Jennings was the heavy favorite. And although he remained the ongoing favorite, Burton has overtaken Jennings at this point. The legendary Jeopardy! contestant was the long-running favorite since odds opened in November right after Trebek passed.

A Future Unjeopardized

With Burton’s upcoming guest stint, fans and Burton himself will have a taste of what happens when the voice Reading Rainbow asks guests to pose their answers in the form of a question. But long-term, Jeopardy!‘s future is still unknown.

However, at least fans won’t have to wait much longer for a decision. Producers of Jeopardy! have said they intend to name a permanent host by the time the next season starts this fall.

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Executive producer Mike Richards– who hosted some episodes himself recently– isn’t exactly the best choice. Mixing front of the camera charisma with back-end production is not just tricky but full-on messy. Richards as host could be a logical nightmare and turn off viewers.

For longshot bets, Anderson Cooper is a worthy contender at +1800 in the updated Jeopardy! odds. He’s charming and already beloved. But nobody has the twinkle and passion LeVar Burton has brought to this competition. He’s the one to beat.

Pick: LeVar Burton (+150)

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