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LeVar Burton fans, your prayers have been answered. It may not host Peril!but his game show career is just beginning.
Burton’s LeVar Burton Entertainment has teamed up with Entertainment One (eOne), a studio owned by gaming company Hasbro, to turn beloved board game Trivial Pursuit into a game show, eOne announced in a Press release Tuesday. Burton is expected to host and serve as co-executive producer, the statement said.
“Trivial Pursuit is one of the best-known brands in gaming. I’m thrilled to have partnered with Hasbro and eOne to bring this beloved game to market as a premium show for television,” said Burton said in Tuesday’s statement.
Burton, who has become a beloved pop culture icon due to his roles on shows like Reading Rainbow and Star Trek: The Next Generationwas among those who auditioned to host Peril! after the death of longtime host Alex Trebek. Despite overwhelming support on social media, Burton was ultimately not cast.
Then-executive producer Mike Richards landed the role, but quit (and was fired as executive producer) following controversy surrounding offensive statements he made during a podcast years earlier, according to USA today. Former contestant Ken Jennings and actress Mayim Bialik were then tapped to host the show for the remainder of 2021.
But for Burton, missing out on being part of the Peril! inheritance may have been a blessing in disguise.
“What’s crazy is when you aim for something, you know, they say be careful what you wish for, because what I found out was that wasn’t what I wanted after all,” Burton said during a interview with The daily show in September. “What I wanted was to compete. I mean, I wanted the job, but when I didn’t get it, it was like, ‘Well, OK, what next?’ And so, the opportunities that came my way because I didn’t get that gig, I couldn’t have imagined.”
It’s unclear which network will eventually air Burton’s new show, or exactly when it will air. Meanwhile, Burton also confirmed the news via his Twitter account on Tuesday, sharing a Variety item and writing“Hey y’all, it’s happening!”
It’s a move that Burton’s partners also seem optimistic about.
“LeVar Burton has been an iconic member of American pop culture for decades. Roots at reading rainbow at star trek and beyond,” Tara Long, president of global unscripted television for eOne and executive producer of new show Trivial Pursuit, said in Tuesday’s release. “His love for intellectual curiosity coupled with his ability to connect with audiences around the world make him the ideal partner. to bring Hasbro’s beloved trivia game to households in a new and exciting way.”