Who needs ‘Jeopardy!’ anyway? LeVar Burton named Rose Parade grand marshal
After getting snubbed on the messy search for the next host of “Jeopardy!,” LeVar Burton is finally getting his flowers.
On Tuesday, the Tournament of Roses named the beloved actor and TV host grand marshal of the 2022 Rose Parade, which will take place in Pasadena on Jan. 1, per New Year’s Day tradition.
While making the announcement this week, Tournament of Roses President Bob Miller showered Burton with praise.
“LeVar Burton perfectly epitomizes this year’s theme,” Miller said. “The 2022 theme is ‘Dream. Believe. Achieve.’ and celebrates education and the determination of those who travel the path from dream to reality.”
Fans of actor LeVar Burton are vowing to boycott ‘Jeopardy!’ after executive producer Mike Richards and actor Mayim Bialik were named new hosts.
“I am thrilled to named Grand Marshall of the Tournament of Roses Parade,” Burton tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “Thank you Tournament of Roses for this high honor!”
In addition to taking up the historic mantle of Rose Parade grand marshal, Burton will also participate in pre-game events for the 108th Rose Bowl college football game.
The forthcoming holiday spectacular will be held in person after last year’s show was canceled — and replaced with a virtual celebration — for the first time in 75 years due to safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grand reveal comes months after the Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning star of “Reading Rainbow” served as one of several rotating guest hosts of “Jeopardy!” amid the quiz show’s ongoing quest to replace the late Alex Trebek
“Good Morning America” co-anchors Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos and Fox sportscaster Joe Buck will also fill in as “Jeopardy!” guest hosts.
Though the “Roots” and “Star Trek” alum was a fan-favorite candidate for the permanent gig, Sony Pictures Television ultimately selected former “Jeopardy!” executive producer Mike Richards for the coveted position.
But after past wrongful termination lawsuits and sexist remarks came back to haunt him, Richards was soon dismissed as both host and executive producer of the treasured TV institution.
Of course, Richards’ exit reignited the social-media campaign to cast Burton in the role. But Burton has since declared he is no longer interested in stepping behind the famed studio lectern.
Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings, who both had the ‘Jeopardy!’ helm before now-ousted Mike Richards was named host, will swap weeks through year’s end.
“The crazy thing is that when you set your sights on something … what I found out is that it wasn’t the thing that I wanted after all,” Burton told “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah last month. “What I wanted was to compete. I mean, I wanted the job, right, but then, when I didn’t get it, it was, like ‘Well, OK, what’s next?’
“The opportunities that have come my way as a result of not getting that gig, I couldn’t have dreamt it up. If you had given me a pen and paper and said, ‘Well, so what do you want this to really look like?’ If it doesn’t include ‘Jeopardy!,’ I wouldn’t have been this generous to myself.”
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