Set phasers to study. Deadline reports that The CW is finalizing a deal with LeVar Burton to make the Star Trek: The Next Generation actor the host of a new game show, Trivial Pursuit. Burton is also on board to executive produce the series.
LeVar Burton may have lost the Jeopardy! hosting job, but instead, he’s in charge of The CW’s Trivial Pursuit.
LeVar Burton has his fair share of hosting experience. He spent a couple of decades hosting Reading Rainbow, then became a successful guest host on Jeopardy! after the passing of Alex Trebek. Burton was a contender for the full-time position on Jeopardy!, but ultimately lost the gig to Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik.
After what he called the “humiliation” of losing the Jeopardy! job, LeVar Burton spoke on The Daily Show about a desire to find the perfect game show hosting opportunity. Now, it seems that chance has arrived.
Heather Olander, The CW’s unscripted chief, hinted earlier this year that the network was in search of a game show with brand recognition. According to her, launching a game show from scratch is an expensive endeavor on the marketing front; with a well-known name like Trivial Pursuit, there is less of a hill to climb.
With the game show, LeVar Burton will join an ever-growing slate of unscripted shows on The CW. The network has undergone a major strategic shift in the past year, concluding many of its scripted series, including Riverdale and the Arrowverse titles, in favor of more cost-effective reality TV projects.
The CW is replacing fan-favorite shows with low-budget reality TV and game shows, but if LeVar Burton gets to be a host, it might be worth it.
The timing of the move works out for the network as the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes continue to grind scripted film and television to a halt. No production timeline for Trivial Pursuit has yet been reported as the deal is reportedly still in the works.
Trivial Pursuit comes to the CW through eOne and LeVar Burton Entertainment. It is a property of Hasbro, which recently sold eOne to Lionsgate.
LeVar Burton’s Successful 2023
2023 has been a big year for LeVar Burton. In addition to making forward progress on his game show hosting career, he made a triumphant return to Star Fleet in season 3 of Picard.
Burton boarded the Enterprise once again along with the rest of the main cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation and the reunion was a major crowd-pleaser. After two lackluster seasons, season 3 provided what many Star Trek fans said was what they had always wanted from Picard. The finale season earned the series its best marks by far from critics and audiences.
LeVar Burton also appeared in episodes of the Starz series Blindspotting earlier this year, rounding out the cast of the show’s sophomore season. It seems that Trivial Pursuit may be the next stop for Burton.
Trivial Pursuit first appeared on store shelves in 1981. It was created by Chris Haney after he found that his copy of Scrabble was missing tiles. Since then, over 100 variations of the game have been released.
Television versions have been attempted before, once in the early 90s, and again in the late 2000s. Now, LeVar Burton will attempt to create the definitive television version of Trivial Pursuit and add yet another hit to his list of iconic credits.