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'No matter the outcome, I've won' | LeVar Burton reacts to 'Jeopardy' host reports

Variety reported Thursday that 'Jeopardy!' was nearing a decision on its new host and executive producer Mike Richards is the front-runner.
Credit: AP
This image provided by Jeopardy Productions, Inc. shows "Jeopardy!" guest host LeVar Burton on the set of the game show. (Carol Kaelson/Jeopardy Productions, Inc. via AP)

WASHINGTON — "Jeopardy!" may be nearing a decision on who will replace Alex Trebek as the host of the iconic gameshow, according to multiple reports.

Both Deadline and Variety are reporting that the front runner is an inside hire - Mike Richards, the current executive producer of both "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune." 

The search for Trebek's successor has gone on for months, while the show got by with celebrity guest hosts, some of whom were not shy about telling the public they wanted the full-time gig. One of those guest hosts was LeVar Burton, host of "Reading Rainbow" and to many, a fan-favorite for the permanent slot.

Burton guest hosted a week of shows which aired from July 26 through July 30, a process which he told the Associated Press was "Scary. Really, really, really scary. Did I mention it was scary?"

Fans have been behind him since the search started. A Change.org petition pushing for him to be the next host garnered more than 260,000 signatures so far.

On Thursday, Burton tweeted his feelings about the news that the search may soon be coming to an end.

"I've said many times over these past weeks that no matter the outcome, I've won," Burton said. He went on to thank fans for their continued jockeying for him. "The outpouring of love and support from family, friends and fans alike has been incredible." 

When asked in July how confident Burton was that he'd eventually get the permanent role, he told the Associated Press that he's always optimistic that everything will work out in the end. "Look, if I don’t get this job, will it be devastating to me? No," he said. "I mean, it will hurt, I’ll be disappointed. And I’ll be fine, because what I know about my life is that which is supposed to be for me comes my way. And that which is not mine, doesn’t."

A Sony Pictures spokesman told Variety that discussions about the hosting role remain ongoing with several possible candidates. 

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