LeVar Burton was one of the many celebrities who guest-hosted Jeopardy! following the death of its longtime presenter Alex Trebek. It was Burton’s dream, to become the game show’s new permanent host, and although he didn’t get the job, he’s pleased with how things worked out in the end.
LeVar Burton on his Jeopardy! dream letdown
Burton sounded philosophical when asked about the missed opportunity in an interview with People.
“Your failures are more important than your successes because you learn more from them,” said the actor. “Everything happens for a reason, and it’s all purposeful and perfect. So where’s the perfection in ‘I didn’t get what I wanted’? I discovered that [it] wasn’t supposed to be mine, but the process that I went through led me to exactly where I needed to be.”
In August 2021, Jeopardy!’s executive producer Mike Richards was announced as the new host. But three weeks later, Richards stepped down as the show’s host after sexist and other offensive remarks he made on his podcast several years ago resurfaced. Since then, history-making former contestant Ken Jennings and The Big Bang Theory actress Mayim Bialik have replaced him as rotating permanent hosts.
Burton realized that he probably wouldn’t find himself in “absolute bliss” today if he became the permanent host of the daily quiz show. And apparently, the “absolute bliss” he was referring to is being able to reprise his role as Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Geordi La Forge, for the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard.
LeVar Burton on returning to Star Trek
Burton, 66, told People that coming back to the beloved sci-fi franchise for the first time since 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis has an extra layer of thrill, as he’s got the chance to work alongside his 28-year-old daughter, Mica.
Mica plays ensign Alandra La Forge in the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard. Alandra is one of Geordi’s two daughters introduced in the final season of Picard. The other one is ensign Sidney La Forge, who is portrayed by actress Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut.
Of course, Burton’s Star Trek comeback has given him the opportunity to reunite with his Star Trek: The Next Generation castmates Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, and Marina Sirtis, who are all like family to him.
“Mica’s grown up with them all,” Burton told People before noting that Spiner served as best man at his 1992 wedding, while Dorn, Frakes, and Stewart were all groomsmen. “We have spent so much of our lives with each other.”
As for what it was like to be back on set with the original crew, Burton said, “[It] effortless — like the old days.”
Mica, meanwhile, told People that working with her father and her “aunts and uncles” has been a “whirlwind.” Surprisingly, despite her joy over joining the Star Trek universe, the actress admitted that she wasn’t a fan of the property during her younger years.
“I didn’t want to be ‘LeVar Burton’s daughter.’ I wanted to be myself, my own person. And so I purposefully was anti-Star Trek for a long time,” Mica shared.
Star Trek: Picard finale
Star Trek: Picard is ending its three-season run on Thursday, April 20th. The show’s finale, titled The Last Generation, is directed and written by showrunner Terry Matalas.
Picard is exclusively streaming on Paramount+ in the United States.