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LeVar Burton will guest host ‘Jeopardy!,’ and fans are over the rainbow

Burton will serve as guest host on the game show "Jeopardy!"
Burton will serve as guest host on the game show "Jeopardy!"Greg Allen/Invision/AP

This is “Jeopardy!” — with your host, LeVar Burton.

After a social media campaign to get Burton, a star of “Reading Rainbow” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” into a guest-host slot on “Jeopardy!,” the show announced Wednesday that he would indeed step up in the last week of July.

“Our goal has been to present a wide variety of guest hosts with different skill sets and backgrounds on our path to finding a permanent host,” the show’s executive producer, Mike Richards, said in a statement. “Our passionate fans are telling us what they like, and we are listening.”

Fans were predictably thrilled.

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“Butterfly in the sky, I’m twice as high about the @levarburton news!” one Twitter post read.

But there may have been one person even more excited than Burton’s fans: the actor himself.

“THANK YOU… to all y’all for your passionate support!” he tweeted.

Since the death of the show’s beloved former host Alex Trebek after a battle with pancreatic cancer last November, “Jeopardy!” has been cycling through a roster of guest hosts that has included celebrities like Katie Couric, Dr. Oz and Aaron Rodgers, and former champions like Ken Jennings.

In addition to Burton, the final group will also include “Good Morning America” anchors George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts; the former “Celebrity Jeopardy!” champion David Faber; and sportscaster Joe Buck, the show announced Wednesday. Each will host a week of episodes this summer, and the show will make a donation in the amount of the cumulative winnings during that host’s week to a charity of their choice.

“Jeopardy!” has not yet named a permanent replacement for Trebek, and Anderson Cooper is currently filling the role through the end of April. But Burton is many fans’ choice, and a Change.org petition backing him for the permanent job has more than 246,000 signatures.

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Burton hosted 21 seasons of the educational PBS series “Reading Rainbow,” from 1983 through 2006, in addition to serving as the program’s executive producer. He also starred as Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and currently hosts the podcast “LeVar Burton Reads.”

For some, Wednesday’s announcement was just the tip of the iceberg of what they hope will soon be even more good news.

“We did it everybody!” one fan tweeted. “Now keep doing it until we’re all hearing ‘Welcome to Jeopardy! with your host LeVar Burton’ for the next few decades.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.