Late Wednesday, Variety reported the game show's executive producer, Mike Richards, was in final negotiations to be Alex Trebek's replacement, after a slew of celebrity guest hosts, including Burton, had filled in over the past few months. The outlet noted that no Sony executives would confirm the report, but a source claimed Richards was expected to take over.
"I have said many times over these past weeks that no matter the outcome, I've won," Burton tweeted early Thursday morning. "The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and fans alike has been incredible! If love is the ultimate blessing and I believe that it is, I am truly blessed beyond measure."
I have said many times over these past weeks that no matter the outcome, I’ve won. The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and fans alike has been incredible! If love is the ultimate blessing and I believe that it is, I am truly blessed beyond measure. 🙏🏾
When Trebek died from cancer at the age of 80 in November 2020 -- after hosting the show for 36 years -- Sony Pictures hired guest judges for the show, including Mayim Bialik, Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric, Bill Whitaker, Dr. Mehmet Oz and Ken Jennings.
Meanwhile, Burton had quickly become a fan favorite when he stepped in from July 26 to July 30, with social media positioning him as a possible permanent fixture for the iconic quiz show.
"It's difficult to explain, but there's something inside me that says this makes sense," he told The New York Times in June, ahead of his hosting debut. "I feel like this is what I'm supposed to do. I have been watching 'Jeopardy' more or less every night of my life since Art Fleming was host."
"'Jeopardy' is a cultural touchstone, and for a Black man to occupy that podium is significant."
Back in 2013, Burton even tweeted that hosting "Jeopardy" would be a dream job.
However, Richards has now been called the front-runner and heir apparent with Variety's reporting after he had his own successful gig guest hosting "Jeopardy." He previously hosted the game shows "Divided" and "The Pyramid," as well as the reality programs "High School Reunion" and "Beauty and the Geek." He has also worked as producer on "The Price is Right" and "Let's Make a Deal."