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The Star Trek and Reading Rainbow favorite will host a new Trivial Pursuit TV game show that is being produced by game maker Hasbro and Entertainment One. A network is not yet attached. Burton’s involvement, however, should make the series easy to sell.
“LeVar Burton has been an iconic member of American pop culture for decades from Roots to Reading Rainbow to Star Trek and beyond. His love for intellectual curiosity paired with his ability to connect with audiences worldwide make him the perfect partner to bring Hasbro’s beloved trivia game to households in a new and exciting way,” said Tara Long, president of global unscripted television at eOne.
Burton will exec produce the series via his LeVar Burton Entertainment banner. Hasbro, which owns the rights to the iconic board game, will exec produce the series. EOne’s Long and Geno McDermott as well as LBE’s Sangita Patel will also be credited as exec producers.
“Trivial Pursuit is one of the best-known brands in the gaming universe. I am thrilled to have partnered with Hasbro and eOne to bring this beloved game to market as a premium show for television,” Burton said.
Burton was among those who threw their hats in the ring to replace the late and great Alex Trebek as host of Sony TV’s syndicated trivia show Jeopardy!. He served as a guest host from July 26-30 after an online petition drew a quarter of a million supporters, but he was not selected to be the new full-time host. Big Bang Theory alum Mayim Bialik is expected to be named Jeopardy!’s permanent host after former showrunner Mike Richards previously selected himself for the role and stepped down following backlash.
Trivial Pursuit is available in more than 26 countries in 17 languages. More than 100 million copies of the game have been sold worldwide since it was created in 1979. Multiple TV adaptations have come before the Burton-hosted edition, including one in the early 1990s that was hosted by Wink Martindale and a syndicated version that aired in 2008-09 and was hosted by Christopher Knight.
The Trivial Pursuit game show is the latest TV take based on Hasbro’s deep vault of brands. The company is also working on Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons, among other series.
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