November 18, 2021 – The fan hopeful Jeopardy host candidate is getting a different kind of trivia gig. LeVar Burton will host a Trivial Pursuit game show based on the iconic board game. Hasbro entertainment company E1 is developing the series with Burton’s LeVar Burton Entertainment. The news was first reported by Hollywood trade publication Variety. No network is currently attached to the series yet but given the popularity of this type of format paired with the notoriety of the property and Burton as host, it should only be a matter of time.
“’Trivial Pursuit’ is one of the best-known brands in the gaming universe,” Burton said. “I am thrilled to have partnered with Hasbro and eOne to bring this beloved game to market as a premium show for television.”
In an interview on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” in September, Burton said that he was no longer interested in hosting “Jeopardy!” following his experience with the quiz show.
“The crazy thing is that when you set your sights on something…they say be careful of what you wish for, because what I found out is that it wasn’t the thing that I wanted after all,” Burton told Noah. “What I wanted was to compete. I mean, I wanted the job, right, but then, when I didn’t get it, it was, like ‘Well, okay, what’s next?’”
The original Trivial Pursuit came out in 1981. For those unaware, it is a board game where you answer trivia questions in different categories which each give you distinct pieces of a pie and the first person to get one of each and answer a final question wins. It is one of the best trivia board games ever created and is still held as the standard.
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Over the years, numerous editions of Trivial Pursuit have been produced, usually specializing in various fields. The original version is now known as the Genus edition. Other editions include Junior Edition (1985), All-Star Sports, Baby Boomers, 1980s, All About the 80s, 1990s and others. In total, over 100 different editions in different languages have been printed.
This is not the first attempt at a Trivial Pursuit TV show. A version of Trivial Pursuit, hosted by Wink Martindale, aired on The Family Channel in the United States from 1993 to 1995 (Jay Wolpert had attempted a pilot in 1987, but it was not picked up). A syndicated version entitled Trivial Pursuit: America Plays aired from 2008 to 2009 and hosted by Christopher Knight. In September 2004, Roger Lodge hosted a sports trivia game show on ESPN entitled ESPN Trivial Pursuit, which aired five episodes.
Ever since Hasbro bought Entertainment one (E1) in 2019 for $3.8 billion, the company has been working hard to turn the various board game IP into different film and tv adaptions. In April the company announced a TV version of Whac-A-Mole and a game show based on Uno. In February they announced an animated Clue TV show was in the works. In January they announced that a Risk TV show from the creators of House of Cards was in the works.
This is exciting news for the troves of fans that really wanted to see LeVar Burton in the Jeopardy hosting seat and for fans of the trivia game show genre. Using the Trivia Pursuit IP for a game show makes complete sense. Being a master at all different types of information, from sports to science to the very random, is what being a trivia master is all about.
Image via LeVar Burton Entertainment