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LeVar Burton is (finally) guest-hosting Jeopardy: Here's how to watch

There are ways to see the Star Trek alum host the ABC game show even if you're a TV cord-cutter.

LeVar Burton
LeVar Burton is finally getting his chance to host Jeopardy.
James Martin/CNET

Yep, that's LeVar Burton guest-hosting Jeopardy this week. The star of Reading Rainbow, Roots, and Star Trek: The Next Generation is a longtime fan of the show, telling USA Today's The Mothership podcast earlier this year that he feels "as strongly about my rightness for this as I did about (his iconic roles) Kunta and Geordi."

On his Monday debut, Burton acknowledged his fandom and paid tribute to longtime host Alex Trebek, who died of pancreatic cancer last November at age 80.

"As a longtime viewer of the show, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to guest-host Jeopardy," he said. "And I'm proud to be here to honor Alex's legacy. I'm gonna do my best to ensure that these talented Jeopardy contestant enjoy their moment here as well."

It's no easy task to step into the shoes of the beloved Trebek, who had hosted the show since 1984. Other guest hosts have included Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings, journalist Katie Couric, Dr. Oz and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

How to watch

Jeopardy airs on ABC at 7 or 7:30 p.m. in most markets, and Burton will host all week, Monday through Friday. It may seem fairly basic that to watch him, you turn to whatever channel number ABC is in your market. But with more and more people cutting the cord, not everyone is regularly watching the broadcast networks. If you have cable or just broadcast channels, your provider's guide should tell you which channel is ABC (or just keep flipping). CNET sister site TV Guide can also help you if you tell the site which provider you use.

If you prefer to watch online, you will need a cable log-in, but then you can watch on ABC's website. Just click on "Live TV" at the proper time and select your cable provider. And reruns will be available on a day after they air on TV.

Don't have ABC at all? ABC's site notes that you can sign up instantly with one of numerous providers, including AT&T TV, Fubo, YouTube TV and Hulu, though it notes the ABC livestream isn't available on Hulu. (Think you might not keep the service? Fubo and YouTube TV offer free trials.)

If you're not in a rush, you can schedule an installation of Spectrum, DirecTV, Dish or Xfinity, all from ABC's site, though obviously you won't start watching right away.

And if you're OK just watching snippets of Burton's hosting, keep checking the Jeopardy social media accounts, especially the show's YouTube channel and Twitter account.

Rooting for Burton

Many fans are cheering for Burton, the admitted celebrity fan, to earn the permanent hosting job.

"We supporting LeVar Burton hosting Jeopardy! this week as a family, right?" wrote Matthew A, Cherry on Twitter.

"This man should take the (reins)," wrote another Twitter user. "No one can replace Alex, but if you want Jeopardy to carry on with grace and compassion, LeVar has both in abundance."

Burton appeared on The View back in April and said he "absolutely" wanted to be chosen as permanent host.

How did it go?

Burton has already taped his week's worth of shows, and says you might see a difference between Monday's show and the rest of the week.

He told the Associated Press that the job was "Scary. Really, really, really scary. Did I mention it was scary?"

After taping the first show, he asked his wife, Stephanie, how he did, and when she wasn't enthused, he worked to up his game.

"You're not going to be smooth as Alex, let go of that," he said. "But what you can bring to the table is you. So that became my point of focus. And when it did, I started having fun."