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LeVar Burton Narrates Spelling Bee Special ‘Road to the Bee’

LeVar Burton Scripps Spelling Bee
(Image credit: Scripps)

LeVar Burton narrates Road to the Bee, a one-hour special about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, on Ion and Bounce May 26. Burton is host of the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee, which begins May 31. The semifinals air live-to-tape on Ion and Bounce June 1 and the finals are on the two networks June 2.  

Ion Plus and Bounce XL will stream the competition. 

Scripps owns Ion and Bounce. 

Burton's TV credits include Roots, Reading Rainbow and Star Trek: The Next Generation. 

The Scripps National Spelling Bee began airing on ESPN in 1994. The event did not happen, due to the pandemic, in 2020, and this year’s event is the first one on Ion and Bounce. 

Road to the Bee goes behind the scenes with officials and 10 of this year’s regional competitors for a rare, inside look at the time, effort and, yes, practice, which goes into preparing for the nearly 100-year-old academic competition,” said Scripps. “It includes perspectives from those who support spellers, including family and members of the community. The special also includes a look at the event’s rich history, a visit with 2021 champion Zaila Avant-garde and the story behind the Bee’s infamous bell.”

The special airs on Newsy, also part of Scripps, May 29, June 3 and June 5. 

The Scripps Spelling Bee launched in 1925. ■

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.