Alex Trebek’s Hand-Picked ‘Jeopardy!’ Replacement Laura Coates Was Told ‘No’

Laura Coates on 'Tamron Hall' show. Credit: YouTube/Tamron Hall

CNN legal analyst Laura Coates has revealed she was told “no” by Jeopardy! producers when she expressed interest in hosting the show, even after late host Alex Trebek hand-picked her as a possible replacement before he passed away.

Coates made the revelation Monday on the Tamron Hall show. 

“I actually was just as shocked as anyone else was,” Coates said about Trebek mentioning her as a possible host. “I never met him, I am a lifelong fan of Jeopardy!

After saying she was honored by Trebek’s comments and thanking him personally, she tried to advocate for a spot on the long-running trivia show. 

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“I certainly raised my hand and knocked on doors and found them closed,” Coates continued.  “And I asked for the opportunity. I was told ‘no.’”

In a resurfaced video from 2018, Trebek named possible replacements including Coates, LA Kings play-by-play announcer Alex Faust and Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz.

Instead of Coates being asked to try out for a spot on the show, a long list of guest hosts auditioned for the coveted Jeopardy! gig after Trebek died in November 2020, following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

The job ultimately went to then-Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards, who stepped down days later after a string of controversies and complaints across social media that the host search was a charade.

The current hosts for the trivia show are former game show champion Ken Jennings and actress Mayim Bialik.

Watch Coates’ full interview with Hall below: