CNN Analyst Laura Coates Revealed She Was "Told No" After Being Named By Alex Trebek As A Potential "Jeopardy" Host

1 year ago 38

"I certainly raised my hand and knocked on doors and found them closed."

The late Alex Trebek — beloved host of Jeopardy! — had a thought or two about who should be his successor. Despite this, one of his named candidates was completely barred from the opportunity.

Amanda Edwards / Getty Images

The amount of sense being made by Jeopardy! producers with this decision = zero.

Back in 2018, the TV personality told TMZ that Laura Coates — a CNN legal analyst — would be a great fit for the role, calling her "very bright, very personable."

Jean Baptiste Lacroix / WireImage / Getty Images

He also named Alex Faust — a TV sportscaster — as a potential successor.

"I actually was as shocked as anyone else was when he first said it," Laura said of first being named, despite not knowing Alex personally. "I was thrilled when he said my name and I thought, 'Oh, my God, this person that I have watched my whole life, really, even knows my name — let alone thinks that I would be worthy enough to fill his shoes, which frankly can’t be filled.'"

Incredibly honored & humbled @Jeopardy Alex Trebek 1) knows who I am 2) thinks I'd be a great host of my fave game show ever that I grew up watching w/ my family & still watch w/ my own kids (who saw him say this & now think I'm a genius) #Dying via @TMZ

12:56 PM - 30 Jul 2018

Twitter: @thelauracoates / TMZ / Via Twitter: @thelauracoates

The 41-year-old added that she was "honored" by Alex handpicking her and that she reached out to him ahead of his death while he was battling pancreatic cancer.

"I asked for the opportunity when it came time when they were looking for people to possibly fill in. I certainly raised my hand and knocked on doors and found them closed," she explained. "I was told ‘no,’ which is one of those moments when you have to remember to wear your own jersey."

Paul Morigi / WireImage / Getty Images

"You have to remember to continue to be your own champion in other respects and sometimes the vision that you have for yourself — or those that surprise you, other people — don’t align with what happens, and that happened there," Laura continued.

If you'll recall, the search for a new Jeopardy! host is still not over, and has been continually marked by controversy. Much to the dismay of fans — who floated names like Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton — the show picked executive producer Mike Richards, who eventually stepped down when previous discrimination lawsuits and offensive comments resurfaced.

Ian Tuttle / Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize, Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images, Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

Richards was supposed to cohost with Big Bang Theory alumna Mayim Bialik, who has remained as a host — alongside former contestant Ken Jennings — for Season 38. However, she's also a controversial pick: In November 2021, she refuted rumors that she was an anti-vaxxer.

A permanent replacement for the show won't be decided on until Season 39, Sony previously said. In the meantime, I will continue to be angry at this snub!

Jeopardy / Sony Pictures Television

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