Laura Coates, Alex Trebek's choice to replace him on 'Jeopardy!', says she never got a shot: 'I was told no'

 Laura Coates attends the 44th Annual Gracies Awards, hosted by The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on May 21, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California
Photo credit Getty Images

The “Jeopardy!” hosting carousel just keeps churning.

After a near year-long audition for the next "Jeopardy!" host, the popular game show finally announced the official permanent hosts in December – actress Mayim Bialik and former “Jeopardy!” champ Ken Jennings will share hosting duties through the end of season 38.

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Nevertheless, the high interest fans showed during the hosting auditions of 2021 has led to more hosting stories still surfacing.

USA Today recently reported that Alex Trebek liked the idea of CNN legal analyst Laura Coates as his replacement, if and when he decided to retire.

In fact, Trebek told TMZ about his preference for Coates as far back as 2018, when he also mentioned Los Angeles Kings TV commentator, Alex Faust.

After Trebek’s death in November 2020, the show started booking famous names and former contestants as guest hosts, and the search for the new host was on. But Coates’ name never came around, she said.

As the legal eagle told talk show host Tamron Hall recently, she did reach out to the trivia show’s producers not long after Trebek’s passing, but claims that she was quickly rejected. Many fans agreed she should have at least been given a shot, reports The Wrap.

“I actually was as shocked as anyone else was when he first said it,” said Coates, “and I was thrilled when he said my name. I thought, ‘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?’”

Despite Coates’’ honored interest, the producers weren’t as intrigued, she shared. “I asked for the opportunity when it came time,” said Coates, “when they were looking for people to possibly fill in. I certainly raised my hand and knocked on doors and found them closed. I asked for the opportunity. I was told, ‘No.'” USA Today reports that it reached out for comment to Sony about the matter.

Adding insult to Coates’ injury, former “Jeopardy!” executive producer Mike Richards, who had actually overseen the long search for the replacement, named himself as the new host in August 2021.

Richards was fired from the gig not a week later because of past offensive comments and his involvement in a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Coates offered a sly digital wink to the situation in a tweet, posted not long after the insta-scandal happened, that featured a favorite Trebek quote: “Don’t tell me what you believe in. I’ll observe how you behave and I will make my own determination.”

What is... shade?!

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