CNN's Laura Coates recalls Jeopardy! producers telling her 'no' despite being hand-picked to lead the show by late host Alex Trebek

  • Laura was one of two names Trebek had interest in replacing him when the time was right, and had also expressed interest in LA Kings commentator Alex Faust  
  • 'I was honored by it and I had a chance to thank him and also to reach out to him while he struggled with pancreatic cancer,' Laura told Tamron Hall
  • Mayim Bialik and former contestant Ken Jennings currently share co-hosting duties after Mike Richards was fired following heavy backlash and criticism
  • Trebek died on Nov. 8, 2020 at age 80, after a 20-month battle with stage IV pancreatic cancer 

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Laura Coates recalled Jeopardy! producers denying her the opportunity to host the iconic game show despite receiving support from the late host Alex Trebek.

The CNN legal analyst was one of two names Trebek had interest in replacing him when the time was right, and had also expressed interest in Los Angeles Kings commentator Alex Faust.

Coates told Tamron Hall on her self-titled talk show Monday that by the time she contacted Jeopardy! after Alex's death, they were not interested. 

Trebek died on Nov. 8, 2020 at age 80, after a 20-month battle with stage IV pancreatic cancer. The Emmy award-winning host served at the helm of the show for 37 seasons.

Tough spot: Laura Coates recalled Jeopardy! producers denying her the opportunity to host the iconic game show despite receiving support from the late host Alex Trebek

Laura explained that she was 'honored' by Alex's recommendation to take the hosting seat should he retire, kind words which he first said in 2018 and then again in 2019. 

Before he died, Alex told TMZ: 'There is an attorney, Laura Coates. She's African American and she appears on some of the cable news shows from time to time. Very bright, very personable.' 

'I was honored by it and I had a chance to thank him and also to reach out to him while he struggled with pancreatic cancer,' Laura told Tamron. 

'And 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.' 

Nice: Laura explained that she was 'honored' by Alex's recommendation to take the hosting seat should he retire, kind words which he first said in 2018 and then again in 2019

Legend: Trebek died on Nov. 8, 2020 at age 80, after a 20-month battle with stage IV pancreatic cancer. The Emmy award-winning host served at the helm of the show for 37 seasons

'I was honored by it and I had a chance to thank him and also to reach out to him while he struggled with pancreatic cancer,' Laura told Tamron

'And I asked for the opportunity. I was told "no," which is one of those moments when you have to remember to wear your own jersey.'

She added: '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.' 

The hunt to find the next host was overseen by former executive producer Mike Richards, who eventually received the job, but only for one week.

Facing heavy backlash and criticism, Richards was fired after past offensive comments came to light in addition to his involvement in a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Mayim Bialik and former contestant Ken Jennings currently share co-hosting duties. 

Big shoes: Mayim Bialik and former contestant Ken Jennings currently share co-hosting duties

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Laura Coates recalls Jeopardy! producers saying 'no' despite being picked to host by Alex Trebek

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