More than a year has passed since the legendary host of Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek, passed away. The game show’s producers are yet to find a permanent replacement. After Mike Richards stepped down from the hosting role and was also fired from his position as the executive producer of the show, The Big Bang Theory alum Mayim Bialik and one of Jeopardy’s most famous contestants, Ken Jennings, were roped in as guest hosts. Recently, the duo was announced as temporary hosts of the show until a permanent host is found. Whew! So much drama, right? But turns out, Trebek had shared the name of the person he found the most eligible to succeed him as Jeopardy! host. And according to her, the producers never took his choice into account.
Back in 2018, the Jeopardy! host had sat down for a chat with TMZ and revealed that he would like attorney and CNN legal analyst Laura Coates, who is currently hosting The Laura Coates Show on SiriusXM, as his replacement in the future when he wouldn’t be there anymore. Trebek had spoken very highly of Coates and remarked that she is “very bright, very personable.” Apparently, she had caught his attention via her frequent appearances on cable news shows at the time.
Alex Trebek once again mentioned Coates in 2019 during his appearance at New York’s 92nd Street Y center, where he also included announcer Alex Faust and TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz as his possible replacements for Jeopardy!. But he once again favored Coates more when he predicted that the next host was “probably going to be a woman.” So, given that Trebek understood his job the best as he hosted Jeopardy! for 37 years, he knew who would be the perfect person to succeed him. But Laura Coates has recently alleged that the producers of the show never even considered her as a candidate though she came forward to apply for the hosting gig.
Laura Coates recently appeared on the Tamron Hall Show and addressed the fact that Alex Trebek had handpicked her as Jeopardy!’s next host. She revealed that she was “shocked as anyone else” when Trebek publicly announced her as his possible replacement. She was honored that the host “even knows my name” and found her worthy enough to “fill his shoes which frankly can’t be filled.” She further revealed that when the producers of Jeopardy! were striving to find suitable hosts as temporary replacements after Trebek’s death in November 2020, she actually pitched her name as one of the guest hosts. But unfortunately, she alleges that she was turned away.
“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. And I asked for the opportunity. I was told ‘no’.” she revealed. While this was certainly a disheartening experience, Coates didn’t allow it to dampen her will. She regarded the Jeopardy! letdown as “one of those moments where you have to remember to wear your own jersey.” She chose to be her “own champion,” choosing to not let herself be affected by things not happening as she had expected them to. “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.”
While Jeopardy! producers reportedly snubbed Laura Coates despite her having Alex Trebek’s public support, they are nowhere near landing a permanent host for their show. For now, both Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings will continue to co-host the show throughout the currently airing 38th season.