Alex Trebek's 'Jeopardy!' pick Laura Coates says she was told 'no' after asking to host – USA TODAY

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Prior to his death, Alex Trebek had a couple of people in mind who could take over his “Jeopardy!” hosting gig. One of them was CNN legal analyst Laura Coates, who now says producers of the game show rejected her offer to host. 
During Monday’s episode of “Tamron Hall,” Coates explained when “Jeopardy!” was cycling through guest hosts while producers search for a permanent replacement after Trebek’s death in 2020, she asked to be one of them. 
“I certainly raised my hand and knocked on doors and found them closed. I asked for the opportunity, I was told ‘no,’ ” Coates told Hall. “Which is one of those moments, Tamron, when you have to remember to wear your own jersey. You have to remember to continue to be your own champion in other respects.”
USA TODAY has reached out to Sony for comment. 
Trebek, who died of pancreatic cancer at 80, first mentioned Coates along with Alex Faust as potential successors during a 2018 interview with TMZ’s Harvey Levin.
“There is an attorney, Laura Coates. She’s African American and she appears on some of the cable news shows from time to time,” Trebek said. 
Coates told Hall she was “thrilled” that Trebek mentioned her name and surprised he even knew her.  
“My God, this person … thinks that I would be worthy enough to fill his shoes which frankly can’t be filled? I was honored by it,” said Coates, who in 2018 tweeted about her gratitude.
More:They’ll host ‘Jeopardy!’ for the rest of the season: Who are Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings?
Since Trebek’s death, “Jeopardy!” has had multiple guest hosts, from journalist Katie Couric to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, before the game show announced two permanent hosts in August 2021: Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik. 
A few weeks after, Richards, who also served as the show’s executive producer, was forced to step down amid ongoing accusations of past offensive comments.
Currently, Bialik tag-teams with Ken Jennings as hosts of the show.
Bialik is an Emmy-nominated actress who earned a degree in neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles. Jennings is the record-holder for longest “Jeopardy!” winning streak and is a consulting producer on the show. The “Greatest of All Time” winner was the first to step in among a series of interim hosts when Trebek’s taped episodes ended following his death on Nov. 8, 2020.


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