A little over two years before his death, Alex Trebek weighed in on who should replace him on Jeopardy! when he eventually left the show. Despite former Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings waiting in the wings, Trebek named two candidates that personally caught his eye: LA Kings hockey announcer Alex Faust and CNN legal analyst Laura Coates.
As we now know, neither Faust nor Coates ended up being involved in the running to replace Trebek as the permanent host following his death. In fact, executive producer Mike Richards essentially gave himself the top gig, only to lose it in a matter of days following numerous sandals. To add to that drama, Coates revealed to Tamron Hall on Monday that Jeopardy! producers never even gave her the time of day when she reached out about making good on Trebek’s personal request. Via Mediaite:
“I asked for the opportunity when it came time, when they were looking for people to possibly fill in,” she told Hall. “I certainly raised my hand and knocked on doors and found them closed. I asked for the opportunity. I was told, ‘No.’”
The rejection obviously stung for Coates, who was honored that Trebek even named her in the first place, and yet his personal wishes were rejected by Jeopardy! producers.
“I was thrilled when he said my name,” Coates told Hall. “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?”