CNN legal analyst Laura Coates said she was told "no" when she asked to host "Jeopardy!" — despite the late host Alex Trebek naming her as one of his desired potential successors prior to his 2020 death.
In Monday's episode of “Tamron Hall,” Coates said she reached out to "Jeopardy!" while the popular game show was still cycling through different guest hosts as producers continued to search for a permanent replacement after Trebek's passing.
“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," Coates said. "I asked for the opportunity, I was told ‘no.’”
She went on: “Which is one of those moments... when you have to remember to wear your own jersey. You have to remember to continue to be your own champion in other respects.”
A spokesperson for Sony Pictures Television, which produces "Jeopardy!", did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
Trebek, who died at age 80 after a battle with cancer, named Coates and Alex Faust, Los Angeles Kings TV play-by-play voice, as his desired successors in a 2018 interview with TMZ founder 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. Very bright, very personable,” Trebek said at the time.
After his statement, Coates tweeted in July 2018 that she was "incredibly honored and humbled" Trebek "1) knows who I am 2) thinks I’d be a great host of my fave game show ever that I grew up watching w/ my family & still watch w/ my own kids (who saw him say this & now think I’m a genius) #Dying."
In August, the venerable game show franchise announced then executive producer Mike Richards and actor Mayim Balik as the faces of "Jeopardy!" Just a few weeks after the announcement, Richards said he was stepping down amid scrutiny over his past comments about women, Jews and poor people.
About a week after stepping down, he was fired from his role as executive producer.
In December, Sony announced Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings, who won an unprecedented 74-game streak, would continue to share their hosting duties for the 38th season of “Jeopardy!” in 2022.