‘Jeopardy!’: What to Know About the TV Host Alex Trebek Suggested Replace Him

by Joe Rutland

With so much buzz around Jeopardy! possibly naming executive producer Mike Richards as its next host, Alex Trebek had a suggestion himself.

Back in 2018, Trebek, who died of pancreatic cancer in November 2020, suggested Laura Coates would be a great replacement host. That’s according to an article from Pop Culture.

Coates is currently a CNN anchor as well as a senior legal analyst. She also hosts her own show on Sirius XM where she interviews guests and takes phone calls.

Before passing Coates off as just another “talking head” to possibly host Jeopardy!, then read about her scholastic background. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs in 2001. Then in 2005, Coates received her Juris Doctor at the University of Minnesota Law School.

‘Jeopardy!’ Didn’t Even Select Laura Coates For Guest Host Stint

Trebek’s pick for being the Jeopardy! permanent host also wrote a best-selling book in 2016 titled You Have the Right: A Constitutional Guide to Policing the Police

It is interesting to note, though, that Coates was not among any of the guest hosts selected for this season’s shows. On Friday, CNBC correspondent David Faber finished up his one week as guest host. He’ll be followed by Fox Sports sportscaster Joe Buck for a week, and that’ll be it for this season.

Rumors remain rampant that Richards is the only one in contract negotiations for Trebek’s spot on Jeopardy!. He’s been involved in other game shows and was up to take over on The Price is Right when longtime host Bob Barker retired. That show, though, chose comedian Drew Carey to take over for Barker.

No final decision or announcement has been made by Jeopardy! regarding its new permanent host. But Coates name isn’t even in the discussions. Outsiders might wonder what Trebek would think about not even having the person he thought would make a solid replacement for him not getting a guest-hosting stint.

Mike Richards Has Extensive Experience In World of Game Shows

As we mentioned, before joining Jeopardy!, Richards had spent time working or hosting other game shows on television.

According to Parade, Richards initially hosted reality TV shows like High School Reunion on the WB and Beauty and the Geek on the CW. He then moved over to the Game Show Network and hosted The Pyramid and Divided.

He joined Jeopardy! last year. But Richards also produced more than 4,000 hours of game show television, including The Price is Right and Let’s Make a Deal. Other shows included a version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. Besides Jeopardy!, he also produces Wheel of Fortune.

When a decision is reached on the next host of Jeopardy!, Outsider will be on the story.