Regis Philbin replacement scoop: Who will fill his seat?

Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS; Bob D'Amico/ABC

Who will fill Regis Philbin’s seat on ABC’s Live! with Regis & Kelly?

Here are 10 names making the industry rounds as potential pairings for Kelly Ripa. Some of these celebrities been previously reported and others are new. At least a couple, we’re told, are non-starters. ABC, unfortunately, has no comment. Here’s what we think:

Ryan Seacrest: You can’t have a major talk show vacancy without his name coming up. He could clearly handle the job. The trick (as is the case with several names below) is working around his existing deals.

Jeff Probst: The Survivor host is a superb interviewer, he has co-hosted the show in the past, and his contract is up this year.

Mario Lopez: Another former Live! co-host. We’re told he’s potentially a popular contender, but that his deal with Extra may hold things up.

Chris Harrison: The Bachelor host is already in the ABC family. If he can handle crazed bachelorettes, surely he can work with sweet Kelly, right?

Mark Consuelos: Yup, Kelly’s husband. He’s an actor and reality show host.  We’re hearing he’s an unlikely choice.

Chris Cuomo: The 20/20 host is another ABC insider.

Anderson Cooper: Woulda-coulda-shoulda. He’s busy trying to get his own daytime talk show off the ground.

Billy Bush: Like Lopez, there’s an entertainment news program deal to work around — this time, with Access Hollywood.

Neil Patrick Harris: Considered a fantastic substitute co-host on the show. But would he want the gig?

Mike Rowe: Now this is an interesting name. The Dirty Jobs host and Deadliest Catch narrator has a ton of female fans. Could this blue collar man’s man pull off the celebrity bantering and hamming it up with Kelly? Why, this could be his toughest job yet.

Bonus: Here’s some names floated by other publications that we think are silly: Nick Jonas, Bryant Gumbel, Glenn Beck, Tom Bergeron (Okay, Tom’s not bad, actually), and Larry King.

And, yes, all those who are supposedly being considered are men (though one publication did mention Jane Lynch).

Keep in mind that when Kathie Lee Gifford left Live, similar lists circulated the media as producers began to reach out to prospective talent. And you know who wasn’t named on any of those lists? Kelly Ripa.

Comments (558 total) Add your comment
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  • Michele

    Jeff Probst or Tom Bergeron please.

    • Tajah

      Definitely Jeff Probst!

      • james

        Mark Paul Gosslear, Craig Kilborn, Ricky Schroeder, Ben Savage, Fred Savage

        BUT the BEST by far:

        Will Friedle

      • heidi

        I think Probst is the best choice. Another thought I had was Freddie Prinze Jr. He co-hosted with her before and he was really chummy and a solid partner. Plus, is no one saying Tony Danza? I would think he’d be high on the list as well.

      • Allison

        I actually looked Craig Kilborn up on imdb not that long ago, just out of curiosity. He hasn’t been up to much – maybe he’d dig the opportunity…

      • Stephanie

        I think Will Friedle would be an incredibly good choice, he was soo hilarious on Boy Meets World, he seems to have such a fun personality, and he is really good looking, I am very surprised he never made it big on tv or in movies. I would watch the show just for him

      • julie

        only if he can takes breaks to shoot Survivor please!

      • Jethro

        It’s about time he left, he has been as bad as Larry King was in his last months on his job.

    • BFD

      Mike Rowe is too hot for that show. I think they should just keep having guest hosts.

      • Tego Livi

        The only Mike Rowe I’m familiat with does ads for Ford.

      • Jacks

        Yes, it’s the same man. Mike has a show called “Dirty Jobs” that’s very popular, but also does the Ford ads.

    • AK

      They won’t let Tom Bergeron on the show because he didn’t stick up for Galmin’s wife when she was let go from a job she had with him.

      • Anon


      • SallyMa

        That would be a silly reason not to hire somebody in show biz…why the heck should he stick up for someone else’s wife. Gelman should have had enough clout to stick up for his own wife.

      • jrbear

        I don’t think ABC would allow Tom Bergeron to leave DWTS, it’s biggest rating hit of the past several years. Never would happen, plus he’s an LA guy.

    • Annia

      The Soup Guy, geez, I forgot his name…he would be so funny & full of sarcasm. Joel McHale, that’s it!!!

      • Jason

        Best idea yet: Joel McHale. It has to be someone with a brain, and someone not in love with himself. That eliminates Seacrest on both counts, thank heavens.

      • Rach

        JOEL MCHALE! Perfect choice. Although I have to disagree with you: he is definitely in love with himself. But, it is okay because so is the rest of America, unlike Seacrest.

      • donna

        Gets my vote…

      • jrbear

        again, another LA guy. his Soup and sitcom are shot in LA. Live being in NY is a big hurdle to get most of these ‘contenders’.

    • stu

      10 borrrrring guys.
      hire drew barrymore(name?)bf.
      he was great subbing on the Today show for kathie lee.

      • Live watcher

        Drew Barrymore is a she not a he.

      • @ live watcher

        Are you a tard!!! Drew’s BF (Justin Long!!!)

    • Yes Tom

      Tom Bergeron used to have his own talk show in Boston and was tremendous, witty, charming, funny, he would be ideal. Greg Kinnear would be fun, Martin Short has the wit and funny and has the hollywood connection like Regis, but for the love of all that is holy, please no Billy Bush, Probst or her hubby, love her hubby but she needs someone to bounce off on new each day

      • J

        Martin Short!!!!!!!!!!! great idea!!!!!!! he is funny and we don’t see enough of him!!!!

      • Em


      • Gerald

        Martin Short and/or Jiminy Glick great talk show host. Good luck keeping him still in the seat.

      • Tiffany

        I agree with you about Martin Short. I think the dynamic would work because of the age difference between him and Kelly and like you said he is very witty and smart. I have always liked him. Also, I am digging Nick Lachey or even his brother Drew. I have always liked them and they have a way about them where they relate to all types of people. When Nick recently did it, I thought he did a good job.

      • Sue1

        Martin Short would be great, as would Norm MacDonald.

      • Gerald

        “Live with Martin and Kelly” or “Live with Kelly and Martin”
        maybe “Live with Ripa and Short”

      • Cin

        Tom B NOT!!! I really think they should find an unknown..

      • marilynkay77

        I like the Greg Kinnear idea

      • B Smith

        Why not have Sam Champion they are great together

      • Sarah

        I vote for Greg Kinear!

    • court

      Wayne Brady. Let’s Make A Deal is such a fail. His energy would be fun with Kelly’s.

      • Joe

        Wayne Brady is a great idea! Like Regis, he sings a little. Like Regis, he’s personable. Plus he’s close to Ripa’s age

      • diane

        Wayne Brady would be great.

      • @ all

        Ditto But I don;t watch so I don’t give a crap

      • susan

        i like wayne brady now he would be good.

    • Rob

      Please, no! They’re not the least bit interesting!

      • of course

        Mario Lopez-GROSS
        Wayne Brady-of course!!!

    • zeezee

      Good gawd do not let it be mario lopez…I will take my TV back to the store and cancel my cable if we have to endure any more of that awful mugging…Kelly Ripa is so much better than that…My vote? Jeff Probst, NPH, or Anderson Cooper – but, like the comment above, he won’t be available.

      • zeezee

        Tony Danza would be good too…or that new hottie at ABC news…the one from the Gulf…what’s his name…??

      • L

        I don’t even watch this crap, but I would be happy to have Tony Danza back on a morning show just so I can see clips of him on the Soup again.

      • Riley

        Just Say NO to either Mario Lopez or Tony Danza. Danza already had his own talk show. “The Soup” made fun of him Every week. It was horrible!! Lopez is too full of himself and cheesy. ACK!

        Freddie Prinze Jr. is the best suggestion I’ve read thus far. He’s handsome, funny, self-deprecating, interesting… he’s got all the qualities of a good talk show host.

      • EH

        Oh god, what I wouldn’t give to see Anderson Cooper every single morning being adorable and hilarious with Kelly!

    • Zarah

      Mario Lopez. .is the best choice

      • sd

        Mario Lopez is a rapist.

      • oh boy…


    • Mar

      Tom Bergeron! Fantastic idea! Had not thought of him…like the other men but not as replacements.

    • Eileen Grimm

      I would love to see Mike Rowe. He’s got a great personality and he’s not bad to look at. I think he and Kelly would get along great.

    • Mad

      This EW writer is a little too smug..wants to rule the world with all the other red state types ..suprisingly he doesn’t anoint Rush Limbaugh…the obvious choice is Keith Olbermann

      • fob

        I don’t think Keith would do it, but it would be fun to watch him being uncomfortable with the banter. He might grow into the job–other people have done similar things.

      • Riley

        Hmmm… Keith Olbermann. He just left MSNBC so this might be the perfect gig. Olbermann
        uncomfortable with banter?!? You obviously never watched him on SportsCenter. Olbermann might be a little too smart for the show. His extensive vocabulary alone would perplex Kelly on a daily basis.

      • Marlene

        Keith Olberman is to smart for that job…..

      • bobo

        Keith Olbermann is so smart that his imitation of Bill O’Reilly got him kicked off MSNBC for his egotistical rhetoric.

    • SallyMa

      Tom Bergeron would make me watch!!!!

    • Sharon

      Jerry Seinfeld, Howey Mandel, Cameron (from All My Children)

    • rosie

      mariska hargitay – she is funny… check out ” can’t hurry love”

    • Monica Ryan

      Bryant Gumbel should be the next co-host with Kelly, they got along well when he was filling in for Regis.

  • Brent

    Ron Corning. Former NYC anchorman. He’s handsome, charming and with the journalism background he could be a good balance to Kelly. Also, he’s not a household name like Kelly when she started.

    • momsthoughts

      I agree!! I vote for Ron Corning as well!!

    • CW

      Love Ron Corning. He and Jodie
      Applegate should have their own show. Haven’t watched Good Day New York since they left.

    • Ryan

      You have to look him up on Youtube. Very funny

  • Samantha

    The world will definitely end if it’s Ryan Seacrest. I think Jeff Probst would be good.

    • Stacie

      As long as Probst can still have a few weeks a year to do Survivor, I would pick Probst. He is a natural shmoozer, and has a nice rapport with Kelly. I like Mark Conselous but it might get stale after awhile. I like when they ask what they did the night before, if it’s Mark there would be no suprsises. He could fill in for Probst when he does Survivor the 3 or 4 weeks it takes to film.

      • Denise Terry

        My vote is for Pat Sajak.

    • Beth

      RS is getting way too much work….he is getting overexposed and I like him a lot.

  • Me

    Mike Rowe would be AWESOME!!! He’s hilarious, handsome, and super quick on his feet! He’d be a fabulous co-host!

    • Meg

      Not to mention using his operatic skills every time someone burst into song.

    • majamababe

      Agree. He would be a fantastic choice!

    • MomC

      Join my Facebook group page to have Mike Rowe replace Regis. I started it minutes after Regis’ announcement! We could use members to have the movement gain traction.

      • BFD


      • Soccer Mom

        I hope know one is serious about Seacrest, Probs, Cooper or Lopez – each is over exposed and has an ego coming through the TV – YUCK! How about saving another soap star? (Not her husband)

      • lilymax

        Cameron Matheson maybe?

      • VotingTomBergeron

        Tom Bergeron!!!!!!!!!

      • Anastasia

        To lilymax: Cameron Mathison lives in California now since AMC moved.

        I don’t think it will be anyone they have on the list, it will be someone new or that no one would think of in a million years.

      • Gail

        How about Lewis Black. He would be a great foil for sunny Kelly Ripa.

    • Lunna

      Nick Cannon’s name had also been thrown around to replace Regis, and I was all for supporting Nick. But Mike Rowe… now THAT is a great idea!

    • Suzie

      Mike! Mike! Mike! Mike! I would loyally watch/tape ‘Kelly & Mike’….every day!! Love Mike Rowe!!!

      • tvwatcher

        Mike Rowe! Greg Kinnear! Billy Crystal!

        No Mario, No Probst, No local unknown nobodies . . . . . .

    • Strepsi

      second the idea of MIKE ROWE: he is rugged and all-American, but also very compassionate/gay-friendly and witty. SO kind of the total package.

      • mouse

        I would love it if Mike Rowe would take it on. So gorgeous and smart, quick-witted. He’s the real deal.

      • j

        Agreed on all points made for Mike Rowe,

  • Katie

    While NPH cohosting Live! would definitely make me watch it every day, I’m not seeing any way that would work. He has new baby twins and a full time job on HIMYM (which I would not be happy to see him leave), both of which are in LA. What’s he gonna do, fly back and forth each day to host and film?

    • Joanne

      NPH has too much successful stuff going on.

    • Scott

      Kelly Ripa did the show and a sitcom and parenting for years. Let’s face it, HIMYM is in its twilight years — how many more are we talking, 1, 2? This gig would be the PERFECT transition for him — and he is the most personable and interesting of all the choices mentioned.

      • Lois

        NPH’s show films in California, and Live broadcasts from New York. When Kelly was on the sitcom & AMC at the same time as Live, all were filmed in New York.

  • cassie

    i love ryan but i don’t think he would be able to have time to do all that. that guy is gonna take over the world, i’m sure of it. Here are some people i would like, Damien Fahey. What about her husband mark

  • Brittany

    I’m sorry, Tom Bergeron?? Worst idea ever. Anyone would be better than him. Seriously.

    • Asha

      Tom Bergeron is like your friends awkward dad who tries to prove how cool he is by using wierd outdated slang.

      • Anon

        That’s the perfect analogy!

    • MannyLawr

      I think Tom Bergeron is funny…how old are you 10? The rest of us who are home to watch–housewives etc. love watching Tom Bergeron.

    • SallyMa

      I happen to like watching Tom Bergeron host–he’s really the reason I bother watching dancing with the stars–because he’s funny and hosts with style. I think he’s the BEST candidate.

    • Tego Livi

      Tom Bergeron did exactly this sort of thing before he started hosting the two shows he’s best known for nowadays. But those two shows are the reason I doubt he’d want to do this.

  • christy coker

    i think mark would be good chris harrison good voice but the guy from dwts is gd too

  • Drivel Lady

    NPH all the way. Or, William Shatner.

    • Toni

      William Shattner … are you completely nuts? He’s so boring and a real loser!!

      • sarai31

        He is awesome… But not quite the niche for him.

      • tony

        Wm. Shattner is almost as old as Regis. However, he certainly isn’t a “loser”. That was typical of someone who has never been anything.

  • Ben W

    If they got NPH I would wake up JUST to watch this.

    • Asha

      I agree. I love me some NPH!!

  • Josh

    Out of these choices, Jeff Probst is definitely the best option and would be a great fit, though Anderson Cooper would have also been good.

    • Josh

      PS Mario Lopez is a horrible idea and put a fork in the show. He’s a media whore. Regis and Kelly both now how to work, marketing themselves yet still come off totally down to Earth. Jeff Probst and Anderson Cooper have those same qualities.

      • Joanne

        Please no Man-Ho Mario!!

      • Marc

        Amen. It’s stunning how much his current gig (ie. hosting ‘Extra’) involves interjecting himself in every story the show covers. Horrible, horrible choice.

      • Burger

        Who has made a bigger deal with the devil?
        A) Mario Lopez
        B) Justin Timberlake
        C) Justin Bieber

        If it it Lopez – they are done within a year.

  • stryker

    U watch….anderson cooper has to be on the inside trak..kelly ripa will see to that!…

    • Annia

      I like Anderson, too, but sometimes I think he giggles too much when Kelly’s being silly or try to talk over him. He would be good if he asserts himself from time to time, instead of letting her running the entire show, you know, the Kelly Rippa show?

      • Barbara

        CAN’T STAND HER!!! Talk about EGO’S! Regis made her famous and rich! and now she wants to bring in her husband! Sorry, but noone wants to hear about their sex life and other crap….it will be too boring!!

    • Brett

      Sorry but Deadline has reported that his talk show ‘Anderson’ has been picked up. He won’t be able to do it.

  • Jon

    My vote is for Andy Richter!

    • TerryT

      Good idea!

    • famous artist

      he would be great at this, but what about Conan. This would be a better place for Andy. And he could move back to new york!

  • Rachel

    I don’t think Bryant Gumble is too silly. He actually has great chemistry with Kelly and would get the older demographic.

    But I personally want Anderson to do it.

    • Rob

      Bryant would be fantastic. But after the debacle that was his stint on The Early Show, I don’t think he’ll ever return to another morning show gig. He’s probably happy just doing Real Sports on HBO.

      • lilymax

        Am I the only one who really dislikes Bryant Gumble? I truly think I’d never watch the show again if he was the permanent host.

      • Riley

        You are Not the only one who dislikes Bryant Gumble. He’s a pretentious, pompous arse!! He thinks he knows everything and is a complete BORE. I’ll never forget the fit he threw during the olympics when he made misstatements, and then went on and on about how what he said was “acceptable.” It was borderlined bratty. I too would never watch the show again if he got co-hosting duties.

      • Bea

        I don’t like him either, it’s not that I dislike him, I just don’t like him.
        Besides I am being shallow and kinda want somebody cute now.

  • Matt

    Martin Short.

    • Kate

      Vote! He was great last week as a guest and taking over!

    • bringbackrocky

      And Regis thinks he’d be a good replacement for him. Martin Short is the best.

      • Jill

        The only movie I ever walked out of was a Martin Short movie. Clifford, I believe was the name. I’ve never looked at that guy the same way after that catastrophe.

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