Live with Regis & Kelly co-host Regis Philbin, who has helmed the veteran Disney-ABC morning talker since 1988, has announced his retirement.
Regis, 79, who has been active in recent years as the original host of ABC game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and NBC summer reality/competition America’s Got Talent, will exit the franchise at the end of the summer or in early fall. There is no word at present who will step into his shoes opposite Kelly Ripa. Needless to say, Disney-ABC will want to keep this still-potent franchise alive.
Season to date, Live ranks third overall among the 12 syndicated first-run talk shows (behind Oprah and Dr. Phil), with a 2.5 rating in AA (average audience) households, according to Nielsen Media Research data. (Comparably, that is equal to one year earlier.)