Former “Live!” co-host Regis Philbin is bringing back the “host chat” segment that led off his former daytime program “Live!” The segment will be the focal point of “Crowd Goes W!ld,” a new sports talk show launching on Fox Sports 1 Monday, August 19.
As with “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee” and “Live! with Regis and Kelly,” Philbin will open up the program with, well, whatever is on his mind.
“Regis will be talking about what he did last night, Regis will be talking about what is going on in the world of sports, what is in the news cycle, and that will create, immediately, furor and debate and no doubt opinions,” the EP of the program Michael Davies says. “It is almost like ‘host chat’ built out.”
It will be built out, because alongside Philbin will be a panel of co-hosts, including Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Gay, comedian Michael Kosta, former Pro Bowl defensive end Trevor Pryce and Sky Sports host Georgie Thompson. YouTube star Katie Nolan will serve as the show’s social media correspondent, in charge of fan interaction through social media.
Still, at the heart of the new show is Regis:
“Frankly, when I had the talk shows, when I would have the first 15 minutes to talk about whatever I wanted to talk about, co-hosts don’t accept sports that easily. So, it was kind of tough,” Philbin recalled this afternoon. “I would talk about what I had seen last night at Yankee Stadium, and Kathie Lee’s eyes would start to spin. I would talk about a football game that was so hot this Sunday, you know, and Kelly would just not care at all, and [show EP Michael] Gelman would say ‘what is he talking about?'”
“I have always loved sports. I really have all my life,” he added during a press event this afternoon at the 48 lounge in midtown Manhattan. “I used to have a job, so it is nice to be back.”
Philbin had a chance to prove just how big a sports fan he was after lunch, as the newly-announced cast walked across 48th street to the News Corp. building where a batting cage had been erected to generate buzz surrounding the MLB All Star Game tomorrow night. Philbin led the way, as tourists waiting in line whipped out their cameras and phones.
“I think I still got it!,” the 81-year old said, jokingly flexing his arms as he removed his sport coat and began to take some hacks (see the photo above). Fox Sports staffers handed out foam fingers with the Fox Sports 1 logo, and an announcer called Philbin’s swings.
“Crowd Goes W!ld” is Fox Sports 1’s attempt to create a fun, buzzworthy show that puts sports at the center, but isn’t afraid to go into entertainment or general news. It is a big bet on the yet-to-launch channel, which has been beefing up with expansive live sports rights, and talent from all over.
“The thing [viewers] can’t stand is in-authenticity,” Davies said, referencing some “debate” shows on ESPN and other channels. “We are never going to tell any of our talent which side of the debate they have to argue.”
Following the discussion at the top of the show, the program will move on to field pieces featuring the cast, and liveshots with Fox Sports personalities. There will be a guest every day from the world of sports or entertainment, and the show will end with the hosts telling viewers what they will be watching that night… whatever it might be.