Regis Philbin isn’t leaving “Live! With Regis and Kelly” until November, but speculation on his replacement has been raging for months.
Now, The Hollywood Reporter is saying that Philbin’s permanent sub will be one of these three men:
Ryan Seacrest, who hosts “American Idol” and his own radio show — and produces a ton of stuff, including “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”
Mark Consuelos; he’s a former soap star, frequent “Live” drop-in and — oh, yeah — Kelly Ripa‘s husband.
Andy Cohen, the Bravo honcho who hosts “Watch What Happens Live,” who wrangles the network’s housewives and who co-hosted last night’s Miss USA pageant.
Let’s start with the obvious — the snappy Seacrest is an obvious red herring.
His (reportedly) $55-million-a-year earnings are based entirely on the west coast. Imagine the logistics involved in having Seacrest tape in Manhattan every morning while filming “Idol” in Hollywood.
Cohen also seems unlikely.
That’s because NBC Universal, having nurtured him from office drone to reality star, will probably be loath to lose him to another network at the peak of his popularity.
(But he certainly could use this story to press his bosses for a salary bump.)
Our money has long been on Consuelos.
“Live” is a show with a loyal audience. They’re extremely invested in Philbin and Ripa — and, as such, they already know Consuelos as another character on the show.
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