Who Will Replace Regis? Scramble Begins to Find Kelly’s New Co-host

by | January 18, 2011 at 2:10 PM | TV News

Jeff Probst, Mark Conseulos, and Tim Gunn (Jason Merritt/Jason Kempin/Getty Images/Lifetime)

Jeff Probst, Mark Conseulos, and Tim Gunn (Jason Merritt/Jason Kempin/Getty Images/Lifetime)

One of the best jobs in television, if not the world, is currently available now that Regis Philbin has decided to call it quits. The question now is: Who will replace him? Indeed, who can replace him?

Philbin’s surprise announcement Tuesday morning that he’s decided to step down after 28 years from the co-host’s role on “Live! With Regis and Kelly” has now set in motion a scramble to find the right person – presumably a male – to take up residence alongside Kelly Ripa. It’s the most dramatic changing of the guard on TV since Kathie Lee Gifford left “Live!” in 2000.

The search for a new Regis is the kind of process that could take months (since Regis isn’t expected to leave until the end of the summer) as dozens, if not hundreds, of personalities are considered. Or the powers-that-be might already have their sights set on a replacement – someone close to home perhaps, such as Kelly’s husband, Mark Consuelos. They happen to be charming together whenever Mark has subbed for Regis.

But he’ll be just one of many names that will be rumored about until an announcement on a new co-host is made. The real fun is trying to guess who they’ll pick.

We have a few suggestions:

Jeff Probst: The affable host of “Survivor” on CBS has guest-hosted often on “Live!” and seems quite comfortable there. And he might be itching for a chance to settle down after more than 10 years of trotting the globe for the CBS reality series.

Tom Bergeron: If what the producers are seeking is a TV personality who can pretty much handle anything, then this is the kind of guy you go for. Bergeron’s done it all – “Dancing with the Stars,” “Hollywood Squares,” “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” He’s even hosted morning shows, including “Good Morning America” (as a guest-host).

Jerry Seinfeld: Jerry’s a long shot, if only because he never has to really work again, but he’s a local guy (his commute to the “Live!” studios would be about 15 blocks) and he seems to enjoy himself whenever he’s on the show. And the affection audiences have for him is undeniable.

Tim Gunn: Credit People magazine with proposing the affable, meticulously well-mannered star of “Project Runway” as a candidate for Regis’ job. Gunn might not fly with everyone, but women (who make up most of the audience for “Live!”) seem to like him. And he’s just so darned likable!

Maury Povich: Landing the job as the new Regis would be a graceful way for Maury to finally extricate himself from that daytime show he hosts, with its paternity tests and free-wheeling fistfights. Who wouldn’t want to trade that kind of circus for the gentility of “Live!”? And, at only 72 years-old, Maury’s like a young Regis Philbin!

Watch His Announcement Below:

On second thought, this process isn’t going to be easy. The real question for the producers is: Who will have just the right chemistry with Kelly to keep this show going for years and years? Who do you think should get the job?