Tuesday, January 18, 2011

'Live with Regis and Kelly' Will Be Looking For The Next TV Star, Too...

This morning Regis Philbin announced his plans for retirement, telling viewers of his twenty-year year talk show, Live with Regis and (now) Kelly that he will be with the program just through the end of the year. For those of you who remember what it was like when Kathie Lee Gifford left the show over a decade ago, a parade of eligible women came through the New York City studio, testing in front of the live studio audience. The co-hosting gig was open to actors, anchors, radio personalities, and was ultimately handed to former soap star Kelly Ripa. Now, she may have the opportunity to put some others in the hot seat for a chance at spending their weekday breakfasts by her side. But who should it be?

Early names already being dropped are the often guest co-hosts (you know, when Reeg is sick or on vacation) like Ryan Seacrest, Anderson Cooper, Neil Patrick Harris, and Jeff Probst. But let's face it, those guys have quite a few jobs already. Speaking of too many jobs, My Life, Made Possible by Pop Culture would love to see Joel McHale win the slot, but that would uproot his whole life and career. Even if he turned over The Soup to the next in pop culture commentator (ahem!), he couldn't stay enrolled in Greendale and shoot a morning show across the country five days a week. Well, not if they want to keep the "live" in Live with Whoever and Kelly.

So therefore, my pick is Ripa's own real life husband, Mark Consuelos, to get the spot. They have natural, easy chemistry, a flow in their conversation that can't be manufactured, and let's face it, he's pretty nice to wake up to in the morning!

But I'm not of the mind that the co-host HAS to be a guy, even though producers seem to be so narrow-minded. Years ago when Gifford needing replacing, a male-male dynamic was never presented as an option. But times have changed, and so has the face of television, in the last few years. Gifford is proving female duos can be twice as strong-- or at least entertaining. Reeg and Ripa have always had a bit of a love/hate banter; at most times he treats her like the daughter with which he doesn't know what to do. I don't want to see sisterly rivalry; I get enough of that on The View or The Talk. But what about those women who actually embody the feeling of girl power and have something to offer to the conversation? Off the top of my head, names that come to mind are forming Talk Soup host Aisha Tyler, another former soap star like Lindsay Hartley, or maybe even an entertainment reporter like Kristina Guerrero.

Ripa better start taking notes from Oprah's own (no pun intended) talk show host reality competition on how to narrow it down. Lord knows names will start coming out of the woodwork to make their individual cases for the job. Hell, I hate being on camera-- almost as much as I hated living in New York-- but I may have to throw my hat in the ring, or send my tape in, as it were, too. Where else would I get to interview top-tier celebrities and share photos and interesting anecdotes about my dog? I know what you're thinking: right here. Well, what about on a national level??

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