Live! With Kelly, the show that has wandered through months of auditions for a co-host may be seeing the finish line according to the Hollywood trade news sites.
Regis Philbin keeps himself very busy. Only this week he served as host for the Macy's sponsored fireworks display in New York harbor, aired on NBC.
He left a gaping hole by saying goodbye to his decades-long spot on the stool next to co-hosts who learned the business from him. How to face a live audience, keep them engaged, happy and informed is no small feat. Regis made it look as natural as breathing.
As Kelly Rippa has had to work with new people on LIve! each morning, viewers came to realize just how good Regis was. Nonetheless, the show carries on and it seems that there is light at the end of the auditions tunnel.
Seth Meyers, comedian and Saturday Night Live news anchor.
Positives: Meyers is young and hip, can ad-lib with the best of them and might give a fresher face to the show. Demographics are important and Meyers has the ability to draw in fans of SNL and younger viewers who didn't consider Live! With Regis and Kelly must-see TV.
Negatives: Meyer can come off as smug and his humor trends on the ironic side, in the mode of David Letterman and Jon Stewart. The morning show audiences like sincerity in their humor and while Regis could rib co-hosts and the audience, all knew he was a sweet guy.
Michael Strahan, former N.Y. Giants linebacker and current member of the panel on Fox's NFL pre and post-game shows. Catch some video posted below.
Positives: Let's lead off with the gap-toothed smile. Strahan has a way of melting the hearts of ladies when he grins and like Regis he resonates warmth. Strahan has his own demographic pull which would include younger viewers along with football fans who might be interested to give the show a try.
Negatives: Strahan has humor but isn't as quick as a comedian or a host with years of experience. While he's been the business of entertainment, his experience interviewing and hosting is limited.
Josh Groban, the singing artist who has already begun a career in movies.
Positives: Groban's name recognition could be larger than the other candidates. He has put his toe into acting and pulled off a good turn as the commitment-phobic boyfriend of Emma Stone in "Crazy, Stupid Love." He has a personality that is affable and could mix well with most any co-host.
Negatives: Does he look like a co-host? Perhaps too identified with sweet love songs rather than snappy patter and interviewing, Groban might have to grow on an audience before he is accepted.
Seth Meyers is leading the pack, say the trades and will begin a week-long visit with Kelly this Monday July 9. Who do you favor among the three gentlemen in the running? Image: Wikimedia