According to a recent report in The New York Post, the viewership for “Live! With Kelly” has declined “sharply once Regis left; with a 35 percent drop in ratings” since Regis Philbin, 80, retired on air November 18. It was back on Jan. 18, 2011, that Philbin surprised fans and announced plans to leave the highly rated “Live with Regis and Kelly” at the end of his contract. Then, 11 months later this once popular ABC morning talk show said goodbye to Regis, and hello to whoever his replacement might be. As of Jan. 25 there is still no replacement for the still popular Philbin. However, there’s been a lot of stars sitting in Philbin’s chair opposite current host Kelly Ripa, 41, over the past three months -- with only former Saturday Night Live “Regis impersonator” Dana Carvey -- being able to fill Philbin’s shoes,state media critics. At the same time, both critics and fans wonder “why has it taken this once highly successful ABC daytime talk show to find a replacement for the ever popular Regis?"
Also, those who watch a lot of TV note that Philbin doesn't seem keen on full retirement from TV; after Philbin's many appearances on other talk shows since leaving his “Live with Regis and Kelly” program that’s aired since 1993 in New York City, and since 1988 nationwide.
Regis fans want the old guy back, now!
Coos Bay local Debra and neighbor Sandy told Huliq during a Jan. 24 interview that “daytime TV just isn’t the same since Regis stepped down.”
In turn, Debra noted that she’s quit watching the show because “Kelly Ripa is okay when Regis was around,” but “she’s all over the place since Regis left;” while also saying that the long, long list of guest hosts is both good and bad.
“You get someone like Kelly Ripa's husband Mark Consuelos and it’s kind of fun because they have a Lucy and Ricky thing going on, but that’s only been that way for a few shows,” explains Sandy.
Also, “because not everyone can do what Regis did, and that’s just talk and make you feel at home,” added Sandy, who also switched her daytime viewing around after “trying out Ripa’s show for a few weeks.”
Guest hosts also viewed as dull
At the same time, numerous TV critics – writing in New York newspapers and online entertainment blogs – have complained about the lack of “consistency” with the new Live! With Kelly show that’s featured such guest hosts as Neil Patrick Harris, Derek Hough, Jonah Hill, Josh Groban, Taye Diggs, Kevin Jonas, Bryant Gumbel, Michael Buble’, Seth Meyers, Andy Cohen, Michael Strahan, Jim Parson, David Duchovny, Rob Lowe, Mario Lopez and even Jerry Seinfeld who was part of a rumor around New York City that “Regis had crowed Jerry as his replacement if he wanted the gig.”
Apparently, nobody wants to share the stage on “Live!” with Ripa who, as a former soap opera actress, can be “moody, and even very strange,” said one TV critic who asked “why should anyone watch the show on a daily basis without Regis joking around.”
The critic also said, “Kelly seems to be a nice lady, but doesn’t have the depth and knowledge of the entertainment business like Regis, who still holds the record for being on TV longer than anyone in its history."
Philbin shoes hard to fill
Prior to his retirement this past November, Philbin was called “the hardest working man in show business,” and even holds the Guinness World Record for the most time spent in front of a television camera. In fact, this versatile media personality, actor and singer – who’s best known for hosting talk and game shows since the early Sixties – is liked, say fans, because of his “crazy New York Bronx accent, his great wit and those infamous ad-libs” that seem to get “Reg” into trouble at times because he’s irreverent and “I don’t care,” Phiblin would say in his loud, often mocked voice.
Thus, without the master, and just the ultra-slim Ripa trying to hold down the fort, TV critics say “it’s simply not working;” while noting that rumors from “the head shed at ABC” may cancel “Live! With Kelly” as soon as they can find a “suitable replacement.”
Moreover, the last show of “Live!” with Regis as co-host was watched by a record number of over nine million loyal viewers that TV critics say “were not watching because of Kelly, but to send their Regis off in style.”
Regis replacements don’t exist
While TV critics say it was “fun” watching the show after Regis left three months ago “to see who his replacement would be,” it’s now “gotten old real fast with the reality,” state critics, “that a Regis replacement doesn’t exist.”
In turn, such names as “Ryan Seacrest,” and “Andy Cohen” have been floated as possible permanent co-hosts to star on the show with Ripa, but critics state that nobody wants to sign-up for Live and then have the ratings slide even further than they already have since Philbin’s departure on November 18.
At the same time, the recent ABC plan to try and breathe new life into Live by featuring an all-star roster of sports stars to co-host with Ripa failed in the ratings war Jan. 9 to 13 when the likes of Reggie Bush, Carl Edwards and Apolo Anton Ohno demonstrated they’re excellent athletes, but TV critics stated they don’t have the “gift of the gab like Regis.”
Image source of the “Live with Regis and Kelly set before a live taping last year.” Those who frequent the show, note that “it’s not the same, and even sort of empty without Regis sitting in co-host chair opposite current host Kelly Ripa. Photo courtesy Wikipedia