Philbin,79, announced his plan to retire back in January. He was originally set to step down in June, but extended his final season until November. Philbin and Kelly Ripa picked up the Daytime Emmy award for best talk show host on Sunday, sharing the award with Dr. Oz.
A rep for Disney-ABC Domestic Television, which produces Live with Regis and Kelly, denied the report of Philbin's possible successors. "It's ridiculous at this point to be speculating about who will replace him," a spokesperson told the Journal. Ridiculous or not, we decided to break down the latest crop of frontrunners to see who would be the best fit to balance out Ripa's perky personality and help America wake up each morning.
Pro: The longtime American Idol host has plenty of experience under his belt, ranging from his turns hosting the Emmys and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve to his morning radio show, "On Air with Ryan Seacrest." Then again, there's the failure of his short-lived daytime series of the same name to consider. Seacrest also has the Hollywood connections that could help bring big names to Live and could help expand the show's audience thanks to his diverse fan base. Out of all these possible new names, we think Live with Ryan and Kelly has the best ring to it.
Con: Yes, this joke is made all the time, but it's definitely worth repeating now. Doesn't this guy have enough jobs already? In addition to his Idol gig and radio show, Seacrest is also the co-anchor of E! News' daily show and produces a wealth of reality programs for the cable channel including the many Kardashian iterations. The biggest cause for concern is what Seacrest's hectic schedule would do to his energy level. More specifically would he able to keep the energy up if he tried to juggle several different gigs? Kelly is perky and all, but she shouldn't have to do all the heavy lifting on her own.
Pro: Bravo's executive vice president of programming has made a name for himself in front of the camera as well, as the ringmaster for many a Real Housewives reunion show and the host of the late-night show Watch What Happens: Live. Cohen also has great on-screen chemistry with Ripa as evidenced by her frequent (and hilarious) visits to the Bravo clubhouse. Although Cohen seems perfectly fit for late night (you certainly can't drink a cocktail at 10 a.m.), he has also flourished in the daytime as a popular Today guest.
Con: We know it's selfish, but if Cohen moves to Live, who will be there to host crazy drinking games on Watch What Happens and lead those out-of-control Real Housewives reunions? Watch What Happens' success and expansion is largely thanks to Cohen's on-screen personality and industry connections (high-profile guests have included Liam Neeson, Tina Fey and Jerry Seinfeld) and the Real Housewives reunions have grown from glorified clip shows to three-part yelling matches in a few short years. Seriously, who else would be willing to get pushed around by Teresa Giudice in the name of good reality TV? (Yes, there is a chance he could do both, but we're going on the assumption that hosting an hourlong daytime show would keep Cohen's hands full).
Pro: Who better to share a cup of coffee with Ripa than the man she wakes up next to every morning? The two displayed their ability to work together long ago on All My Children and if there is any daytime that accepts, if not encourages, spouses to work together it's Live. (see: Philbin's frequent guest co-host, his wife, Joyce).
Con: Besides his own turns as guest co-anchor on Live, what experience does Mr. Kelly Ripa really have as a TV personality?
Who do you think should replace Philbin?