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NOV
20
2 YEARS

Regis Philbin’s Final ‘Live!’ Episode Set to Net Record Ratings

According to overnight metered estimates, the show’s numbers tripled in some markets for ABC’s live morning talk show when Kelly Ripa bid farewell to her co-host.

Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripka
David Russell/ABC Domestic TV

After more than two decades hosting Live! – first with Kathie Lee Gifford since 1988 and with Kelly Ripa since 2001 – Regis Philbin can expect big ratings for his sendoff when national numbers come in Tuesday.

STORY: Why Regis Philbin Is Saying Farewell to 'Live!': Inside the Talk Show Host's Departure

Based on preliminary household ratings from New York City and Philadelphia, nearly one-third of TV viewers were tuned in Friday.

Friday’s show, which had a celebrity-packed studio audience including Donald Trump, Gifford, Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Alan Alda, scored an 8.7 for its last quarter in New York, nearly triple what the show averaged last November (2.9), according to Nielsen Media Research.

STORY: Regis Philbin's Last Show: Luminaries Bid Farewell to 'Live!' Host

Philbin’s swan song performed even better in Philadelphia, with 9.7, compared to last year’s 3.5 for the same month.

This past February, THR reported Live! With Regis and Kelly hit a two-year ratings high when Philbin not only announced his impending departure from the show, but also interviewed pop sensation Justin Bieber. The episode average a 3.1 household rating for the week, its highest number since December 2008, according to Nielsen.

VIDEO: Jerry Seinfeld Talks About Taking Over for Regis Philbin's on 'Live!'