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While Regis Philbin ended his 28-year run hosting his ABC morning show Friday, his co-host Kelly Ripa has just locked in to a five-year deal at Live! with Disney-ABC Domestic Television.
This means the show will extend through 2017, so the search is on for a quality, longtime co-host for Ripa. And Disney CEO Bob Iger says he is in no rush to lock in Philbin’s replacement.
STORY: Regis Philbin’s Last Show: Luminaries Bid Farewell to ‘Live!’ Host
“We’re just not going to rush this,” Iger told The New York Times after Friday morning’s taping of Live! With Regis and Kelly. “It may take six months or longer. There is no deadline. If the press starts writing in six months that nothing is happening, that won’t matter. We are going to take our time.”
Iger added that jumping to a new name would be disrespectful to the nearly three decades the 80-year-old Philbin devoted to the live talk show. “It’s better to put a little space in there,” he said. But he added: “This is a great job. We’re hearing from a lot of people who want it.”
STORY: Why Regis Philbin Is Saying Farewell to ‘Live!’: Inside the Talk Show Host’s Departure
First up is Jerry Seinfeld, who will be stepping in as Ripa’s co-host next week, while How I Met Your Mother’s Neil Patrick Harris will be co-hosting the following week. But Iger, who had a large part in recruiting Ripa for the show, pointed out that having a big-name celebrity co-host might not necessarily be the best move for the show.
“Nobody knew Kelly,” Iger pointed out. “Everybody thought we would pick a different name. But we took our time. And Kelly turned out to be a home run.”
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