The Wall Street Journal has jumped the gun on Regis Philbin‘s possible replacement. Today they named three likely candidates from their own imagination: Kelly Ripa‘s actor husband Mark Consuelos; Andy Cohen of Bravo; and Ryan Seacrest. While Disney and ABC may be wondering what they’ll do next, I can tell you that it is quite doubtful any of these three will be taking Reege’s chair after he leaves in November.
For one thing, Consuelos is already out of the picture. A husband-wife team–with three kids at home–is not possible. Plus, as Kelly has said, she doesn’t need to spar at home and on TV with her husband. Seacrest has “American Idol” in Los Angeles from January through May, so that crosses him off the list. Cohen is really a TV executive who’s made a name for himself in a niche market. He’s a nice guy, but he doesn’t have Philbin’s showmanship.
Indeed, no one does. Anderson Cooper had the inside track for a while, but that was scotched when he took his own syndicated talk show. Pat Sajak was always a good Reege fill in, but he’s got “Wheel of Fortune” and zillions of dollars in the bank. As insiders have said, why would he want to give it all up and come to New York for a 6am wake up call?
No, finding someone to succeed Regis–he can’t be replaced–will be difficult. And there will be no announcement before Regis’s final day, the Friday before Thanksgiving. The good betting is that Kelly Ripa goes it alone with guest co-hosts through January 2012. A new person–man or woman–will probably be introduced in February 2012 sweeps after a big promo push to guess the winner. Again, the qualifications should be someone with a strong entertainment history, a New Yorker, someone who has a great sense of humor and some edge. But not too much edge. Maybe The Edge. (Just kidding.)
Good luck, execs. You’re going to need it.