It was a sad day for morning show fans everywhere when Regis Philbin took his final bow this past November on ABC’s Live With Regis and Kelly. And though one would assume the ratings would plummet after the loss of such a prominent figure, they’ve actually done quite the opposite. The New York Times (via The Hollywood Reporter) reports that even though the numbers have dropped from the high set by Regis’ farewell segment, the show is actually doing better ratings-wise now than it was at this time last year. According to the Times, Live With Kelly is up 12 percent year-over-year among all viewers and up 14 percent in its core demographic of women, ranging between the ages of 25 and 54.
So what’s the cause for the rise in the public’s interest? Personally, I think it has something to do with finding Regis’ replacement. Ever since Reg announced his departure from the show, the first question on everybody’s minds has been — who’s going to replace him? And while that question has yet to be answered, several guest co-hosts (including Neil Patrick Harris and Jerry Seinfeld) started temporarily “filling in” until a permanent candidate is announced. So it only makes sense that fans would be eagerly tuning in to see who would be the right fit for the position. Undoubtedly, there will be no one who can do the job quite like good old Regis, but a decision will have to be made sometime. Until then — keep on watching!