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Regis Philbin looks to return to TV with a family variety show

November 28, 2011 | 12:45 pm

Regis Philbin
Regis Philbin has been off the air for just over a week, and already he's making noises about coming back. The former "Live!" co-host retired from his decades-long gig on that morning talk show on Nov. 18, but the 80-year-old Philbin is now telling the New York Post's Page Six that he's looking to come back to TV in prime time as host of a family variety show.

"[An] entertainment type of show would appeal to me," Philbin told Page Six. "Almost a variety show. In our business you don't want to say 'variety' because it's frowned upon now, but something with people who are performing."

Philbin was reportedly contacted by "Gangland" producer Michael Manshel about several TV concepts.

Philbin's "Live!" job was not his only TV gig. Philbin hosted the prime-time "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" on ABC from 1999 to 2002, returning for "Who Wants to Be a Super Millionaire" in 2004 and a 10th anniversary show in 2009. He hosted a short-lived prime-time revamp of "Million Dollar Password" in 2008, and the first season of "America's Got Talent" in 2006.

If nothing else, Philbin's return to TV would further solidify his status as the Guinness World Record holder for the most hours on TV (about 16,500 currently). He's on a book tour for his memoir, "How I Got This Way," and seems unsentimental about his daytime departure.

"It wasn't that ABC didn’t try to negotiate with me," Philbin told the paper. “As it happens in this business, sometimes you don't really like the terms, so you just walk away with that in mind."


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— Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Regis Philbin appears on his final episode of "Live! With Regis & Kelly." Credit: Charles Sykes / Associated Press