Is "Live! with Kelly and Michael" about to have a full circle moment?
According to Page Six, ABC executives reached out to Regis Philbin's longtime agent, Kenny DiCamillo, about the possibility of the former host returning to the show.
"He's already been approached. It's been a bunch of phone tag back and forth. It's in the very early stages," an insider told the gossip outlet.
There has been plenty of speculation about who will replace Michael Strahan when he leaves "Live!" for "Good Morning America" on May 13. Anderson Cooper is reportedly Kelly's first choice as her new co-host, and Andy Cohen's name has also been thrown into the mix of options. "Look, I'm very happy at CNN," Anderson said. "It would be a dream to work with Kelly, but nobody's offering anything."
Henry Schleiff of Investigation Discovery, who recently dined with Regis, 84, and his wife, Joy, at the Polo Bar in New York City, is reportedly pushing hard for Regis to be reinstated at the hit show. "Regis gave his opinion about the Michael and Kelly rift, and Henry proposed to spearhead a 'bring Regis back' campaign called #brb," said a Page Six source. "Joy was in support of it. They all seemed game for trying to get him back. I think he'd have to look at the deal, but he was into it. He was totally positive."
However, the New York Daily News pours cold water on the report. "[Regis] may sit in a few times as a guest co-host," explains a source, "but it would be a real stretch to even think it would be anything permanent."
When a photographer asked Regis weeks ago where he stood on the whole Kelly/Michael drama, the TV vet made it clear he wanted nothing to do with any of it. "They should have told [Kelly] in the beginning," he said of Kelly feeling "blindsided" by Michael's decision to leave. "Regis has had enough . . . 28 years there . . . 25 more in Hollywood," he said, referring to himself in the third person.
"Live!" executives have some time before they make a final decision. The show will feature a string of fill-in hosts until the Fall.
A rep for Regis had no comment about these latest rumors. And a "Live" insider simply said, "Seriously?" when asked if Regis would return to the show.
Clearly, this is no joking matter.