A few months back, 79-year-old Live With…. host Regis Philbin announced that, after 28 years, he’d be stepping down from his ABC morning-show post come the end of this summer. Only a few weeks later, the network issued a statement that Philbin would, in fact, continue to endure timely banter with Kelly Ripa and meaningless junket interviews with obedient celebrities through November, so they could plan a proper sendoff.
Although with news coming today that Philbin will publish an as-yet-untitled memoir through HarperCollins subsidiary It Books in the fall, something tells us those negotiations went more like, “Look here, network execs, none of whom held their positions when Kathie Lee and I first made the 10 a.m. coffee-talk slot what it is today: I’m the only reason stay-at-home parents have tuned in for nearly three decades and ensured there’s an audience to sell advertised homecare products to, and that everyone on the Live With…. staff gets their monthly allowance of PR swag and lukewarm plates of pot roast from Wolfgang Puck. So either you agree to keep me on the air through November as a glorified few months of free promotion for my memoir, or you’ll never see Gelman again.”
There is no precise release date for Philbin’s latest tell-all (following previous life reflections I’m Only One Man and Who Wants to Be Me?), although his publisher assures it will be full of celebrity dish and behind-the-scenes reveals about his two Live With…. co-hosts, in addition to spanning the rest of his Guinness Book Of World Records-worthy career.