EXCLUSIVE: With Regis Philbin leaving Live! With Regis And Kelly next week, the company that distributes the popular daily syndicated talk show has moved to lock in co-host Kelly Ripa through at least 2017. I’ve learned that Ripa has signed a new five-year deal with Disney-ABC Domestic Television that will start in fall 2012, when the talk show host’s current pact expires. This past February, Ripa celebrated her 10-year anniversary on Live!, and her new contract will extend her tenure on the show to 16 years. The rich new deal comes just as Ripa prepares to fly solo following Philbin’s November 18 exit when the veteran syndicated talk show will be temporarily renamed Live! With Kelly until a permanent co-host is found. While the search is underway, Ripa will be joined by a slew of guest co-hosts. First off is Jerry Seinfeld, who will take a seat besides Ripa on her first three solo shows, November 21-23. Earlier today, Live! announced the lineup of guests for Philbin’s final week, which includes David Letterman and Kathie Lee Gifford. Along with Philbin, Ripa won a Daytime Emmy for best talk show host this past summer. In addition to her hosting duties on Live!, Ripa remains active on the acting side and has been developing and producing TV projects through Milojo Prods., her company with husband Mark Consuelos. The two signed with CAA earlier this year.
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