'Live' -- Without Regis or Kelly
Kelly Ripa caused an unwelcome TV milestone on Tuesday, it is being widely reported from Variety to The New York Times. For the first time in its 17-year history, the ABC mid-morning talk show that Ripa cohosts with Regis Philbin, "Live With Regis and Kelly," went on the air without either one of its cohosts in front of the camera. Reege, 68, was out on a planned week's vacation (on a cruise, said The Times), while Kelly, 31, had taken ill (a nasty case of tummy flu, said Variety. The Times expanded upon that to add that the show's executive producer, Michael Gelman, speculated that Ripa must have caught the bug from her son.) In Regis's place, Thomas Gibson, 39, the star of the ABC sitcom "Dharma & Greg," had already flown in from Los Angeles to serve as a substitute. Ripa reportedly called in sick at 5 a.m. Rather than toss on a repeat, however, Gelman had one of his staff members call Joan Rivers -- who, as it was, was already booked for Wednesday's program to discuss her upcoming visit to the Oscars. As "a good friend of the show," said a publicist for "Live," Rivers, 68, had no problem filling in for Ripa -- even though she didn't receive her invitation until 7:45 Tuesday morning, only 75 minutes before showtime. In an on-air call from her sick-bed Tuesday, Ripa promised her audience that she would make herself get well for Wednesday's show. She made good on that vow.
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