Regis Philbin is taking a break from the talk show format (but maybe not by choice). His return to TV won’t see him chatting on a daytime sofa — he’s aiming for a bigger prime-time talent show.
Philbin, who hosted the first season of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” has formed RAF Productions with former “Live With Regis and Kathie Lee” director Barry Glazer, “City Island” executive producer Edward Walson and “Writers Guild Awards” exec producer Cort Cassidy.
“We’re contemplating a show that is sort of a talent show, but it involves the whole family,” Philbin told Page Six, adding, “a family competition, which is something new in our business. It’s going to be on prime time when it happens.”
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Philbin has been contacted by “Gangland” producer Michael Manshel about other concepts, including reviving the variety format.
“[An] entertainment type of show would appeal to me,” Philbin said. “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.”
Days after signing off at “Live,” Philbin embarked on a book tour for his best-selling memoir, “How I Got This Way.”
And Philbin, 80, refuses to look back. “It’s all this farewell stuff that [‘Live’ executive producer Michael] Gelman ran for weeks, shoving it down people’s throats,” he said. “It’s too much! People come to say goodbye . . . I’m not retired yet, I’m just moving on.”
Philbin insists his departure was all business. “It wasn’t that ABC didn’t try to negotiate with me,” he said. “As it happens in this business, sometimes you don’t really like the terms so you just walk away with that in mind.”
Katie Couric bet Philbin $10 that he would cry on his last show. He didn’t, and now he’s waiting for Couric to pay up. “Well, she never paid me,” Regis joked. “Put that in Page Six. I’m still looking for a $10 bill somewhere.”