Showbiz 411 is reporting that longtime “Saturday Night Live” head writer and longtime Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers is now the leading contender to permanently fill Regis Philbin’s old seat next to Kelly Ripa on the syndicated morning show “Live With Kelly.”
Former footballer Michael Strahan and recording artist Josh Groban are also considered likely hires, but Meyers is the frontrunner, according to the site's source.
ABC and Disney are expected to announce Ripa’s new co-host in September.
Meyers, 38, is the longest-tenured current SNL player, have joined the cast in 2001. He became the series’ co-head writer in 2006, and began his stint as Weekend Update anchor (initially alongside Amy Poehler) that same year.
Two other longtime SNL cast members, Kristin Wiig and Andy Samberg, recently announced they won’t be returning to the show when it returns this fall. Jason Sudeikis, who starred in “Hall Pass,” “Horrible Bosses” and “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy” in 2011, has long been rumored to be ready to put SNL behind him as well, though there’s still no word as to whether he’ll be back this fall or not.
A key question now is who will replace Meyers at the Update desk should he be tapped for the morning show. Jay Pharoah? Kate McKinnon? Nasim Pedrad? Fred Armisen has the most seniority after Meyers, followed by Kenan Thompson, Bill Hader, Sudeikis, Abby Elliott and Bobby Moynihan.
But relative newcomers Vanessa Bayer and Taran Killam strike me as the obvious frontrunners for that job.
Find all of Showbiz’ exclusive on the matter here.