Regis lives, and reigns

It's so far so good for Live with Regis-the talk show, now officially sans Kathie Lee, scored a 5.1 national metered-market average in its first three days.

While a far cry from the 10.4 rating grabbed in the metered markets for the day of Lee's final farewell, Live's performance for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week outpaced its July 1999 showing (3.6) by 42%.

Live nipped at the heels of current talk leader Oprah, who for the week ended July 23 posted a 5.7 household rating. For the period, Live (with Regis and Kathie) snagged a 3.6.

Live also invigorated top market stations in its first shot out of the gate. On WABC-TV New York, the show (6.2) soared 51% from its numbers in July of last year. Likewise for KABC-TV Los Angeles, Live climbed 58% from its July 1999 outing.

Also getting bumps were WPVI-TV Philadelphia (8.7, up 64%), WHDH-TV Boston (4.2, up 20%) WXYZ-TV Detroit (5.9, up 34%) and WSB-TV Atlanta (6.2, up 24%).

"A lot is going on at Live," said a Buena Vista representative. "Regis has never been hotter."

True, considering that Regis Philbin's Millionaire has been typically winning its time periods this summer. It hasn't gotten lost in shuffle among the season's other heavy hitters Survivor and Big Brother.

There is also that little hunt for a new partner. Recent players stepping up to bat include Philbin's wife, Joy, and Roseanne, looking for a new gig having laid to rest her own talk series.

"While we search for a new host, we expect viewer levels to stay high," added the representative. "I think viewers will maintain their interest in the show."