Gary Susman
June 18, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Kelly Ripa will be going ”Live” for another five. That’s according to TV’s ”Extra,” which reports that Ripa has signed a contract extension to remain on the popular morning show (about to begin its 17th season) for another five years. Regis Philbin’s cohost will earn $40 million for that term, and in case she can’t get by on $8 million a year, she’ll continue to moonlight on ABC’s sitcom ”Hope & Faith,” which begins its second season this fall.

The 33-year-old, who’s helped attract younger viewers to the show in the three years since she replaced Kathie Lee Gifford, has graciously attributed much of her success to her coffee-talk partner. ”If you work with Regis, you’re gonna come off looking good, because he won’t let you look any other way,” she once told Entertainment Weekly. Which raises the question of what will happen in two years, when Philbin’s contract runs out, since it’s not clear whether Reege, now 72, will choose to re-up.

You May Like