The hunt for a Regis Philbin replacement on Live! WIth Regis and Kelly has been so highly publicized it seemed unlikely that Ripa would pull a fast one and depart as well, but now we've at least got confirmation that she's staying put. Entertainment Weekly reports that Ripa has signed a contract that will keep her on the show through 2017, adding another five years to the ten she's already served on the daytime show.

They'll need her around, too-- while Regis is gone and no replacement is in place, the show will temporarily be called Live! With Kelly, which works in a pinch but really doesn't have quite the same ring to it. She won't be totally out on her now, though-- Jerry Seinfeld has already been announced as the co-host for next week, and she's got a whole lineup of other guys who have temporarily filled in for Regis in the past, including her husband Mark Consuelos, jack-of-all-trades entertainer Neil Patrick Harris, and Anderson Cooper, whose own daytime talk show hasn't been doing so well, so maybe he ought to consider bringing in a partner.

The celebration of Regis in his final week have already kicked off, with Jimmy Fallon and Don Rickles making musical tributes and a ton of retrospectives about his 28 years on the show scheduled. Remarkably, Regis has been with the show since it began as a local New York show, and stuck around even as his female co-hosts changed more than 5 times. The guy's a TV legend, which helps explains why he's apparently so difficult to replace; at the rate she's going, Kelly Ripa might be just as hard to replace when she goes too.

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