Disney: ‘Regis Back in January’

Studio says veteran daytime host Philbin’s hip surgery went well; will be back in four to six weeks.

Last Updated: December 1, 2009 @ 12:45 PM

Regis Philbin has undergone successful hip-replacement surgery and will return to his long-occupied post as co-host of “Live with Regis and Kelly” in early January, according to a statement released Tuesday by the morning show’s producer/distributor, Disney.

“Word from the hospital is that everything went perfectly this morning during Regis’ hip replacement surgery, and his doctor said that Regis couldn’t be in better shape,” the statement read. “Regis anticipates returning to ‘Live with Regis and Kelly’ soon after the first of the year, given the procedure’s typical four-to-six-week recovery time.

Media hackles that the 78-year-old TV host’s condition might be more serious were raised on Nov. 23 when Philbin announced on his show that his return from surgery would occur sometime “next year,” without specifying a month or date.

"Live" is produced by WABC-TV out of New York and syndciated by ABC-Disney Domestic Television.