Behind the scenes with Regis and Kelly

FRESNO, Calif.

Millions tune in to ABC's Live with Regis and Kelly every morning to watch the fun and quick-witted hosts share their perspective on anything and everything.

Just a few days ago, Action News anchor Graciela Moreno traveled to New York for an interview with /*Regis and Kelly*/, and a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most popular daytime shows in the country.

People start lining up bright and early for the 9 a.m. show and, while they wait they shop, buying T-shirts, mugs, pens -- if it says Regis & Kelly on it, it's a hot seller.

Just 15 minutes before airtime the crowd starts filing into the studio. For many, tickets to the show, were hard to come by.

"I have an assistant that has been working on getting tickets for this weekend for 6 months... online, postcards and the tickets came a couple of weeks ago so it all worked out great for us," fan Greg Henson said.

Once inside the familiar bright orange set, show staff quickly gets the 200 audience members to their seats, and the fun begins.

Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa have been hosting the award-winning show together for the last 10 years, and the on-air chemistry between the two is apparent.

Regis says much of it has to do with never being rehearsed, and keeping their conversations as real as possible.

"We don't talk until we're out here," he said. "We come down the hall, you may have seen us, that's the first conversation we have, then 30 seconds later, 'here they are Regis and Kelly' and out we come."

Kelly calls the show irreverent, but says that is what appeals to fans. It's just the two of them, talking about anything and everything.

And the jokes and fun don't stop off-air.

The hosts spend commercial breaks talking with the audience, shaking hands and posing for pictures.

"I think the banter between the two of them is hilarious," fan Sheila Otvos said. "She is so darn cute, and witty and sassy, and dresses amazing."

Show veteran Art Moore, the guy you sometimes get to see sitting off to the side, oversees the well-organized chaos that takes place behind the scenes.

"It's a show within a show, absolutely. There is so much going on that I sometimes wish that we could televise," Moore said.

No one on the set is looking forward to November 18, the day Regis Philbin chats it up with Kelly Ripa for the last time.

"I just don't think we're going to deal with it until the last day," Kelly said.

There will be no tears, she celebrates every night. 'Thank god he's gone, Mark'... Drink. Drink. Drink," Regis said with a laugh.

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Counting down to the end of an era

It's the end of an era for one of the most popular shows on daytime television.

All season we have enjoyed flashbacks of some of the most memorable guests and funniest moments as we prepare to say goodbye to Regis Philbin.

Action News anchor Graciela Moreno had the opportunity to sit down with both Regis and Kelly and talk about his final days on the show- and what comes next.

Every Live with Regis & Kelly show this season marks one step closer to the end of an era.

Next week, Regis Philbin says goodbye to the program he has helmed from the very beginning, 28 years ago.

"Kelly breaks down and cries in between the show and I have a heck of a time bringing her back up. No, that doesn't happen," Regis said with a laugh.

The jokes have been non-stop for the last 10 years that Regis and Kelly Ripa have hosted the successful morning talk show together, sharing stories of their celebrity studded, but somehow normal, personal lives.

"For me its very sad because he's been a big part of my life for so long," Kelly said.

Regis' departure has many of his long-time fans clamoring for tickets to the show, like Dustin Kershaw.

"I think Regis is one of the best entertainers of our time. You have Sinatra, Dean Martin, Regis Philbin," Kershaw said. "It's going to be big shoes to fill once Regis retires."

At 81 years old, Regis says the time was right to leave the show, but he's not leaving the business entirely.

"My future plans are simple; just going to relax and enjoy the holidays; Christmas, New Years... and sometime next year I'll find something that interests me and I'll do it," Regis said.

Among his immediate plans, a book tour and maybe even a return trip to the Valley. Regis performed at Chukchansi Casino just two years ago.

Who will be Kelly's new co-host once Regis leaves is still anybody's guess.

But one thing show supervisor Art Moore does know is the decision won't be easy.

"You can't replace him. He's too unique. He's an icon. It'll be a different kind of show, have a different focus, and still fun and entertaining but with a different dynamic," Moore said.

It's a dynamic that viewers respond to, because in the end Kelly says the choice is up to them.

"I think its going to be a person who has good conversations and has a good sense of humor and is irreverent because this is an irreverent show," Kelly said.

But Regis, forever the comedian, has one suggestion: "But does it have to be a man? Can it be Graciela?" he asked. "Sure!" Kelly replied.

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