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NEW YORK/CRAWFORD, TX – George W. Bush will be replacing Regis Philbin as co-host on his popular ABC talk show.

Regis Philbin announced on air yesterday that after 28 years of co-hosting the “LIVE!” morning show, he is leaving later this year.

ABC execs immediately announced that  George W. Bush will be the new host opposite Kelly Ripa.  ABC felt that Bush is one of the few recognized personalities who has the charisma to face off with the feisty Kelly Ripa five days a week.

The 43rd President was in New York last week to meet with Ripa and the show’s producers. Word is, they reviewed Bush’s screen tests and have been very pleased with his on-screen presence.

Seth Lewinsky, a marketing manager for the show, loves the idea of putting “Bush II” on the air. “He’s camera-ready. After all those years of press conferences and campaigning, he’s prepared to tackle a fresh audience each morning. He also brings a certain Texan charm to a very New York show. He’ll pull in another sector of the population for us.”

Ripa is said to be ecstatic. While she was initially pushing for her husband Mark Consuelos to replace Regis, she’s had a change of heart.

“Mark is the perfect fill-in, but we need a perfect co-pilot. George is my co-pilot,” explained Ripa.

Producers are also scrambling to settle on a new name for the show. While they want to inject some new energy into the name, they don’t want to lose the strength of the brand. Possibilities include:

LIVE with Kelly and Dubya
LIVE with the Ripa and the W
Ripa! Bush! LIVE!
Kelly and George: Up in Smoke
Bush Cassidy and the Sundance Kelly
Mission Accomplished!