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Kathie Lee Gifford Doesn’t Think She Would’ve ‘Lasted 1 Day’ Hosting Talk Show in ‘Today’s World’ (Exclusive)

Kathie Lee Gifford has put her talk show hosting days behind her, and she’s unlikely to go back.

“I would not have lasted one day in today’s world on my show with Regis [Philbin] or my show with Hoda [Kotb] in this world where you got to watch what you say,” Gifford, 70, exclusively told Us Weekly earlier this month while discussing her role on The Baxters. “I’ve made a living not watching what I say.”

Gifford and Philbin, who died in July 2020, cohosted Live With Regis and Kathie Lee (originally titled The Morning Show) from 1985 to 2000. While Philbin remained on Live with then-new host Kelly Ripa, Gifford made the move from ABC to NBC. She joined Kotb, now 59, as an anchor of the 10 a.m. hour of the Today show. After 11 years, Gifford retired from Today in 2019, and Jenna Bush Hager took over her seat.

Kathie Lee’s daughter, Cassidy Gifford, further told Us that her mom’s filter “has become very weak” in recent years.

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Kathie Lee’s outspoken personality is also part of the reason she wouldn’t want to join ABC’s The Golden Bachelorette spinoff despite Kotb and Bush Hager, 42, fervently advocating for her casting.

Kathie Lee Gifford Doesnt Think She Wouldve Lasted 1 Day Hosting Talk Show in Todays World
Cassidy Gifford in “The Baxters.” Prime Video/Joshua Applegate

I don’t think they know me anymore,” Kathie Lee joked to Us. “That came as a big surprise to me. I don’t see that happening in the future. Not that it couldn’t, but it would have to be a very, very different kind of show than they do.”

Bachelor Nation producers introduced a “golden” spinoff in 2023, starring 72-year-old Gerry Turner. After he found love and married Theresa Nist in January, ABC greenlit a Golden Bachelorette spinoff.

“You get diseases when you get in hot tubs, you know what I’m saying? People should be far more careful, and I don’t know where those lips have been on all those guys, so I’d be far more careful than those other ladies are,” Kathie Lee quipped. “They just get in the hot tub, get all over each other and get in bed, and I’m going, ‘They don’t even know your middle name.’ So, I don’t see that I’m going to be a part of that anytime soon.”

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Cassidy, whom Kathie Lee shared with late husband Frank Gifford alongside son Cody Gifford, also stressed that it is a “hard no” to watch her mom on The Golden Bachelorette.

While Kathie Lee and Cassidy, 30, are straying from reality TV for the time being, they have teamed up on Prime Video’s scripted series The Baxters. The limited series, which premieres later this month, was adapted from Karen Kingsbury’s novels. (Kathie Lee will be a guest star, and Cassidy is a recurring player.)

“[I wanted] to be a part of something that would give people hope and that would show the real side of a Christian family and what they go through,” Cassidy told Us. “I think so often it’s so cookie-cutter and so clichéd when it’s depicted in the media, and you understand why some people don’t even want to go near it. They think it’s just so saccharine and they’re going to feel like they’re judged.”

According to Cassidy, The Baxters is a “faith-forward” show but is “still raw” and “gritty.”

“It shows people in their true state and that we all screw up,” Cassidy added. “And I think that was important because I do think that draws people in a lot more than what’s out there already.”

The Baxters premieres on Prime Video Thursday, March 28.

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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