By Adam B. Vary
Updated November 23, 2009 at 11:13 PM EST

Regis Philbin announced today on Live with Regis and Kelly that he will take a leave of absence from the show to recover from hip replacement surgery he’s undergoing Dec. 1. A Regis & Kelly rep tells EW the 78-year-old host plans to return to the show after the four-to-six week recovery period that is standard for this type of medical procedure.