Check, Please! Narrows 17 to 5 Possible Hosts

Catherine De Orio.

You'll be waiting a little longer for the puff of white smoke from atop WTTW's marbled manse: the search for a new Check, Please! host to replace now-Boarding House co-owner Alpana Singh has narrowed it, but only to five really, really final possible hosts— all of whom have, in some sense, past TV experience. They are: Catherine (Cat) De Orio, who many media people seem to regard as the frontrunner, and who is certainly the most broadly experienced media figure, appearing regularly on TV shows and writing for magazines; Ina's owner Ina Pinkney, who among many other things in a varied life, co-produced an award-winning documentary about her ex-husband's sailing journey around the world; Tavern on the Park manager/co-owner Donny de Castro, whose past TV experience includes a bit part on Dawson's Creek; housewife Senam Amegashie, whom we interviewed here and who produces her own internet talk show; and Sarah Levy, pastry chef who won the top prize on Food Network Challenge for a 3-foot-tall moving dinosaur cake.

The list will finally be narrowed to one on May 29, but Check, Please! won't be going away till then— watch for "The Check, Please Host (Almost) Audition Special, showing how the process went up to this point, on May 17. [Sun-Times]