Kelly Ripa’s new co-hosts are still making the rounds week after week, as Live! producers try to find a replacement for Michael Strahan. The Inquisitr reported that the latest batch of guest co-hosts started September 5 and end their run on September 16. This means ABC has almost a solid two weeks to find a new co-host that will join Kelly Ripa on a permanent basis.
While ABC didn’t speak about whether or not they’ve found Kelly Ripa’s new co-host, there was a press release that announced the upcoming guest hosts for Live! with Kelly. The press release stated that Christian Slater, who is currently promoting Mr. Robot, would kick off the new rotation on September 5, whereas Neil Patrick Harris was going to end the new batch of co-hosts on September 14 through to September 16.
— E! News (@enews) September 6, 2016
In a statement announcing the new guest co-hosts, ABC told the Wrap the following.
“As the exciting search for Kelly’s new on-air partner continues, a diverse group of personalities will join her on the show.”
So far, we aren’t sure if Kelly Ripa’s new co-host is in this batch of guest hosts. It’s easy to assume that everyone in this lineup is vying for the position to replace Michael Strahan, but some of these famous faces, such as Anderson Cooper and Michael Weatherly, already have prior commitments that make them pretty busy without the gig at ABC. Michael Weatherly just jumped ship from NCIS to his new show Bull, while Anderson Cooper is still committed to CNN. Another fan favorite to consider is Jerry O’Connell, who didn’t make it to this round of guest co-hosts, but gushed in the past about how wonderful it is to be by Kelly Ripa’s side when he co-hosted.
Just check out how natural Kelly and Jerry are around each other.
While it seems like the team at Live! is taking their time in picking the perfect person to be Kelly Ripa’s new co-host, they did make a decision that may impact which direction they go in. After the drama that ensued due to Ripa finding out about Michael Strahan’s departure at the last possible second, it looks like ABC’s parent company, Disney, is putting Kelly’s feelings and her overall insight for Live! as their top priority. According to Page Six, in a move that redirects any ill-will between Ripa and ABC, Disney decided to promote her to an executive producer role.
Kelly Ripa reportedly promoted to executive producer following Michael Strahan exit https://t.co/a1gm9EMnmF pic.twitter.com/r36DbCZM3A
— The Truth 24 US (@TheTruth24US) September 6, 2016
As you might have guessed, this decision came after the drama that ensued in April, which saw Kelly hopping a flight to Turks & Caicos for a week, only to return to the Live! set to tell audiences that she needed to feel “respect in the work place.”
In the week that Kelly Ripa spent time in Turks & Caicos, it was obvious big changes were being made behind the scenes. Upon her return, Ripa alluded as such when she said, “Apologies have been made and the best thing to come out of all of this, you guys, is that our parent company has assured me that Live is a priority.” The report stated that this was due to Disney’s head honcho Bob Iger smoothing things over with Ripa. It sounds like they made good on their promise.
With Kelly Ripa promoted to executive producer, this reveals something that has been hinted at for months, which is that Ripa definitely has a lot more control over who her new co-host is for Live! Something that she probably didn’t have much of a say in the first time around, when the network wanted Michael Strahan to replace Regis Philbin. It was rumored that Kelly Ripa was very enthusiastic about Anderson Cooper replacing Regis, but in the end, the network went another way.
With all of that in mind, do you think Kelly Ripa’s new co-host will be someone along the lines of Anderson Cooper?
[Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images]