Kelly Ripa put on a good face when she welcomed Ryan Seacrest as her new co-host on Live with Kelly and Ryan – but was she faking it for the cameras? OK Magazine reports that Seacrest was not Ripa’s first choice. Who did she want instead?
An inside source revealed that ABC president, Ben Sherwood, made the call to hire Seacrest and Ripa actually preferred a lesser celebrity. The source added that Ripa wanted to co-host alongside someone she could boss around, and Seacrest definitely isn’t that guy. Ripa has been hosting the daytime talk show by herself for the past year following Michael Strahan’s surprising exit.
Ripa has had a number of guest co-hosts over the past year but it isn’t clear which one was her favorite. Other considerations for the coveted spot include the likes of Watch What Happens Live’s Andy Cohen and CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper.
Speaking of Cohen, Fox News reports that he recently offered some advice for Seacrest in his new position. Cohen, who is a longtime friend of Ripa and has co-hosted the show on several occasions, told Seacrest not to underestimate Ripa’s intelligence.
“I think [Ryan Seacrest] should not underestimate how smart she is. I just don’t think he should underestimate her in any way.”
Cohen also pointed out that Kelly Ripa has been a part of the show for a very long time and has watched a few co-hosts come and go. He later added that Ripa is a “business woman” and “a great mom.”
Seacrest was announced as the new co-host at the beginning of May. The occasion marked close to a year after Strahan’s exit shocked Ripa and her fans. Strahan left Live for a spot on Good Morning America without notifying Ripa.
Despite all the negative rumors surrounding the casting decision, Ripa sounded like she was happy to bring Seacrest on board. “Today, the next chapter of the Live story is about to be written,” Ripa shared prior to the big announcement.
During his opening episode, Seacrest shared similar excitement about being part of the show. “We’ve known each other for a long time… and I couldn’t be more excited to be here with you,” he stated.
Ripa has not commented on the rumors about her preferred choice of co-host. While we wait to learn more, Radar Online reports that Seacrest might already be on his way out. The former American Idol host is rumored to be in talks to reboot the hit singing competition on ABC. If that happens, he might not have time in his schedule to co-host with Ripa.
To make matters worse, Seacrest is currently living in Los Angeles and flies out to New York to film the show with Ripa. With Seacrest refusing to buy an apartment in the city, Ripa is reportedly questioning his devotion to the talk show.
“Live is just another job on Ryan’s schedule,” a source shared. “Where Kelly lives and breathes the show. It is everything to her. Her entire identity.”
Apart from his co-hosting responsibilities, Seacrest has his own radio show and produces several reality TV shows, all based out of Los Angeles. Even without taking on American Idol, Seacrest’s schedule is almost too busy to co-host Live.
“Ryan intends to kelp doing his radio show, and hosting red carpets live on E!, and doing all his production company commitments,” the insider explained. “He’s not even getting an apartment in New York. He’s going to use a hotel and he’s not even bringing his DOG!”
Ripa recently admitted that they talked about moving the show to L.A. to accommodate Seacrest’s schedule. Unless something changes, it doesn’t sound like that option is still on the table.
Tell us! Do you think Anderson Cooper or Andy Cohen would have been a better fit for Kelly Ripa than Ryan Seacrest? Let us know in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Disney/ABC]