Kelly Ripa was a no-show on the Live! set Wednesday morning, just one day after being informed that her co-host, Michael Strahan, was leaving. The bombshell revelation that Michael would no longer work on the talk show threw her into a tailspin.
TMZ reports that this is the first in a “string of absences” from Ripa, according to its sources. She felt “disrespected” and “humiliated” to find out Strahan was leaving the show just as the media was getting word of it.
Ripa leaves Strahan hanging on ‘Live!’ day after ‘GMA’ shocker: Live with Michael, no Kelly? https://t.co/CwSssk4N0W
— rim mix records (@rimmixrecs) April 20, 2016
Strahan is leaving Live! to co-host ABC’s Good Morning America. The staff of Live! feels blindsided by the news as well and are furious at Disney and CEO Bob Iger over the move they weren’t made aware of beforehand.
A separate TMZ report leaked that there’s chatter about taking Live! out of the 9 a.m. slot and tacking on a third hour of GMA. It’s unclear if it means Kelly Ripa’s show would move to another hour. It’s noted in the report that a third hour on GMA is the “logical next move” since Strahan has “established himself in the 9 a.m. time slot.”
E! Online reports that Michael Strahan “made light” of his departure from Live! when he appeared on stage with Ana Gasteyer, who was a guest co-host in place of Ripa.
“I’m leaving the show to go over to GMA full-time, which is going to happen in September. It is true,” he announced. “It’s is the same channel. I’m not going anywhere.”
Strahan has appeared on Good Morning America about twice a week for two years now, so he also has an established presence on that show.
The talk show host poking fun at some of the headlines over his exit from Live! with Kelly and Michael.
“I was reading some of the stuff and it sounded like I died,” he said with a laugh. “But I do want to say to all of our viewers out there… four years ago when I came here, I’m sure they were like, ‘They chose that guy with the big gap in his teeth?'”
— E! Online (@eonline) April 20, 2016
The former NFL star told viewers that they’ll still see him on Live! if they ever need a guest co-host fill-in.
“I look forward to continuing to work with the incredible team at GMA. It is an exciting opportunity to be able to bring unique stories and voices to the audience,” Strahan said in a statement. “My time with Live! with Kelly and Michael has been transformative, and my departure will be bittersweet. Kelly has been an unbelievable partner, and I am so thankful to her and the entire team. I am extremely grateful for the amazing support I’ve received from all of the fans.”
There were some strategic measures put in place before it was announced that Strahan was leaving the show. Is it possible ABC wanted a major shake-up to boost ratings with high drama off the set?
It’s hard to blame Kelly for being outraged over the sudden announcement of Strahan’s departure if she wasn’t notified in advance. By virtue of the fact she’s shared the stage with Strahan for four years on Live!, it’s no wonder she feels slighted and maligned by the network. Why she wasn’t in the loop on the seemingly calculated plan is unknown at this time. The morning program is now in need of another co-host unless ABC has other plans in the works. If Ripa continues to be a no-show, that could spell trouble in and of itself.
Will you miss watching Michael Strahan host Live! with Kelly Ripa?
[Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP Images]