Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan seemed like the perfect team on Live with Kelly and Michael. But when news broke that Michael was leaping from Live to Good Morning America (GMA), the cracks in that smooth surface were revealed. Now, Kelly is taking a temporary break from her talk show with Strahan as a feud fires up, according to CNN.
Ripa is feuding with ABC, the talk show’s broadcast network, but she’s not thrilled with Strahan either. Meanwhile, Michael is taking on the challenging task of looking forward to his full-time position on Good Morning America while keeping up the glib talk on Live with what could turn into a revolving door of substitute co-hosts.
Thus far, Erin Andrews has taken on the role of co-host, with no TV time devoted to the feud, and Erin also will team up again with Michael for Friday’s show, which they taped on Thursday. Fast-forward to Monday, when actress Shay Mitchell will keep Kelly’s chair warm for her (she already had a vacation day scheduled with serendipitous timing).
As for who will co-host with Strahan past Monday? No one has revealed any plans, just as no one can predict what, if anything, Ripa will let rip about the feud when she returns to work with Michael.
And just as with a soap opera feud, those involved as well as viewers are taking sides. Some contend that Kelly is in the wrong for leaving Strahan in the lurch and avoiding work, but others are defending her.
Michael has maintained a public image as a guy who is warm and kind, and the situation puts him at risk for harming that image. Ripa in contrast is described as “betrayed” and “scorned.” However, is it Strahan, ABC, or both to to blame?
Although Michael did make the decision to jump to GMA, it’s ABC’s executives who control such moves. And in terms of whether his co-host’s feud is with Strahan directly or with ABC, Michael made a point of thanking Kelly and also emphasized that he’s not changing to a different network.
“We’re on the same network,” emphasized Strahan. “I’m just right over here, but we’re on the same team” — he looked into the camera while saying that — “same family, same network.”
One issue that Ripa has had, however, is that with GMA viewed as ABC’s “flagship” and money earner, Live has a secondary role. As a syndicated talk show, it usually comes after GMA on the schedule. Is the show in danger, with the risk increased by the departure of Strahan?
Adding to Kelly’s reasons for feuding, she originally was against the role that Michael has held for two years as a part-timer on GMA. She was told that it was only “temporary,” which alleviated her fear that Strahan would be distracted by GMA.
But now, rather than the network fulfilling its promise that Michael would be on GMA only temporarily, Strahan is going from part-time to full-time. As to why the move? ABC execs are reportedly hopeful that Michael can give the show a much-needed boost. Some, however, see this as risky to all involved.
The good news for viewers? The Live feud could make for some great TV, pointed out Salon.
For those feeling that Kelly sounds as if she’s just jealous of Michael, she learned that Strahan was leaving Live for GMA mere minutes before everyone else learned about the news on Tuesday, thus leaving her blindsided. Since then, she has not appeared on the talk show.
Ana Gasteyer reportedly was persuaded to fill in via a Tuesday evening call, showing up on Wednesday as Michael tried to figure out a way to make the feud over his departure sound funny.
“I was reading some stuff, and it sounded like I died,” declared Strahan. “It is not a eulogy, people!”
What do you think about the situation? Are you on Team Kelly Ripa or Team Michael Strahan? Post your comments below.
[Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images]