Kelly Ripa Defended By Andy Cohen As He Rips Michael Strahan's Decision To Leave 'Live!'

Kelly Ripa is getting some serious support from her super-famous friends. According to E! News, Ripa was defended by her pal, Andy Cohen, who took some time out of his day today to slam Michael Strahan's decision to leave Live! With Kelly And Michael for Good Morning America.

This marks the first time that Cohen has spoken out about the Ripa/Strahan drama.

Kelly Ripa
Andy Cohen and Kelly Ripa [Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for SiriusXM]"I've been getting so many questions about what's going on with my friend Kelly Ripa, and 'How's she doing?' and 'What do you think?' You know, I want to say that she... I know she spent the weekend celebrating her 20th anniversary with Mark, which has been a long-planned vacation. So don't get her trending on Twitter today because she's not at work. She is on a long-planned vacation. You know, when I look at this whole situation, it's worth noting, the two of them, Kelly and Michael, they had such great chemistry. And I'm just looking at this and it just seems like a premature end to a great relationship that ended way too prematurely. So much has been written about this situation and how it was handled. I've been a TV executive or producer for 25 years, so I'm always fascinated to see how TV things go down. I can't say this went down the greatest way," Cohen said on this morning's Radio Andy on SiriusXM.

Kelly Ripa and Andy Cohen have been good friends for many years. In fact, there have been some reports suggesting that he will be offered Michael Strahan's seat, getting to sit next to Kelly Ripa on a daily basis once Strahan makes his move come September.

According to People Magazine, Cohen and Anderson Cooper are the frontrunners to replace Strahan. Sources say, however, that having Ripa and Cohen as co-hosts may actually hurt the "host chat" portion of the show because the two are so involved in each other's lives as it is. No word yet about any official offers being made, however.

"I can't get over that he left Live! where he was co-hosting Live! With Kelly and Michael. Your name is in the freakin' title! You can spend your life here! You can spend 15 years here and make serious bank, by the way. And still do GMA twice a week or do Pyramid or whatever else he's doing. He left and went to GMA. He is now one of five people sitting at that crowded anchor desk. It's like 18 co-anchors and here's my thing: What happens if the ratings don't go up? What happens if there's not a pickup? Then what's going to happen to that sweet man? Honestly! Because by then she'll have a new co-host. I don't know. I just don't see how you leave the greatest team in TV to be one of five people," Cohen added, slamming Strahan's decision to move to Good Morning America full-time.

Kelly Ripa is scheduled to be back on Live! With Kelly And Michael on Tuesday morning after being absent for four episodes. She reportedly scheduled to take Friday and Monday off for a pre-planned trip to Turks and Caicos for her anniversary with hubby, Mark Consuelos. However, after being blindsided with Michael Strahan's news, Kelly decided to call in sick to work on Wednesday and Thursday.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Kelly Ripa has not spoken out about any of this switch-up drama since she learned the news last week. She did, however, send out an email to the Live! staff to thank them for giving her some space to sort things out.

"Sorry for this late Friday night email. I wanted to thank you all for giving me the time to process this new information. Your kindness, support, and love has overwhelmed me. We are a family and I look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday morning. Love, Kelly."
[Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images]