Kelly Ripa could find herself sitting alongside a fellow female when her current Live! with Kelly and Michael co-host Michael Strahan exits the morning show next month.
According to a new report by Hollywood Life, the producers of the show are leaving their options “wide open” when it comes to deciding who will replace Michael, and that could mean going forward with two female hosts for the first time in the show’s more than 30-year history.
“They are not anywhere near a replacement decision and they even are considering having another woman join the show,” a source alleged to Hollywood Life of who could sit alongside Kelly Ripa earlier this week. “All options are wide open!”
Rumors have been swirling regarding who could take over Strahan’s seat and sit alongside Kelly ever since Michael revealed his surprising plans to leave Live! with Kelly and Michael last week. However, only male personalities appear to have been linked to the position so far.
Hollywood Life is claiming that Jerry O’Connell, Neil Patrick Harris, and Anderson Cooper’s names have all been bandied about to take over the soon-to-be-vacant seat, although it’s unlikely that they will sign on the dotted line to become Kelly Ripa’s permanent co-host.
“As much fun and respect as she has for Jerry and Anderson they probably will not be the pick for the permanent substitute,” the insider claimed, suggesting that the actor and CNN personality could serve as Ripa’s temporary co-hosts while the series searches for a more permanent replacement.
The latest reports follow Us Weekly’s recent claims that Kelly Ripa is looking for either Anderson Cooper or Bravo personality Andy Cohen to join as her new co-host and has allegedly even discussed following Michael Strahan out the door unless producer’s hire either Anderson or Andy.
Kelly Ripa is supposedly “talking about leaving” the series altogether, according to Us Weekly‘s insider, but “hopes Anderson Cooper or Andy Cohen gets the job” and will likely consider staying with the ABC morning show if her choice is hired.
“Unless one of them can come on, she doesn’t really want to do it,” Us Weekly’s source alleged of Kelly.
Ripa has yet to confirm or deny reports that she’s considering saying farewell to the series after 15 years.
But while it sounds like the producers of Live! with Kelly and Michael are still very much considering their options when it comes to finding Ripa’s next co-host, a spokesperson recently appeared to confirm to E! News that the morning talk show could once again take their search for a new host to TV.
Revealing that Michael will be leaving the show on May 13, months earlier than he was originally set to depart, an ABC spokesperson told E! News that Live! with Kelly and Michael will then “immediately begin the on-air search for a new co-host.”
Hollywood Life’s insider also appeared to suggest that an on-air search will likely take place next month, giving potential co-hosts the chance to test their chemistry with Kelly should she decide to continue on with Live! with Kelly and Michael for her 16th year.
“The show has worked for a long time because they have found chemistry that is through the roof with the various hosts,” the site’s insider said, “and they want to make sure that the fans accept the decision as well.”
Live! with Kelly and Michael last turned to an on-air co-host search in 2012, which gave Michael Strahan the chance to sit alongside Kelly Ripa.
Who would you like to see join Kelly Ripa on Live! with Kelly and Michael? Would you like to see the show bring in a female co-host?
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