Kelly Ripa Seeks Michael Strahan Successor: Anderson Cooper, Mario Lopez, Ryan Seacrest, Andy Cohen Vie With Women?

Almost as soon as Michael Strahan revealed that he’s leaving Live with Kelly and Michael on May 13 to take on a full-time job at Good Morning America, names of potential heirs to his throne have been bandied about. From Mario Lopez to Anderson Cooper, various individuals have gained traction at the top of the possible replacement list, according to Us Weekly.

Currently hosting Extra, Lopez told Ellen DeGeneres that he will be among those keeping the chair warm for whoever is chosen as the ultimate successor to Strahan.

“I’m looking forward to going back and guest-hosting again,” shared Lopez.

However, when it comes to who Kelly favors, her pal Anderson Cooper tops the list. Now a CNN anchor, Anderson described it as a “dream” to take on the challenge.

Who will become Kelly Ripa's co-host?

But Cooper and Mario have plenty of company for the game of musical chairs, including Andy Cohen, Neil Patrick Harris, and Josh Groban, according to Vanity Fair.

Anderson already has experience hosting a daytime talk show, but has emphasized he has not been offered a job yet.

“I’m very happy at CNN,” stressed Cooper. “It would be a dream to work with Kelly, but nobody’s offering anything, so…”

Although Anderson’s pal Andy Cohen gets mentioned a lot, he has attempted to take himself out of the running by pointing out that he already wears numerous TV hats, from managing the sometimes-volatile Real Housewives franchise reunions to his talk show, Watch What Happens Live.

“I have 10 jobs! I have my own late-night talk show that’s on every night at 11 o’clock!”

Then there’s Neil Patrick Harris, who hasn’t made a public statement but according to Alyson Hannigan, he would love it.

“I think that it is his dream job,” said Alyson about Neil.

Josh Groban already has a history as a popular guest on the talk show, and he is slated to serve as a co-host during the hunt for Strahan’s replacement. But it’s Mario who has been the most vocal about the possibility that he will be chosen.

“I love Kelly,” gushed Lopez. “I’ve guest hosted with her a few times. She’s awesome. I actually did a movie with her husband, Mark [Consuelos], who’s a real good guy.”

But as to the final decision?

“I got to go over everything with Mrs. Lopez. She’s the real boss of the house, so we’ll see what she has to say about that,” joked Mario.

Andy Cohen and Kelly Ripa are friends, but does he have time to be her co-host?

In addition to the above, there’s the potential that Live will dare to bring in a woman to co-host with Ripa, pointed out EW, which listed Kelly Osbourne, Rosie O’Donnell, Zendaya, and Audra McDonald as possible competition for all those male contenders.

The growing list of men who could fill Strahan’s shoes include Ripa’s own husband, Mark Consuelos, Sam Champion, Ryan Seacrest, and Jeff Probst.

After Michael leaves, Late Night host Seth Meyers is among those who will host with Ripa, according to Last Night On.

Josh Groban, Andy Cohen, and Anderson Cooper also will take on that gig, all of whom originally sought the seat that Strahan filled.

However, for the permanent position, Ryan Seacrest is seen as a true contender, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Seacrest just signed a new contract that puts him at the helm of New Year’s Rockin’ Eve for the next four years. That deal makes him even more of a potential replacement for Strahan.

In Ryan’s favor is his ability to banter with Ripa, demonstrated when they co-hosted the Disney parade for ABC. He no longer has to carve out time for American Idol either, freeing up some time.

However, because Seacrest currently manages a daily radio show located in Los Angeles and has numerous other responsibilities ranging from hosting the E! network red-carpet specials to producing shows such as Keeping Up With the Kardashians, it could be challenging to take on the Live commitment.

[Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images]