Kelly Ripa Picks Anderson Cooper For ‘Live’ Gig, But Not So Fast

Kelly Ripa has been sounding off about the drama that transpired behind the scenes at ABC. As we all know, Ripa wasn’t informed that co-host Michael Strahan was leaving Live prior to the official announcement. She found out when everyone else did via a press report and didn’t have any time to form a public statement.

Instead of showing up for work, she decided to go to Turks and Caicos. When she returned to work a week later with Michael Strahan, Ripa said that there was a severe lack of communication and it was about respect. After her return, it was announced that Strahan was leaving in May and not seeing his contract through to the summer as once believed.

Since his departure was announced, people have been wondering who would replace Strahan, and that has been a question on Ripa’s mind as well. One of the names floating around is Anderson Cooper, and although he is a busy man, it’s said that he’s Kelly’s top pick for the job. That said, sources at ABC told the Wrap not so fast. Although Ripa told People Magazine “stay tuned” in regard to Cooper joining her, ABC wants to take things slow and follow the protocol that they had in 2011 when they were looking for Regis Philbin’s replacement.

The Wrap writes, “Executives at Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC, want to proceed with a plan like the one in 2011, when dozens of guest hosts – ranging from Jerry Seinfeld to Josh Groban – trooped through the “Live” set after Regis Philbin left the show.”

ICYMI: Anderson Cooper says it “would be a dream” to drag himself out of bed for Kelly Ripa

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“Such a process would give executives months to assess which guest hosts clicked best with Ripa, and also look at ratings and viewers’ reactions in focus groups and on social media.”

The Wrap also makes the argument that if ABC picks Anderson Cooper, it might be a bit tricky due to his commitments to CNN.

Recently, Ripa gave People Magazine an exclusive interview about the whole ordeal. She gave her thoughts about the perfect mix of what works and what doesn’t work in a co-host. It’s not just a matter of picking a personality that she likes and sticking to it, there has to be a certain recipe that clicks with viewers and with Ripa.

“You want somebody working there who’s comfortable working there. That’s how you figure – it’s like a puzzle. It’s very much like an equation, an algorithm. Let’s see, if we put somebody here and somebody there, and, ‘Oh, this guy really likes to talk about this,’ or, ‘This guy’s really good here,’ or, ‘This lady is amazing,’ or, ‘She was great last time, let’s give her another shot.'”

As for just doing the show on her own, Ripa objects, saying that she likes having a partner and that she doesn’t think the show would work well with just herself.

“I need someone sitting next to me,” she explained.

As the Inquisitr reported, the rotating co-hosts is about to go underway. On May 16, Jimmy Kimmel will fill in, and then on May 17, Empire’s Jussie Smollett will be on hand to take the seat next to co-host Ripa. Following that, it’s Cedric the Entertainer, news anchor David Muir, and lastly Hawaii Five-O star Daniel Dae Kim.

Other names rumored to replace Strahan are Andy Cohen, Jerry O’Connell, and it was even hinted that ABC was looking for a female to come in.

[Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for GLAAD]