Apparently winning the seat next to Kelly Ripa and winning the honor of being her co-host for ABC’s Live! With Kelly is tougher than ever, according to a report from E! News.
“We need to start looking because we have summer hiatus, we have vacation time. We need to find people,” Ripa told People in May. “If we’re going to have this list narrowed down at least to a manageable size by the fall, we need to start now.'”
Ripa should know since she already went through the process of find the right host back in 2011 when Regis Philbin left the show. At that time, ABC paraded a variety of guest hosts to audition for the role permanently. Michael Strahan won the role in September of 2012, which seemed like a perfect fit. However, Straham surprised many, including Ripa, when he announced in May that he was exiting the show to become a part of Good Morning America full time. The announcement caused a huge rift between the two co-hosts, as well as headaches for the show’s crew and provided much headline fodder.
Despite the initial panic for a new co-host, the ratings for Live! With Kelly did not dip during this past summer, so there isn’t much urgency to find “Mr. Right” right away. That doesn’t mean that there are some guys chomping at the bit for the job, namely Jerry O’Connell.
“Jerry O’Connell really wants the job. He’s made no secret of it and is campaigning hard,” a source told E! News, adding, “He gets along great with Kelly and they have great chemistry. He’s hopeful. He’s having anyone he knows put in a good word.”
Featured on the second season of Fox’s Scream Queens, O’Connell told Extra that he would jump at the chance to take the job if he was offered it.
“I would do anything Kelly asks. She is the sweetest … I loved hosting with her. I’m in awe of her. She has it all figured out as a parent. It’s incredible to see how she’s found balance with career, marriage and parenthood.”
— LIVE with Kelly (@LiveKelly) July 29, 2016
O’Connell isn’t the only actor making his intentions known for the gig. Mr. Robot’s Christian Slater recently visited the set of Ellen and told DeGeneres how much he loves Ripa and would very much like the position.
“I love it, I live about, you know, six blocks away from there,” Slater told DeGeneres of the studio’s location. “It’s one of the greatest jobs ever, so yeah, Kelly, I’m available! Let’s do it!”
Other popular candidates include Neil Patrick Harris, Fred Savage, and Anderson Cooper, however, despite how much he enjoys guest-hosting on Live! With Kelly, Cooper took himself out of the running.
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Hopefully the length of time to find a permanent co-host for Live! With Kelly will be a shorter one this time around. After Philbin left the show, it took almost a year for ABC and Ripa to settle on Strahan to host the show. Strahan was just one of the 60 different men and women who served as guest co-hosts during that time, though not all of them were actually in the running to become a permanent co-host replacement. Among those who co-hosted during that time included Jerry Seinfeld, Martin Short, Howie Mandel, Carrie Ann Inaba, Mary J. Blige, and Andy Cohen.
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