Kelly Ripa Co-Host Search: Just A Ratings Ruse? 'Live' Gimmick Exposed

As the Kelly Ripa co-host search on Live with Kelly continues without closure into 2017, new conjecture has come to light which questions Ripa's dedication to securing a permanent Live co-host. Kelly has been without a steady co-host since May, when her former TV partner Michael Strahan left the show for a spot on fellow ABC broadcast Good Morning America. Is Live with Kelly intentionally extending Ripa's solo run as a ratings boost?

That very well may be a guiding force behind Ripa's now seven-month stretch without a solid co-host. While morning queen Ripa has welcomed a litany of celebrity co-host guests to Live in that time, Kelly's repetitive dalliances with visiting co-host stars like Anderson Cooper, Jerry O'Connell, and Fred Savage have only left Live viewers ostensibly pitted against each other as they debate their preferred picks for Ripa's probable co-host.

As recently queried by the New York Daily News, the ongoing Kelly Ripa co-host search may be nothing more than a "gimmick" intended to revive Ripa's daily ratings flowing from the television talk show's seemingly flagging fan base. The piece posits that Kelly Ripa is "doing fine on her own" but should have "a little more respect" for her devoted viewers who may be led to believe that she can't find a suitable co-host for her show.

Last week, Ripa appeared on frequent Live guest co-host Andy Cohen's Bravo talk show, Watch What Happens Live, where she made some ominous disclosures regarding her continuing co-host quest. Per the article, Ripa reports that Live's guest co-host schedule has no definitive end-date in site.

"We really didn't set a time frame for ourselves, we just wanted to wait until we found the right person. What we didn't anticipate was that we would have such an outpouring of interest. Our list got very long very quickly. We've been trying to keep it as narrow as possible, but then people pop up."
As such, Kelly Ripa also apparently divulged her top pick for a permanent co-host, albeit one that apparently has no chance at the gig. Newsman and political commentator Anderson Cooper appears to be Ripa's favorite for her Live with Kelly co-host, but Cooper obviously has numerous other entertainment obligations that prevent him from assuming Kelly's co-host role in a lasting manner. Do you think Cooper would make a good co-host?
"He's the one that got away."
If Live with Kelly's co-host quest is simply a stunt, it appears to be working. Kelly Ripa's co-host for the Live show on Wednesday, November 9, was Fox News figurehead Megyn Kelly. Per Mediaite, Megyn Kelly gave Ripa's post-Election Day broadcast a substantial hitch in ratings.
"[Megyn Kelly's] episode pulled in a 3.5 rating overall and a 1.7 among women aged 25-54, placing it in the #1 spot for syndicated programs, ahead of other talk shows like Dr. Phil and Ellen."
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the show gave Kelly Ripa her highest ratings for a Live with Kelly episode since former co-host Strahan left Live back in May. As hitherto alluded in the above referenced news items, Kelly Ripa may simply wish to continue the guest co-host timeline if it provides a needed boost in ratings.This week on Live with Kelly, Ripa will entertain her national TV audience with another surge of celebrity guest hosts. On Monday, December 5, Kelly welcomes actor and singer Corbin Bleu as co-host. Broad City's Ilana Glazer will be Ripa's co-host on Tuesday, December 6.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Kelly Ripa once appeared as a fictionalized version of herself on the aforementioned Broad City, Ilana Glazer's Comedy Central vehicle with co-star Abbi Jacobson. Did you see the Broad City episode starring Kelly Ripa?

On Wednesday, December 7, actress Octavia Spencer will appear on Live as Kelly's guest co-host. Kelly Ripa's co-host for Thursday, December 8, will be former Party of Five heartthrob Scott Wolf, and Ripa will be joined by actress Taraji P. Henson as co-host to end the week on Live with Kelly on Friday, December 9. Will you be watching Ripa this week?

If you're a Live with Kelly fan, do you feel betrayed by Kelly Ripa's seemingly veiled attempt at attracting viewers? Do you feel that Kelly Ripa's co-host search is just a ratings trick?

Who do you think should be Kelly Ripa's full-time co-host? Are you comfortable with Ripa continuing the show indefinitely with only guest co-hosts? Let us know your thoughts on Kelly Ripa and her co-host contest in the comments section below.

[Featured Image by Mark Davis/Getty Images]