Talk show host Kelly Ripa has unintentionally stumbled her way into television history once more by continuing to steer Live with Kelly without a permanent co-host, according to Decider.
The publication alleges that since May of last year, following the purportedly contentious departure of football great Michael Strahan from the longstanding morning series, the 46-year-old All My Children alum has gone on to lead a 298-day streak (about 42.5 weeks) of episodes that either feature a special guest host or Ripa running the show on her own.
“This is the longest stretch in Live‘s 28-and-a-half year history without a fixed twosome at the desk,” Decider decodes, “but not by much (so far).”
Incidentally, no matter the length of time that Live with Kelly goes on as is, Ripa would only be besting the feat that she first made back in 2011 after the series’ original namesake holder, Regis Philbin, stepped down from his chair after manning the helm of the A.M. TV mainstay, previously titled The Morning Show, for nearly three decades beginning in 1983 (Strahan was confirmed as Philbin’s official replacement 290 telecasts later).
In a recent interview with another well-respected talker, Larry King, the now 88-year-old Regis revealed to the bespectacled icon that similar to rumors involving his successor’s relationship with Ripa, he and Kelly haven’t kept in touch since he moved on from Live to live his life.
“She got very offended when I left,” the entertainer relayed, as People transcribed.
“She thought I was leaving because of her [when truthfully], I was leaving because I was getting older and it wasn’t right for me anymore.”
Originally planning for a September 2016 farewell, Strahan’s actual exit as Live’s co-host was said to have been accelerated at the behest of Kelly, who claimed to be extremely disappointed with the way the announcement of Michael’s move to Good Morning America had been made.
“Strahan told People that he notified Ripa of the network’s plan reportedly moments before the announcement was made in April,” Decider addressed, “and she proceeded to take off the rest of that week to ‘gather [her] thoughts.'”
When Kelly made her Live return to a packed studio audience the following Monday, as TV Line reported, she addressed the controversy without ever outright degrading the departing Strahan, but her annoyance at being disrespected was pretty evident.
“After 26 years with this company, I earned the right [for some time-off],” she emotionally expressed.
“What transpired over the course of a few days has been extraordinary, in the sense that it started a much larger conversation about communication and consideration and most importantly, respect in the workplace.”
Kelly would go on to wish Michael well in her speech and reveal that the extended downtime had been planned long before her temporary Live leave of absence, but Michael confirmed later with People that the business move had done irreparable damage to their personal relationship.
“I wasn’t surprised by her reaction at all,” the former Live co-host said of his current stance with Kelly, “but I can’t control somebody else’s actions. I was there four years, and it’s about more than just being in front of the camera.”
Strahan’s four-year tenure on Live helped to secure the show two coveted Daytime Emmy wins for Outstanding Talk Show in 2015 and 2016, an honor that the chat fest never benefited from before Kelly or Michael signed on with Live to respectively co-chair.
“Toward the end of it all, we didn’t really communicate that much,” Strahan said of his goodbye from Live.
“I kinda looked at it like, ‘It was what it was.’ I come from a business where you have to collaborate. The show was going well? We’re all winning. That’s all that matters to me.”
The New York Post’s Page Six speculated that Ripa would spill the name of the person to succeed Michael during last year’s November sweeps, but the event never materialized. Actor Christian Slater, currently seen on USA’s Mr. Robot, has been pegged to co-host Live with Kelly this week, March 6-10, as the show’s official site states.
[Featured Image by Mike Coppola/Getty Images]