Just when she thought it would never happen again, ABC reportedly betrayed Kelly Ripa a third time. The network just announced that Ryan Seacrest would co-host Live with Ripa, even though he wasn’t her first choice.
According to Radar Online, Ripa faked her excitement when she announced Seacrest as her new host this week. Not only did Ripa want someone else to host the hit daytime show, but she also didn’t have a say in the matter. An insider revealed that Ben Sherwood, the president of ABC, actually made the call to bring Seacrest on board.
“She wanted someone that she could boss around, and that isn’t Ryan,” an insider close to Ripa shared. “He’s as big of a star as she is!”
Ripa has hosted the show for a year after Michael Strahan’s shocking exit in 2016. As fans will recall, Strahan announced his exit during a live segment, and Ripa wasn’t aware that he was leaving. The move obviously angered Ripa, who took a short leave of absence to deal with the issue.
Apart from Seacrest, other candidates included Andy Cohen, Anderson Cooper, and Jimmy Kimmel. Despite these big names, Seacrest apparently impressed the executives at ABC enough to go over Kelly Ripa’s head and land the job. Of course, it helps that Seacrest has plenty of experience hosting high-profile shows.
In an interview with Variety, Seacrest opened up about his latest hosting gig and admitted that he is a longtime fan of the show.
“It’s always been on my radar as it’s such a terrific show, and I have been a frequent guest and co-host over the years,” Seacrest explained. “But I would probably say that serious consideration was given to this over the last few months.”
In addition to his time on Live, Seacrest currently hosts red carpet shows for E!, has his own radio broadcast, and helps produce numerous reality TV shows, including Shahs of Sunset and Keeping Up with the Kardashians. How does he handle so many shows at once?
“I have a terrific team who really helps me navigate it all,” Seacrest said about all the projects he manages in Hollywood. “I also just try to give my full attention to what I am working on at any given time – so I give 100% to each and everything I do.”
When asked about co-hosting with Ripa, Seacrest sounded excited about the opportunity and revealed that he is relocating to New York to do the show. “I think we share the same values and work ethic, and have a long history together of just being great friends,” he explained, “which is always a foundation for an easy rapport.”
Seacrest did not comment on the rumors surrounding Ripa, who has been betrayed twice by the network. Prior to the Strahan fiasco, ABC surprised Ripa when Regis Philbin announced his departure in 2011. In both instances, the network failed to inform Ripa of her co-host’s plans to leave the show to pursue other opportunities.
Although Ripa may be disappointed at the network’s latest decision, Deadline is reporting that the show experienced high ratings during the big announcement. In fact, the show hasn’t had this many people tune in since its post-Oscars coverage at the end of February. The special, Live with Kelly and Ryan, attracted more viewers than Dr. Phil and Ellen to become the most popular talk show of the Monday lineup. If this trend continues, then Ripa may have second thoughts about hosting with Seacrest.
Fans can watch Ripa and Seacrest in action when new episodes of Live with Kelly and Ryan air every morning on ABC.
Tell us! Do you think that Ryan Seacrest is a good fit to host with Kelly Ripa? Let us know in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Disney/ABC]