After months of a highly publicized talent search for a substitute for her co-host Michael Strahan, Kelly Ripa unveiled the choice of Ryan Seacrest. However, it took only days for rumors of a feud between Ripa and her new co-host to flare, and those allegations have become worse, ranging from concern over Seacrest’s so-called “horrible” on-air Live errors to his possible role in the upcoming American Idol reboot.
Ryan and Kelly already are on “shaky ground,” according to Fox News, which reported that Ripa became even more upset when her announcement that Seacrest was her new Live co-host was quickly followed by the news that ABC had acquired American Idol.
An insider told the publication that Kelly is concerned that she’ll get into the same situation as she did with Michael Strahan when the spotlight dimmed on her own talk show because of Strahan’s departure.
“[Kelly] doesn’t want a repeat of the Michael Strahan situation.”
The source also claimed that Ripa feels ABC “is once again diluting the attention on Live.” Reportedly determined to protect her talk show, Kelly “wants to make sure her show is Ryan’s first priority, not Idol,” according to the insider.
American Idol first aired on Fox, where it scored successfully for 15 seasons. However, when it came to the reboot, it is ABC who’s planning the revival, with Seacrest rumored to be but not confirmed as the host.
The publication noted that Ryan “played dumb” with regard to the public American Idol announcement, but quoted insiders who said that he is still debating about reprising his role as the host. The American Idol host gig “is a big part of his deal” with ABC, according to those sources, which alleged that he took the co-host role with Ripa as part of a plan to return to the famous singing competition show.
“This isn’t some spur-of-the-moment deal. It’s a part of his move to ABC. It’s a no-brainer,” said one of the insiders.
“[Ryan] took the job for Idol and to host Live. It’s the only way ABC could pay him enough money to come over.”
However, Seacrest’s rep denied that allegation.
“That’s untrue. He does not have a deal with Idol,” said Ryan’s rep.
Instead, the rep admitted that Seacrest is “in conversations,” but emphasized that his contract to co-host with Ripa “was made independent” of any discussions about hosting American Idol again.
“His priority is Live With Kelly and Ryan and his radio show,” added the rep.
There’s also controversy over how Kelly Ripa herself is handling the situation. While some of the publication’s insiders described Ripa as suffering through a “rough week,” others claimed that Kelly is “100-percent on board” with having Seacrest as her co-host.
“Kelly is in the loop. She had approval over the co-host, so Ryan was her first choice,” said one of the sources.
“It was a very calculated decision by the network and by her.”
That insider also noted that Ripa and Seacrest have been acquainted for 15 years, describing them as friends. As for how Seacrest could manage to juggle American Idol, Live With Kelly and Ryan, and his radio show, another source clarified that the plan is to broadcast American Idol on Sunday nights.
“He’s not going to do anything to jeopardize Live. He has a long-term commitment to the show,” said the second source. “He’s excited to be living in New York.”
Kelly’s rep described Ripa as enthusiastic about the partnership as well, calling rumors of a feud “false” and noting that Kelly has “been fully in the loop.”
So how’s Seacrest doing in his new role as Michael Strahan’s replacement? In his second week as the Live co-host, Ryan “embarrassed himself” on the air in dishing with guest Jeffrey Tambor, reported Radar Online.
“We talked about the things you have done and some of the things you’re doing, but to me, you’re the scary guy on the subway in Ghost,” said Seacrest.
Wrong. The “scary guy” was not Tambor, but character actor Vincent Schiavelli, who has been dead since 2005. Tambor corrected Ryan by calling Seacrest’s error “horrible” as Ripa “turned white” and “slumped into her seat,” noted the publication.
“Oh, this is horrible. You’re gonna be embarrassed. That’s not me,” summed up The Transparent actor.
“What is wrong with you! I came on to sell a book, not to be insulted.”
The actor teased Ryan about his error.
“Let me ask you, do you think you actually BOOKED Vincent Schiavelli?” mocked Tambor.
[Featured Image by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Images]