Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest have only been together for a month and they’re already struggling to keep viewers. While rumors about Seacrest’s commitment heat up, ratings for Live with Kelly & Ryan continue to drop. Can Ripa turn things around before it’s too late?
According to The Wrap, ratings for Live with Kelly & Ryan have dropped 12 percent since Seacrest debuted as the show’s new co-host. A decline in ratings is expected given all the drama surrounding Ripa’s selection process, but a double digit drop is a clear warning sign for ABC execs. Before the fall off in ratings, Live attracted more viewers than it had the previous two months.
As if the ratings drop isn’t bad enough, Celeb Dirty Laundry reports that Seacrest refuses to purchase a home in New York – despite the fact that he spends all week filming in the city. Instead of buying a home and putting down roots, the former American Idol host is currently renting a fancy townhome blocks away from Ripa’s apartment.
While Ripa and Seacrest are putting up a united front on camera, Page Six reports that Ripa wasn’t happy about Seacrest joining the show. It took Ripa a whole year to find a replacement for Michael Strahan, who blindsided her last year with an early exit, and she wanted a co-host that could make a long-term commitment. Given Seacrest’s hesitation to move out of Los Angeles, it doesn’t look like Ripa got her wish.
“She doesn’t want a repeat of the Michael Strahan situation. It’s like ABC is once again diluting the attention on Live,” an insider shared. “She wants to make sure her show is Ryan’s first priority, not Idol.”
ABC acquired the rights to American Idol from Fox and is expected to hire Seacrest as the new host. Seacrest hasn’t confirmed the rumors of his involvement in the reboot, but adding another hosting gig to his already filled scheduled would be quite the task. Along with co-hosting Live, Seacrest has his own radio show and produces several reality TV shows.
“This isn’t some spur-of-the-moment deal. It’s a part of his move to ABC,” the source noted. “It’s a no-brainer. He took the job for ‘Idol’ and to host ‘Live.’ It’s the only way ABC could pay him enough money to come over. They’ll have to announce it before upfronts.”
A rep for Seacrest debunked the rumors and claims that he hasn’t inked a deal for American Idol just yet. The rep admitted, however, that Seacrest is in talks to host the hit singing competition once again. Will this get in the way of his commitment to Live?
The source added that Kelly Ripa is fully aware of the situation. Unlike Strahan’s departure for Good Morning America, ABC is keeping Ripa informed and she is confident that Seacrest won’t leave the show to host Idol.
“He’s not going to do anything to jeopardize Live,” the insider added. “He has a long-term commitment to the show. He’s excited to be living in New York, and this is a big deal for him.”
That said, Seacrest hosting American Idol isn’t a done deal. In fact, Page Six reports that he isn’t thrilled about how much ABC offered to pay him for the hosting position. The network allegedly offered Seacrest $10 million for the job, but gave Katy Perry $25 million to serve as a judge.
“[He] was suddenly asking himself why he would come back for a 16th season at a salary [much smaller than that] of the newcomer judge,” Richard Rushfield, who recently wrote American Idol: The Untold Story, revealed.
Seacrest has not commented on the American Idol rumors.
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[Featured Image by ABC/Disney]