Live with Kelly and Ryan might be headed for disaster. With ratings steadily dropping, sources claim that Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest are secretly at war. What is really going on behind-the-scenes of Live?
Ripa’s problems with Seacrest apparently began from the moment he replaced Michael Strahan as co-host. According to Nicki Swift, Seacrest was not Ripa’s top choice for the job, which created a lot of friction with producers. Instead, Ripa had her sights on Anderson Cooper, Mario Lopez, Rob Lowe, or Jeff Gordon, all of whom producers shot down.
“It’s a highly coveted job. There’s no other show where the co-host gets to have their name in the title of the show—you don’t get that kind of prominence…” a source shared. “Well, Rob, Jeff, and Mario are not getting the job… After the whole thing with Michael, [the producers] want someone loyal. They want someone who is going to be in it long-term. They don’t want a self-promoter and to [have to] be doing this whole thing again in a year.”
On the other side, Seacrest got an ego check after he started co-hosting Live with Ripa. The American Idol host thought he would be sharing the limelight but quickly discovered that Ripa is the real star of the show. To make matters worse, ratings have dropped significantly since Seacrest came on board and he doesn’t seem to connect with Kelly Ripa’s loyal fan base.
“The show is a wreck at the moment… Ryan is just not connecting with daytime viewers. He appeals to a much younger, music-oriented audience,” a source explained. “For the show to not be a huge hit is a blow to Ryan’s ego. It felt very safe adding Ryan to Live. No one at the network thought that adding him was a huge risk.”
As if that wasn’t enough, Seacrest was recently announced as the new host for ABC’s reboot of American Idol and reportedly asked producers if they could move Live to Los Angeles. Radar Online reports that Ripa was furious at the request and gave ABC executives an ultimatum.
“Kelly’s announced that if push comes to shove, she’s ready to walk,” an insider revealed. “Kelly’s given them an ultimatum — it’s her way or the highway!” continued the insider. “She feels that she was stabbed in the back over the whole Michael Strahan fiasco, and she’s not going to allow it to happen again!”
Seacrest will have a difficult time splitting time between Live and American Idol. The singing competition will film Sunday nights, which means Seacrest will have to catch an overnight flight every week to be in New York by Monday morning. The only problem with moving Live to L.A. is that Ripa would have to move her entire family across the country.
In light of the drama, it is possible that Ripa will leave the show before things unravel. After all, Ripa was devastated by Strahan’s betrayal last year and doesn’t want to go through the same thing if Seacrest is forced to leave for American Idol. Whatever happens, Ripa and Seacrest will need to figure something out soon if they want to save Live from going off the air.
Seacrest and Ripa have not commented on the rumors surrounding the show.
Live with Kelly and Ryan airs weekdays on ABC.
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[Featured Image by ABC]