The year-long search is over: Kelly Ripa has found a new co-host.
The daytime talk show host announced this morning that the criminally overemployed Ryan Seacrest has been tapped as her new partner in crime on Live! with Kelly. Ripa has relied on guest hosts — including pals Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper; actors like Taye Diggs, Josh Gad, and Jussie Smollett; former Fox News host Megyn Kelly; and her own husband, Mark Consuelos — since the May 13 departure of Michael Strahan. Last April the former NFL star shocked Ripa by announcing that he would be leaving the show to host Good Morning America.
Strahan's exit immediately sparked drama and controversy — including shade from Ripa's original Live! co-host, Regis Philbin — but it now looks as though the show is ready to leave that all behind and charge forward.
Ripa, who has been on Live! since 2001, teased her big announcement on social media Sunday night. The former soap star held up a coffee mug that read “Live with Kelly & ?" and told fans to "tune in tomorrow."
"We’re going to need a bigger mug," she captioned the video.
Seacrest's hiring isn't a huge surprise. He's served as a Live! guest co-host five times, and, like Strahan, has that sort of "media everyman" vibe that should serve the show well.
The American Idol alum's new gig will give Seacrest, who also hosts his own radio show and produces Keeping Up With the Kardashians and Shahs of Sunset, a chance to return to the TV spotlight, sources told CNN Money. His work on Live! will reportedly not interfere with his radio work or role as a correspondent for E!. In short: Your life will soon be all Seacrest, all the time.
It makes sense to bring Seacrest on board — so much sense, in fact, that it's disappointingly predictable. Live! had the opportunity to put a female or another person of color — or hell, literally anyone else who is less overexposed — in the second chair, but went with the most conventional choice instead. What else is new?
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