Kelly Ripa returned to Live With Kelly and Michael last week and the viewers responded enthusiastically: the show’s overnight household ratings on Tuesday, April 26, were up 62% from the previous week.
Ripa had been off the air for four days, partly for a planned long weekend, but also partly because she felt disrespected and angry after learning on Tuesday, April 19 — almost at the same time as the rest of the world — that her cohost, Michael Strahan, would be decamping for ABC’s Good Morning America.
Just like the TV audience, the in-studio audience was thrilled to see Ripa back on the air: “Our long national nightmare is over,” Ripa quipped as the audience rose to a standing ovation. “I am fairly certain there are trained professional snipers with tranquilizer darts in case I drive too far off message.”
But what viewers didn’t know was that Ripa and Strahan’s reunion would be short: Shortly after the episode ended, ABC announced that Strahan’s last day at Live will beFriday, May 13.
“After meeting with the producers of both Live and Good Morning America, and after speaking with Kelly and Michael, we have decided on a plan that bestadvantages bothshows for the future,” according to a statement from ABC.
“To that end, Michael’s last day on Live will be on Friday, May 13, which not only gives the show the chance to have a nice send-off for him during the May book, but to also immediately begin the on-air search for a new cohost. This plan also allows GMA to start integratingMichael into the show more often this summer before his full-time start in September.”
Strahan has a busy summer planned, including hosting a primetime version of The $100,000 Pyramid on ABC and returning to Fox Sports, where he works as an NFL analyst. He’ll also continue to appear on Good Morning America, but won’t go to five days a week until September.
Meanwhile, Live will begin its search for a new cohost for Ripa three months sooner than expected. Strahan joined the show in September 2012 after appearing 20 times during an extensive audition process. Last time around, leading candidates for the cohost position included Jerry O’Connell, Seth Meyers and Josh Groban.
Kelly Ripa returned to Live With Kelly and Michael last week and the viewers responded enthusiastically: the show’s overnight household ratings on Tuesday, April 26, were up 62% from the previous week. Subscribe for full article
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