IT’S ‘LIVE WITH KELLY & RYAN’
We’re about to have a lot more Ryan Seacrest in our lives.
On Monday morning, ABC host Kelly Ripa announced that Seacrest — former “American Idol” host — is her new permanent cohost on “Live,” the second-mostwatched daytime show on TV.
Seacrest beamed as he walked into the studio with Ripa, hugging audience members, as a TV graphic introduced the show’s new title: “Live with Kelly & Ryan.”
“Today, the next chapter of the ‘Live’ story is about to be written,” Ripa said, as the audience cheered. Ripa has helmed the talk show with a constantly rotating set of guest co-hosts since last May, when Michael Strahan departed for “Good Morning America.”
Though Seacrest has been based in Los Angeles, where he hosts a syndicated morning radio show, he said on “Live” that he’s moving to New York. In a news release, Disney-ABC confirmed that Seacrest will not give up his radio gig and will work out of new studios in New York. This means that, in addition to “Live” every weekday morning, Seacrest will be:
• On the radio every day, hosting “On Air With Ryan Seacrest” on weekdays and “American Top 40” on the weekends.
• On the E! red carpet, talking to celebrities before all the awards shows.
• On ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” on Dec. 31.
• Behind the scenes on the entire E! Kardashian empire, which he executive-produces, along with a slew of other shows, including Jennifer Lopez’s NBC drama “Shades of Blue.”
... and doing much more. Seacrest’s packed schedule didn’t come up during Monday’s “Live” broadcast. He had a relatively lowkey welcome as he and Ripa bantered about Seacrest’s upcoming move to New York and about the reaction from his close friends when he texted them that he had “great news.” (Guesses ranged from “You’re engaged!” to “You’re having a baby!” to “You’re coming out of the closet!”)
Seacrest has appeared on “Live” many times over the years, serving as guest co-host on multiple occasions. He has known Ripa since the days when they hosted the Disney Christmas Day Parade together a decade ago.
“With Ryan, ‘Live’ has a new cohost who is a master of live TV, as well as a terrific interviewer with tens of thousands of hours of live broadcasting experience,” longtime “Live” producer Michael Gelman said in a statement. “When you combine those attributes with the talents and experience of the incomparable Kelly Ripa, you have two skilled and entertaining broadcasters with great chemistry. Add in an experienced production team and a successful 30year franchise, and you have the perfect combination.”
The pairing is also notable because starting this fall, it will go up against former Fox host Megyn Kelly’s new, much-anticipated 9 a.m. ET show on NBC, which means we’re in for another dose of morning talk show wars between NBC and ABC, already in the race for ratings with rivals “Today” and “Good Morning America.”
Up until now, speculation about Ripa’s new co-host — one of the highest-profile jobs in TV — was a popular topic. The announcement comes after a nearly year-long search process. Strahan co-hosted “Live” from February 2012 through May 2016. Previously, Ripa was partnered up with Regis Philbin, who was the host from April 1983 through November 2011.
Strahan’s departure started a rare bit of controversy surrounding “Live.” After Ripa was notified about Strahan’s new job only shortly before the rest of the world, she stayed home from work for a couple days as reports swirled that she felt “blindsided” by the news and what it meant for the show. When Ripa returned to the show, she delivered a candid monologue: She said that she had needed some time to “gather her thoughts” but had been assured by Disney-ABC executives that “Live” was a priority to the company.
A new era in daytime television began Monday when Kelly Ripa introduced Ryan Seacrest as the permanent co-host joining her on "Live."