'Live's Annual Halloween Episode Drops in Ratings Without Michael Strahan

Disney-ABC’s Live With Kelly aired its Halloween episode on Oct. 31, with guest host Jerry O’Connell joining Kelly Ripa in a constant stream of costume changes. These included the pair appearing as Joker and Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad, and Pikachu and Ash from Pokémon, and several more.

Besides O’Connell, many other frequent cohosts and friends of the show made guest appearances, including Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen, Josh Groban, Jussie Smollett, Chris Harrison and Neil Patrick Harris.

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This year’s show averaged a 2.9 rating/10 share primary-run household average in the weighted metered markets, according to Nielsen Media Research. That was up 7% from the show’s prior week’s average 2.7/9, but down 26% compared to last year’s Halloween festivities, which took place on Friday, Oct. 30, and averaged a 3.9/13 with Michael Strahan still in place as cohost.

Strahan announced his departure from Live this spring and departed, amid much controversy, on May 13 to become full-time host of ABC’s Good Morning America. Strahan started his new gig at GMA on Sept. 6 after spending the summer hosting ABC’s primetime game show $100,000 Pyramid. Former New York Giant Strahan also serves as an analyst on Fox NFL Sunday during football season.

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O’Connell has hosted Live 13 times, and was considered a finalist for the cohost position during the show’s last go-round of guest hosts, which ultimately resulted in Strahan getting the job. After Strahan joined Live in September 2012 — following a search that started when Regis Philbin retired in November 2011 — ratings for the show grew consistently.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.