What started out as a quiet week in daytime TV exploded with the news that Live With Kelly and Michael’s Michael Strahan will decamp in September for a full-time gig at Good Morning America. Strahan’s cohost, Kelly Ripa, promptly stopped coming to work in protest.
ABC announced Strahan’s move on April 19, informing Ripa, executive producer Michael Gelman and the show’s crew just before the news went wide. Ripa, according to several sources, was angry and felt blindsided. When viewers tuned in to the show April 20 to see how Ripa would react, they instead found former Saturday Night Live cast member Ana Gasteyer sitting next to Strahan.
It made for an awkward moment, but Strahan forged ahead, saying: “I’ve been in the news lately.…I am leaving this show…to go over to GMA full-time, which is going to happen in September.”
He went on to thank the fans, Ripa and Gelman: “Kelly, I thank you, I love you and everyone else here at Live.”
That afternoon, ABC confirmed Ripa would not be back on the show until at least April 26 and was out on a “previously scheduled vacation,” celebrating her wedding anniversary in the Caribbean.
Dancing With the Stars’ Erin Andrews, who also works with Strahan at Fox Sports, filled in for Ripa on Thursday and Friday. Pretty Little Liars’ Shay Mitchell was scheduled to cohost April 25. And then we wait and see if Ripa is actually back sitting next to Strahan come Tuesday.
While names of potential new cohosts are already circulating—last time around, Josh Groban, Seth Meyers and Jerry O’Connell were in the running to win the seat —it’s early yet. Whenever he’s been faced with finding a new cohost, Gelman has taken his time. Strahan guest-hosted some 20 times before finally securing his spot in September 2012.
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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.