There is a major soap opera going down behind the scenes that Kelly Ripa is no stranger to having inhabited the life of Hayley Vaughan on All My Children, and having gone through a major co-host change before.
After the news earlier this week that Ripa’s Live with Kelly and Michael co-host, Michael Strahan decided to join Good Morning America full time come September, sources say Ripa was taken completely off guard and is upset.
At the top of Wednesday morning’s episode of “Live”, Strahan addressed the studio crowd and viewers at home that he is indeed making this full time change, while guest co-host Ana Gasteyer stood by as Strahan received, “boo’s”.
Nowhere to be found was Ripa, and a source close to the show toldVariety that she was angry after ABC executives gathered her, Strahan, and the show’s staff together at the end of Tuesday’s taping to reveal that Strahan would end his run at “Live” in four months, then move full time to “GMA.” Immediately afterward, the network announced the move publicly. That night, Strahan received a call from the show telling him that Ripa would not be coming to work the next day.
Sources said Ripa was surprised and angered by the lack of notice she received before the announcement. Her representatives did not respond to Variety‘s requests for comment. ABC confirmed late Wednesday that Erin Andrews will fill in for Ripa on Thursday and Friday, with the latter show pretaping tomorrow, and that Pretty Little Liars co-star Shay Mitchell will co-host with Strahan on Monday. Meanwhile an ABC spokesperson said Kelly’s absence is due to “a previously scheduled vacation,” which many do not believe.
Meanwhile Strahan stated on Wednesday’s episode, “Kelly welcomed me here and I’ve learned so much from her, and she’s just been an amazing influence on me and this has truly changed my life to be with her.”
When Ripa does decide to come to work the plan is for Strahan to be beside her five days a week until his new job begins. Then Ripa faces a possible situation much like the one she endured five years ago, finding a successor following the departure of original host Regis Philbin.
So will Kelly show up at “Live”? Do you think Strahan made the right decision to leave the syndicated talker for “GMA”? Who should be Kelly’s next co-host if she decides she wants to continue with the show? Comment below.