Michael Strahan as co-host of “LIVE! With Kelly and Michael” is a thing of the past. The former co-host last day on the ABC show was May 13 and the journey to find his replacement begins next week. Jimmy Kimmel and Cedric the Entertainment will serve as guest hosts alongside Kelly Ripa until a permanent decision is made—a decision that isn’t easily made.
“It doesn’t fall out of the sky. It takes a lot of work, and it takes a group discussion,” Ripa explained in an interview with People, while adding that whoever will replace Strahan must have “chemistry and camaraderie and trust.”
ABC/Disney executives intend to play musical chairs with guests hosts until they find a perfect match. This is the same process experienced by Michael Strahan, who would go on to have a four year stint with the show.
“You want somebody working there who’s comfortable working there. That’s how you figure – it’s like a puzzle,” Ripa said. “It’s very much like an equation, an algorithm. Let’s see, if we put somebody here and somebody there, and, ‘Oh, this guy really likes to talk about this,’ or, ‘This guy’s really good here,’ or, ‘This lady is amazing,’ or, ‘She was great last time, let’s give her another shot.’ “
There’s been speculation as to who would fill Strahan’s shoes once he leaves for “Good Morning America” in the fall. Reports have suggested Andy Cohen, Josh Groban, and Anderson Cooper are all possibilities to join the 45-year-old mother of two. Though only males have been in the running as possible replacements, Ripa isn’t opposed to possibly having another woman at the helm of the show.
“I think the formula of the show has always been a male and a female host,” she said. “From my perspective, I like to get as many different people, men and women, in the chair as possible. Just because you never know who you’re going to hit it off with.”
She added, “Some of the people I’ve hit it off with the best have been women, which is not unusual for me. I’m a girls’ girl. I like the dynamic of that.”
Media mogul, Oprah Winfrey suggested that Ripa could possibly host the morning talk show on her own.
“Does she wanna do it by herself now? She could!” said Winfrey in an interview with Entertainment Tonight when asked about the direction of the show. “I had a co-host for a long time and I wanted to do it by myself.”
Apparently, Ripa isn’t open to that idea.
“I like having a partner,” Ripa admitted. “I don’t think it works otherwise. I need someone sitting next to me.”