Michael Strahan has only a few days left alongside Kelly Ripa as co-host of “Live With Michael and Kelly.” Strahan’s exit from the syndicated talk show has been surrounded by drama following his announcement last month that he’d be leaving for ABC’s “Good Morning America,” and there may still be some contention between the co-stars.
According to TMZ, there is tension behind the scenes in Strahan’s final week on the show. Sources told the publication that Ripa keeps her makeup room door closed now; she used to leave it open for Strahan to greet her as he arrived for tapings.
Ripa told People magazine that she’s happy for Strahan and his move to “GMA.” However, she now has to find another co-host with whom she’ll have “chemistry and camaraderie and trust.”
“I get it. We’re excited for Michael. He wanted that job, and it’s great for him. I think it is a perfect match, I really do. However, what nobody considered is there’s a whole other group of people that it really impacts, because we have to now find another great person,” Ripa dished.
After the announcement of Strahan’s decision to leave, Ripa took off from the show for over a week because she wasn’t told about it beforehand. She told People she needed the time to process everything that had happened.
“I said, in the room, ‘I am going to take the day off.’ I needed to actually sit and gather information. I needed to make sure I said the appropriate things on TV and didn’t just come out and say whatever,” Ripa explained.
Several people have been rumored to take Strahan’s place as the search begins for a replacement. Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen, Mario Lopez, Neil Patrick Harris, Terry Crews and Jane Lynch are some of the names going around. The search is expected to pick up when the new season of “Live!” begins in the fall.
Strahan announced he was leaving the show on April 19 and his final episode will be Friday. He’ll take the summer off before he starts at “Good Morning America” in September. Strahan told the Hollywood Reporter he’s grateful for his time on the show and is looking forward to his new job.
“My time with ‘Live! With Kelly and Michael’ has been transformative, and my departure will be bittersweet,” Strahan said. “Kelly has been an unbelievable partner, and I am so thankful to her and the entire team.”