Michael Strahan may find himself replaced by a woman on “Live! With Kelly and Michael.” Ahead of the former football star’s exit from the syndicated talk show this week, remaining star Kelly Ripa teased who could be his replacement, and she revealed it may not be a man.
People reports that following Strahan’s final show on Friday, the network will rotate guest stars until they find the perfect replacement, but Ripa said it’s not an easy process. “It doesn’t fall out of the sky. It takes a lot of work and it takes a group discussion,” she commented of finding a new co-lead, comparing the process to a “puzzle” or “algorithm.”
Despite “Live!” always having a male and female hosting team — Strahan replaced Regis Philbin following his retirement in 2011, and Ripa took over for Kathie Lee Gifford in 2001 — it may not remain that way.
“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,” Ripa told People. “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.”
No matter who ABC picks to help Ripa lead “Live!” she promises she won’t go forward with the show alone. “I like having a partner,” she said. “I don’t think it works otherwise. I need someone sitting next to me.”
So far, only male celebrities have been mentioned for the program, including Bravo’s Andy Cohen and “Anderson Cooper 360” star Anderson Cooper, though neither may be able to fulfill the talk show’s obligations. Cohen responded to the rumors last month telling Us he already has “10 jobs.” While Cooper is equally busy with his own show on CNN, he is interested. “It would be a dream to work with Kelly but nobody’s offering anything,” he recently told People.
It was revealed that Strahan was leaving “Live!” last month in favor of a full-time gig on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Strahan is expected to join the program in the fall. While Ripa was absent from several “Live!” episodes following Strahan’s shocking reveal, she recently said she’s “excited” for his new adventure.