The Hollywood Reporter Names 2013's 35 Most Powerful People in Media
This story first appeared in the April 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
In September, after 59 guest hosts rotated in and out of the Live chair next to Ripa, former NFL defensive end Strahan, 41, nabbed the seat once occupied by Regis Philbin.
“Even though I knew I had the job, it was surreal to see my name up there with Kelly’s,” recalls the father of four, who is engaged to VH1 reality star Nicole Murphy. It’s a transformative moment for the talk show, which launched in 1983 and was rebranded as Live With Regis and Kathie Lee in 1988.
“I was very emotional,” says Ripa, a mother of three with husband Mark Consuelos, adding jokingly of the co-host audition process: “They kept us sequestered like they do on The Bachelor. We weren’t allowed to see each other.”
Seven months later, their chemistry has taken off: Live matched its strongest February in five years during sweeps week and topped Ellen as the No. 2 syndicated talk show with more than 3 million viewers.
“Michael is one of these men that could have chemistry with a doorknob, a chicken sandwich or a flashlight,” jokes Ripa.
FAVORITE GUESTS: Dolly Parton for Ripa: “I laugh every time I watch it.” Mitt and Ann Romney for Strahan: “They were game for anything, which was unexpected.”