What's Next for 'Live,' Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan

Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan-May 13, 2016-H 2016
David M. Russell/Disney ABC Home Entertainment and Television Distribution

After the Emmy-winning duo ended their four-year run on Friday, a parade of guest co-hosts will join Ripa as the daytime show looks for Strahan's replacement.

Now that Michael Strahan has left his job as co-host of Live With Kelly and Michael, the focus shifts to what's next for the daytime talk show.

Guest co-hosts have already been lined up for the next two weeks, and Ripa is likely to be joined by various substitutes, many of whom will be auditioning for the co-host job, until Live names a permanent replacement.

The first guest co-host is Jimmy Kimmel, who will join Ripa on Monday's show. The L.A.-based Jimmy Kimmel Live host will be in New York for ABC's annual upfront presentation to advertisers, which is set for May 17. He often stops by Live as a guest when he visits New York, but this time he'll be co-hosting.

The guest co-hosts for the rest of next week are as follows: Empire star Jussie Smollet, Cedric the Entertainer, David Muir and Hawaii Five-0 star Daniel Dae Kim.

The next week, Ripa will be joined by Fred Savage (on May 23 and 24), Seal (on May 25) and close friend and rumored potential replacement Andy Cohen, who'll spend May 26 and 27 as Ripa's co-host.

Cohen is someone many viewers quickly thought of when news of Strahan's departure emerged. But the Bravo star has lately indicated he's simply too busy to take on another job.

Other names bandied about as potential replacements include Anderson Cooper, Mario Lopez, Regis Philbin and Ripa's husband Mark Consuelos.

Sources previously told The Hollywood Reporter that Cooper is Ripa's top choice. The two are close friends and he was her pick in 2012 when Strahan was named co-host. But Cooper is under contract at CNN into next year, where he'd have to be available for breaking news even if the network cleared him to join Live, and also contributes to CBS' 60 Minutes.

As for Philbin, while there were reports that he'd been contacted about the job, he recently became a contributor on the fourth hour of NBC's Today and a source close to the veteran host told THR that there's been no contact between his reps and Live execs.

Lopez, meanwhile, didn't shut down rumors he's interested in the job when he talked about the opening on a recent episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, simply saying that he finds talk of him possibly replacing Strahan "very flattering."

"I love Kelly. I’ve guest-hosted with her a few times; she’s awesome," Lopez continued. "I actually did a movie with her husband Mark, who’s a real good guy. I’m looking forward to going back and guest-hosting again."

More recently on Ellen, another rumored candidate, Alec Baldwin, also didn't shut down speculation and made it sound like the job is just what he's been looking for.

"I have always said I wanted to do a show where I could stay home," he said, pointing out that when you make movies, you often have to go off to some far-flung location for a few months. "And the schedule of being able to stay home with my children is what I'd prefer. I do think about those things from time to time."

Another high-profile host who could replace Strahan is Ryan Seacrest, who recently re-upped as host of ABC's New Year's Rockin' Eve for four more years. Although Seacrest's schedule has opened up considerably since American Idol ended, he'd still have to do some logistical reshuffling to co-host the New York-based Live, which among other things would seem to interfere with his daily radio show out of L.A.

A number of the reported finalists from Live's last co-host auditions, to replace Philbin, have once again been rumored as potential replacements for Strahan. Such candidates include Josh Groban; Neil Patrick Harris (now based in New York and no longer filming How I Met Your Mother, the weekly CBS sitcom he was still shooting out of L.A. in 2012) and Bachelor/Bachelorette host Chris Harrison.

As for Live, it's been renewed through the 2019-20 TV season, but Ripa's deal is up next year, which means Live's co-host search will likely be followed by negotiations with Ripa on a new deal.

Strahan is set to join GMA full-time in September but starting June 26, he'll also host a revival of $100,000 Pyramid for ABC, which will air in a primetime block with Steve Harvey's Celebrity Family Feud and Baldwin's Match Game.