After a few days MIA from Live! with Kelly and Michael following the news that co-host Michael Strahan was leaving for a new gig as a regular at Good Morning America, Kelly Ripa was back on set for today’s (April 26) show.
It was widely reported that Kelly was not told beforehand of Strahan’s exit and was filled in on the news shortly before the general public found out. Ripa returned today after a personal apology from ABC’s executives.
Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan came out to the stage holding hands, appearing as a united front. Ripa, then, standing alone, addressed the audience about her decision to not appear on the next few shows following Strahan’s announcement.
The audience, plus Strahan, gave her a standing ovation, as she was about to address them. “Guys, guys, guys, our long national nightmare is over,” she started. “I first want to honestly, sincerely thank you for welcoming me back to the show. The love, the show of support through this bizarre time has been really overwhelming. I needed a couple of days to gather my thoughts. After 26 years with this company, I earned the right.”
She continued, telling the audience that she thought everything that transpired was “extraordinary, in the sense that it started a much larger conversation about communication and consideration and most importantly respect in the workplace.”
Ripa later addressed Strahan, telling him “I am thrilled for you. This is a tremendous opportunity, and I couldn’t be, and we couldn’t be, prouder of you and everything we’ve accomplished together.”
The hostess sat down with Strahan who told her, “I’m so happy you’re back. And one thing I know about you is you love this show, you love the fans, you love the staff. I love you. And I’m so happy you’re here because you brought me here with Gelman and this show it’s been transforming for me, and I know this show lives on because you are the queen of morning television and it will continue to go.”
You can watch the whole thing here:
So, great news, right? The co-hosts appeared to be their friendly selves, as usual, so we’ll have a couple of months of their delightful co-hosting left until Strahan leaves, right? Wrong, so wrong.
It was announced -- about three hours after Kelly Ripa came back to the show -- that Strahan will be leaving Live! earlier than expected.
People Magazine reports that Strahan will leave the show in a little bit over two weeks on May 13. He will be taking the summer off before his Good Morning America debut as a regular in September.
According to a statement from ABC: "After meeting with the producers of both Live! and Good Morning America, and after speaking with Kelly and Michael, we have decided on a plan that best advantages both shows for the future. To that end, Michael's last day on Live! will be on Friday, May 13, which not only gives the show the chance to have a nice send-off for him during the May book, but to also immediately begin the on-air search for a new co-host."
So quite a bit of commotion behind the scenes of this morning show! Who knows what’s really going on there? And how about this comment from Ripa when she addressed her days off: "I am fairly certain that there are trained professional snipers with tranquilizer darts in case I drift too far off message." Do you think it’s telling or just a joke?