The world of morning talk show hosts got wild when Michael Strahan suddenly announced he was exiting Live with Kelly and Michael to focus on a bigger gig at Good Morning America. One might have imagined a replacement would've been found in the five months since he left, but Kelly Ripa is still rocking a revolving door of guest hosts. And though it seemed like one of her recurring sidekicks, Anderson Cooper, might sign on for a permanent gig, it turns out he won't be taking the job at all. Why? Because he just locked up a lot more money with his current home at CNN.
The cable news channel, where Anderson Cooper 360° is as big a hit as they come, agreed to a long-term deal with Anderson Cooper that will keep him in fans' news cycles for years into the future. The details of that deal weren't disclosed, but they are such that he had to drop out of the running for a Live with Kelly spot, according to THR. If you've ever watched the longtime news host at work, you'll notice that he's often in front of different backdrops, and that's because Anderson Cooper 360° requires a fair amount of traveling throughout the year, which doesn't lend itself well to another job that involves showing up to the same place every morning.
The deal was apparently made as early as last week, since Cooper told his show's crew the good news then. It's also stated he contacted Kelly Ripa and told her the news, too, before it was able to go public. (In direct opposition to how things went down when Michael Strahan left.) Thankfully, the new deal won't keep him from the Live with Kelly co-hosting gigs he'd already had planned, and the next one of those is coming next week.
60 Minutes fans don't need to worry about Anderson Cooper going missing, though. As it's gone with past contract extensions, the deal was worked out to allow Cooper to continue supplying his correspondence pieces.
It must have been sad news for Kelly Ripa, who held Cooper as a favorite to fill the co-host slot. She'd also wanted him back in 2012, though the network's desire to get Michael Strahan won out in the end. And now CNN wins out in that respect. Others such as Jeff Gordon and Rob Lowe have been tossed into the pile of possibilities for Live, but there's apparently no sign of when a permanent replacement will be found.
Live with Kelly airs mornings on ABC, and you'll be able to find Anderson Cooper filling in once again on Wednesday, October 12. To see everything that's sleeping through the morning shows and coming to the primetime hours, head to our fall TV schedule.