Over the last several days, a lot has been said in the news media about Michael Strahan’s impending exit from Live! with Michael and Kelly, as well as Kelly Ripa’s reaction to the news. It was hard to gauge exactly how Ripa was feeling, mostly because after the news broke she declined to appear on her series last week, instead taking a few days of vacation with her family. This morning, the early morning host returned to her show and braved the stage with Michael Strahan—which meant she had to address what happened. If you missed Live with Michael and Kelly this morning, here’s what Kelly Ripa had to say.
I needed a couple of days to gather my thoughts. After 26 years with this company, I earned the right… What transpired over the course of a few days has been extraordinary, in the sense that it started a much larger conversation about communication and consideration and most importantly respect in the workplace. And since we’re being honest, I don’t consider this just a workplace. This is my second home.
Ripa's words echo an email she actually sent out to staff earlier this week, which describes how she felt when ABC told her about Michael Strahan's exit, allegedly just before the press knew. But it's good on her not to bow out at this juncture. It's worth pointing out that Kelly Ripa has been on Live! for much longer than Michael Strahan, originally appearing on the series opposite Regis Philbin back in 2001. After Philbin retired, Kelly Ripa kept on going, so it’s no wonder the ABC series has a major hold on her heart. It took some time to find another person to man the chair opposite hers, and in 2012 Michael Strahan ended up nabbing the role and has boosted the ratings in the time since.
Kelly Ripa also had to address the major elephant in the room, acknowledging the fact that Michael Strahan will in fact be leaving Live! With Michael and Kelly in September to take on a role in Good Morning America full time. She says exactly what we’d expect her to say, given the circumstances:
I am thrilled for Michael. 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. This is entertainment, it’s supposed to be entertaining, so let’s get back to what we do best and start the show!
Of course, it’s great that Kelly Ripa has collected her thoughts and has decided to come back to the ABC gig, making the transition for Strahan as smooth as possible given last week’s circumstances. Still, we have no real idea how Live! is going to shake out come September. Rumors have indicated that ABC might add an extra hour to Good Morning America, which could replace Ripa’s show or could force her to move in the schedule. In addition, if Live! is still a thing come fall, you would think the series would be looking for a Michael Strahan replacement at some point. We’ll let you know how things shake out as soon as decisions are made.
For now, you can see what is coming up on TV this summer with our premiere schedule.