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Why Michael Strahan Is Leaving Live! 4 Months Early, According To Kelly Ripa

The Live! With Kelly and Michael drama has mostly died down at this point and should be completely over by the end of the week, when Strahan officially leaves the early morning show. His gig on Good Morning America doesn’t start until September, and he was initially expected to step down much later than this week. Now, Kelly Ripa has spoken out about why the show decided to ditch Michael Strahan a little early. Mainly, she says, the decision was made to give Live! more time to find another host.

What we've explained to them is, 'Well, if you had asked us, we would have told you, Guys, we need to start looking, because we have summer hiatus, we have vacation time. We need to find people. If we're going to have this list narrowed down at least to a manageable size by the fall, we need to start now.'

Ripa spoke to People this week about her feelings after learning Michael Strahan would be leaving their shared daytime show to join Good Morning America full-time. After learning the news last minute, Ripa added some days to an already planned vacation and took some time for herself. After returning, things have been fine enough between Ripa and Strahan, but it’s been clear that their onscreen partnership is coming to an end. Live! might as well start looking sooner rather than later for a replacement host, even if Michael Strahan is a little inconvenienced. After all, Kelly Ripa seems to have been a little inconvenienced just a few days ago.

Starting next week, Live! already has a slew of guest hosts lined up. The first person to appear will be Jimmy Kimmel, who, let’s face it, is probably not looking for a second talk show gig. Fred Savage, Andy Cohen and Seal have also all signed on for a short guesting stint. Plus, Kelly Ripa has been open before about wanting to work with her pal Anderson Cooper, who formerly had his own daytime show. Cooper was even asked about the prospect recently, although he says he hasn’t been asked…

Obviously, Live! is looking to take its time finding a replacement, but we can guess one thing will be certain when the show does figure out who will co-star: Kelly Ripa will be the first to know about it.

While we wait, you can check out what ABC has coming up this summer—including a new rendition of Match Game--with our summer TV premiere schedule.

Jessica Rawden

Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.