Apparently, Ryan Seacrest's Exit From Live Had Been Discussed Since Last Summer: 'Some Of Ryan's Absences Created Tension'

Viewers of Live with Kelly and Ryan were surprised by last week’s announcement that Ryan Seacrest will be stepping away after six years. As Kelly Ripa’s husband Mark Consuelos prepares to take over full-time co-hosting duties, the American Idol host will return to the West Coast to continue with his other ABC-affiliated projects. While the move was unexpected for many fans of the perky talk show duo, it’s one that has apparently been in the works for quite a while, sources say, after some of Seacrest’s absences from the show apparently rubbed some people the wrong way.

Reports have been circulating since Ryan Seacrest’s announcement about possible reasons for his exit from Live, with exhaustion and his bi-coastal filming schedule seeming to be the most likely of causes. Fatigue has forced the co-host to miss an increasing number of episodes over the past year, which Page Six insiders say ultimately led to the decision to replace him. The trade reports: 

Some of Ryan’s absences created tension with everyone involved on the show. But everyone cares about him and respects him and just wants to make sure he’s OK.

The source pointed out that Kelly Ripa has rarely missed a day on Live in 23 years, but while there have reportedly been some frustrations surrounding Ryan Seacrest’s absences, concern for his health and mental well-being comes first. 

In May 2020, American Idol fans became concerned that the host had suffered a stroke during the live finale. His publicist assured fans there was no medical emergency, but after juggling multiple live shows, Ryan Seacrest did take some time away from both Idol and Live

Ryan Seacrest himself even acknowledged that he’d bitten off more than he could chew, as he addressed his viral health scare, saying at the time that he had “burnt himself out.” His step away from Live with Kelly and Ryan is apparently something that’s actually been in the works for a while, in order to avoid any such burnout happening again.  

They started talking about Ryan leaving last summer, and when they announced Ryan’s departure, both Kelly and Ryan wanted to put whatever issues — arising from the workplace and Ryan’s other responsibilities — they had behind them. They’ve known each other for 20 years and, regardless of recent strains, it is a real friendship.

As with all friendships, Ryan Seacrest and Kelly Ripa’s hasn’t been without some bumps. There was reportedly some friction between the two in the early days of Live with Kelly and Ryan, when the American Idol host allegedly suggested production be moved to Los Angeles, seemingly proving that this bicoastal situation has been less-than-ideal from the beginning. 

That’s all in the past now, however, as there was nothing but love between the co-hosts and Ripa’s husband Mark Consuelos when they spoke on Live following the big announcement. The two men declared each other family, and the Riverdale actor brought Seacrest to tears with his kind words. It hasn’t yet been announced when the show will officially become Live with Kelly and Mark, so stay tuned to your local listings. Also be sure to check out our 2023 TV schedule for some other premieres that are headed our way. 

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.