Ryan Seacrest Is Leaving ‘Live with Kelly and Ryan’ After Six-Year Run
Ryan Seacrest announced on Thursday that he was leaving “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” the syndicated morning talk show mainstay that he has hosted with Kelly Ripa since 2017.
Ms. Ripa said Thursday on the show that a familiar face, and frequent guest host, her husband Mark Consuelos, would assume co-hosting duties. The show will now be known as “Live with Kelly and Mark.”
“I’m so grateful to have spent the last six years beside my dear friend of too many decades to count and will miss starting my days with Ryan,” Ms. Ripa said in a statement. “Ryan’s energy, passion and love for entertainment is one-of-a-kind.”
Mr. Seacrest, a Hollywood multitasker, arrived at “Live” after a one-year search, and provided a steady hand at a somewhat tumultuous time for the show. In 2016, when Mr. Seacrest’s predecessor, Michael Strahan, announced he was leaving the show for “Good Morning America,” Ms. Ripa felt blindsided, and that the Walt Disney Company — which syndicates the show — was favoring its morning show franchise over her longtime talk show, which she has co-hosted since 2001. She walked off the show for several days, setting off a tabloid feeding frenzy.
Mr. Seacrest’s arrival nearly coincided with what seemed at the time to be a formidable rival: NBC was giving Megyn Kelly a 9 a.m. talk show, and investing tens of millions of dollars in it.
Although Ms. Kelly’s morning show could veer dark — “Megyn Kelly Today” often ran segments on topics like revenge porn and sexual harassment — Ms. Ripa and Mr. Seacrest kept it light, providing a soothing antidote to the divisive Trump years. Ms. Kelly’s show was trounced by “Live” in the ratings, and was canceled roughly a year after it started.
“Live,” which started in the 1980s as a New York talk show co-hosted by Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford, has long centered on a simple concept: Two hosts chatting about their lives, and bringing in celebrities for breezy interviews.
“The hosts have changed, but the overall concept continues on: two people, a man and a woman, and enjoying the chemistry between them,” said Michael Gelman, the longtime executive producer, in a 2017 interview.
“Live” has been the top-rated daytime talk show among women ages 25 to 54, a demographic important to advertisers, for more than a year.
Mr. Seacrest will continue hosting the show until the spring, and will also continue hosting “American Idol,” ABC said. Mr. Seacrest said in a statement that working with Ms. Ripa for the last six years has been a “dream job.”
“It’s been a memorable ride and now I’m excited to pass the baton to Kelly’s ‘real’ husband, Mark,” he said.