ABC To Announce Kelly Ripa's New 'Live! With Kelly' Partner
ABC will announce Kelly Ripa’s new permanent co-host for its daytime talk show Live! with Kelly on September 4th, according to a Deadline report. Following Regis Philbin’s departure last November after 28 years, Ripa, 41, has tried out 59 guest hosts, and Philbin’s permanent successor will be selected from this pool. The top candidates were musician Josh Groban, 31, former New York Giants football star Michael Strahan, 40, and Saturday Night Live comic Seth Meyers, 38, although Meyers recently stated he is not interested in the job, despite being viewed as the favorite.
Ripa rose to fame as Hayley Vaughn on the ABC soap Opera All My Children. She joined the daytime talk show alongside Philbin in 2001 as Kathie Lee's successor (formerly of Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee) and became an instant hit, developing an entertaining rapport with Philbin. Ripa even doubled her television exposure by also starring on the ABC comedy Hope & Faith alongside Megan Fox, 26, from 2003-2006, before focusing her efforts primarily on Live!.
The day before the announcement, Ripa will host Live! solo for the first time, and the pressure is on for the next co-host after Philbin's final season helped garner the show Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Talk Show (Entertainment), a first for the show, and Outstanding Talk Show Host (shared by Phibin and Ripa). Live! with Kelly airs weekdays at 9 a.m. E.T. –Harald Sundt