Michael Strahan is scheduled to leave “Live with Kelly and Michael” on May 13 for a full-time position with “Good Morning America.” That’s a couple of weeks away, but people are already speculating who will replace him. According to Us Weekly on Friday, April 29, there is a list of potential candidates to be Kelly Ripa’s co-host. Several people are rumored to be in the running for the morning talk show full-time position.
The frontrunner to fill the soon to be vacant position is “Extra” host Mario Lopez. The 42-year-old actor recently hinted to Ellen DeGeneres that he might be appearing on the show again soon. The “Saved by the Bell” alum said, “I’m looking forward to going back and guest-hosting again.”
Entertainment Weekly pointed out that all the people at the top of the list are men even though some women have been suggested. Anderson Cooper is at the top of the list and is one of Ripa’s closest friends. During an interview on “Watch What Happens Live” on Thursday, April 28, the CNN anchor, 48, revealed that it would be a dream to work with Ripa, 45. Cooper is definitely interested, but he might already be under a contract with CNN. Besides, he said he is very happy with his current job.
Another likely choice is also a friend of Kelly Ripa. Actor Neil Patrick Harris, 42, who has already proven his hosting skills, is reportedly another strong candidate. Four years ago, producers knew Harris had what they were looking for, but Strahan was selected instead. Perhaps Harris is getting a second chance.
Jerry O’Connell, 42, who has been a guest co-host several times on “Live,” is another one who might be considered for the job. There are others on the list; however, they might not be close to the top. Those people include Ryan Seacrest, Jeff Probst, Sam Champion, and Kelly Ripa’s husband Mark Consuelos. Women on the list include Zendaya, Rosie O’Donnell, Gabourey Sidibe, Audra McDonald, and Kelly Osbourne. If Kelly Osbourne did become Kelly Ripa’s co-host, the show would be called “Live with Kelly and Kelly.”
After Strahan accepted the full-time position at “Good Morning America,” he was initially set to start in September. Because of the way the announcement was handled and Ripa’s reaction to it, ABC decided it is best for Strahan to exit “Live with Kelly and Michael” sooner. After May 13, the 44-year-old former NFL pro will no longer have to rush from one talk show to the other the way he has been doing for the last two years.