Saturday, April 20, 2024

Kelly Ripa Skips Today’s Show as Michael Strahan Announces Exit: And He Won’t Be On Tomorrow


Kelly Ripa is conspicuously absent from today’s Live with Kelly and Michael. Apparently she wasn’t told in advance that Strahan was leaving for “Good Morning America” when it was announced yesterday. Saturday Night Live alum Ana Gasteyer is the surprise substitute host.

Strahan won’t be on tomorrow– which means Ripa is so mad she won’t appear with him on live TV.

Strahan had to announce his departure on air to Gasteyer this morning instead of Ripa. Usually, the camera would cut to exec producer Michael Gelman for some kind of reaction. Gelman, however, also is AWOL at least on camera, and there was zero mention of him.

For Kelly, the anger over Strahan’s exit has to be pretty intense. Remember, she’s never spoken again to Regis Philbin since he left the show five years ago. Ripa campaigned for Strahan when he was trying out for “Live”– he got the job over a lot of people including Seth Meyers. Now they all have to be on air together until the summer since Strahan doesn’t start on “GMA” until after Labor Day.

What is this all about? It’s about ABC and James Goldston and Ben Sherwood trumping Disney (also owned by ABC) and snatching Strahan. But Strahan isn’t stupid. He’s used “Live” as a stepping stone. Not only did he appear in the movie “Magic Mike XXL” this year, he’s also hosting a new syndicated version of “The $100,000 Pyramid.” It’s the first time “Pyramid” has been in prime time (10 episodes this summer on ABC). And Strahan is executive producer.

All of a sudden, “Live” is going to be very interesting if and when Ripa returns to the set. I don’t know how Michael Gelman lives through these things.

PS Anderson Cooper as Strahan’s replacement? Seems hard to pull off if Cooper’s going to stay at CNN and be a journalist. My guess: Neil Patrick Harris. He lives in New York, has kids, a family, could still do Broadway. He also has a fortune from “How I Married Your Mother.”

UPDATE At the end of this morning’s show, Strahan offered a lame olive branch to Ripa and Gelman, then announced he won’t be on the show tomorrow. I don’t think we’ll be seeing him until Monday at this point. Tomorrow’s show should be wild!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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