Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Ryan Seacrest Ends “Live” Run with Kelly Ripa on ABC, Mark Consuelos Will Join Wife in Final Family Network Takeover


Mornings on ABC are going to be a family affair now.

First of all, Ryan Seacrest is leaving “Live with Kelly and Ryan” after six years and heading back to Los Angeles.

Second, in his place comes Mark Consuelos, husband of host Kelly Ripa, which will complete their takeover of ABC and Disney.

Seacrest made the announcement this morning because he’s got to get back to “American Idol,” which starts up momentarily. It’s unclear if his exit is just because of logistics for him, or because Disney didn’t want to pay for the crazy flying back and forth across the country that has gone on the last five years. Seacrest would do “Idol” then zip back to New York for “Live,” then repeat, for 13 weeks.

Seacrest says in a statement he’s also leaving to return to his charitable foundation, which puts broadcast operations into children’s hospitals. I’ve told you about the foundation before. His sister gets around $271,000 to run it, his father has a $95,000 a year retainer, and now they’ve hired an administrator for $100,000. Salaries were 663K in 2020, and they spent about twice that on the hospitals.

Ripa is happy because Consuelos, who she met when they were actors on ABC’s “All My Children,” can stay home now instead of taking odd acting jobs in far flung places. ABC probably gets a deal and saves a lot of money. Over the last couple of years Ripa’s children have also been on the show. Now this is a full network takeover.

Regis Philbin is probably spinning in his grave, but what can you do? “Live,” which he built into a powerhouse, ranks number 1 or 2 every week in syndicated talk shows. The only real competition it’s had is “Dr. Phil.” But that show is ending this spring. Ripa can make a lot of demands at this point, with no end in sight.

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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