Ryan Seacrest is exiting “Live With Kelly and Ryan” after six years acting as Kelly Ripa’s co-host on the ABC daytime talker. Upon Seacrest’s exit, Ripa will be joined by her husband, Mark Consuelos, as her new co-host and the show will be rebranded “Live With Kelly and Mark.”
Seacrest announced his pending departure on Thursday’s episode of “Live,” saying: “Working alongside Kelly over the past six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career. She has been an amazing partner, friend, and confidant, and although we will always be a part of each other’s lives, I will miss our mornings together. I also want to thank Michael Gelman and the entire staff and crew – we’ve made memories to last a lifetime, met some of the most incredible people and had the warmest welcome into the homes of so many viewers across America. It’s been a memorable ride and now I’m excited to pass the baton to Kelly’s ‘real’ husband, Mark.”
Ripa has hosted “Live” since 2001, first with Regis Philbin and later Michael Strahan, interspersed with periods of solo hosting and working with a rotating stable of guest hosts. Seacrest joined her as co-host in 2016, originally signing on for a three-year contract, but ultimately staying on for the past six years.
“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,” Ripa said. “Ryan’s energy, passion and love for entertainment is one-of-a-kind.”
Seacrest, who annually hosts ABC’s “Dick Clark’s” New Year’s Eve special, will exit “Live With Kelly and Ryan” this spring as he prepares for ABC’s “American Idol” live shows in Los Angeles.
“Goodbyes are never easy, but we look forward to welcoming Ryan back regularly with open arms,” “Live With Kelly and Ryan” executive producer Michael Gelman said. “As a fan-favorite guest host for years, Mark is no stranger to the ‘Live’ family. Having him join the show is so special for us and we’re sure that viewers will feel the same.”
“Live With Kelly and Ryan” is currently the No. 1 daytime talk show, across network and syndicated programming, in terms of both total viewers and household ratings. “Live” has been the highest-rated daytime talk show for 56 straight weeks among women ages 25-54.