TV and radio personalist Ryan Seacrest became the third co-host to join Kelly Ripa on Live With Kelly and Ryan back in 2017. It's hard to forget when Michael Strahan abruptly left the show in 2016, a move that left Kelly absolutely devastated. But over the past six years, Ryan and Kelly's morning chemistry has gone through its own ups and downs.
Now, after rumors of Ryan's exit for over a year, it's finally official that Ryan is, in fact, leaving Live With Kelly and Ryan. But what does that mean for the future of the morning show? And who is taking over for Ryan?
Ryan Seacrest is leaving 'Live With Kelly and Ryan,' as confirmed in a statement.
It's been rumored for almost a year now, but Ryan is finally taking a step down from hosting Live With Kelly and Ryan after six years on the air. "I’m going to miss my work wife and all the laughter we share. When I signed on to host Live in 2017, it was meant to be for 3 years, but I loved the job and working with Kelly so much that I extended my time and last year I made the decision to stay on for one more final season," Ryan said in an Instagram post.
"I’ve been grateful to be able to share a cup of coffee with our viewers everyday, one of the best parts of the gig," he continued. "I’ll be transitioning out of Live this Spring to shoot the 21st season of American Idol in LA, continue my radio show on KIIS-FM and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve, and focus my summer on opening three more Ryan Seacrest Foundation Studios in pediatric hospitals across the country."
He finished off his statement with a nod to his successor: "I’m looking forward to coming back to guest host in the future, and Kelly, I promise to forever share my food photos, chicken eggs, and olive oil with you. And congratulations to my brother Mark, feel free to remodel my dressing room!"
Since Ryan had to relocate from LA to NYC when he joined Kelly three years ago, there was talk that he wanted to move back to the West Coast full time and say goodbye to the East Coast-based ABC morning talk show. But in 2020, a source told Closer Weekly that Kelly would be very "upset" if Ryan left the show. "She loves Ryan and doesn’t want to replace him," the insider shared with the magazine. "Obviously co-hosting from NYC and Los Angeles is doable. They do it now. But that’s not how Live! works.”
Kelly Ripa's husband, Mark Consuelos, is replacing Ryan on 'Live.'
Luckily for us, Ryan's exit won't be anything like the near-traumatic exit of Michael Strahan. This time, everyone's on board, with plans in place to make sure that the transition goes smoothly. In fact, Ryan's successor is going to be none other than Kelly's real-life husband of 27 years (as opposed to her TV husband), Mark Consuelos, who many of us know from Riverdale. He's a natural pick, not only because he's Kelly's husband, but because he's also guest-hosted alongside Kelly when Ryan's been on vacation.
Even still, Kelly will miss Ryan. “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,” Kelly said in a statement to Vanity Fair. “Ryan’s energy, passion and love for entertainment is one-of-a-kind.” We will all miss Ryan, but we definitely won't mind waking up to a piping hot cup of coffee with Mark giving us a little bit of his morning sugar.