Popular host Ryan Seacrest announced on Thursday that he would be leaving his top-rated ABC daytime show — “Live With Kelly and Ryan” — at the end of the season, but he wouldn’t be leaving his co-host in the lurch.
According to the announcement that aired on Thursday morning, the 48-year-old “American Idol” emcee will be replaced by co-host Kelly Ripa’s husband, “Riverdale” actor Mark Consuelos.
“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,” Anthony De Rosa tweeted, sharing the news from entertainment site Variety.
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 https://t.co/FywAEq2gpF
— Anthony DeRosa (@Anthony) February 16, 2023
Seacrest made the announcement himself during the broadcast, 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,” he continued. “It’s been a memorable ride and now I’m excited to pass the baton to Kelly’s ‘real’ husband, Mark.”
Ripa, 52, has hosted the show since 2001 — and has seen a series of co-hosts, including Regis Philbin and former NFL player Michael Strahan — but she made it clear that she would miss working alongside Seacrest.
“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. Ryan’s energy, passion and love for entertainment is one-of-a-kind,” she said.
Seacrest said that he planned to focus on filming the upcoming season of “American Idol” along with his radio show and his job hosting Dick Clark’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” — but producers of “Live” said that they would be only too happy to welcome the host back whenever he was willing.
“Goodbyes are never easy, but we look forward to welcoming Ryan back regularly with open arms,” executive producer Michael Gelman explained, adding that he believed the transition to add Consuelos as a regular host would not be a difficult one. “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.”