Kelly Ripa has been noticeably absent from her daytime talk show after Tuesday’s announcement that co-host Michael Strahan will be leaving Live with Kelly and Michael in the fall.
In September, the former football player turned television personality will become co-anchor of Good Morning America.
On Wednesday morning’s Live with Kelly and Michael, Strahan discussed his departure from the show, but Kelly was nowhere in sight. She also took Thursday off.
READ MORE: Michael Strahan is leaving ‘Live with Kelly and Michael’
A report in Variety suggests Ripa was told her co-host was leaving the show only minutes before the news was released to the public. The 45-year-old is said to feel like she did not receive enough notice of the departure from Disney executives or Strahan, who she’s worked with for four years.
As a result, the Daily Mail reports the mom to three “will not go back” to the morning show until Strahan leaves for his new gig.
They quote a source as saying, “Kelly isn’t making any demands. She is very hurt that Disney hasn’t even spoken to her yet so they are assuming that she isn’t coming back… She wants to wait and see what happens. She’d also like someone to do the right thing and speak to her face to face rather than plot and plan behind her back.’”
For his part, Strahan released a statement saying,
“My time with Live with Kelly and Michael has been transformative, and my departure will be bittersweet. Kelly has been an unbelievable partner, and I am so thankful to her and the entire team. I am extremely grateful for the amazing support I’ve received from all of the fans.”
The former NFLer also gave a shout-out to his co-star on Wednesday’s show.
“I really want to thank, of course, Kelly Ripa. Kelly welcomed me here and I’ve learned so much from her and she’s just been an amazing influence on me and this has truly changed my life to be here with her. I know that the show will continue to be strong and great because of Kelly and Michael Gelman and the staff here because everybody is so talented. This show has not been around for over 30 years by mistake. Kelly, I thank you. I love you… and I’m not going to cry on TV mama, I promise you.”
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An ABC spokesperson addressed Ripa’s absence calling it “a previously scheduled vacation.” Kelly did not reference the vacation on air in the days leading up to her absence from the show.
The former soap star now faces a possible situation much like the one she faced five years ago when Regis Philbin announced he was leaving Live – the search for his replacement lasted nine months.
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The show will likely repeat the same audition process whereby Strahan’s replacement will be chosen through a series of on-air tryouts.
Fans on social media have been deliberating who the possible new co-host could be for the past few days:
@toddchrisley please do live with kelly and Michael. You tell it like it is. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
— JANAE_TIFFANY1029 (@nole_broncos_04) April 21, 2016
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How much fun would this be?! @lancebass @kellyripa @kellyandmichael @abcnetwork #lancebass #kellyripa
@andersoncooper hey Anderson! I would love to see you as the new co-host on live with kelly and michael!
— Catherine (@butera1001) April 21, 2016
@shemarmoore I just told live with Kelly and Michael that you would be the perfect replacement for Michael
— Nadine MacDonald (@NadineandBobby) April 20, 2016
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Ripa joined the show in 2001, replacing Kathy Lee Gifford and has developed a loyal following of her own.
An ABC spokeswoman said: “Live continues to be a vibrant and enduring franchise under our lead host, the extraordinarily talented Kelly Ripa. [The show] has successfully transitioned co-hosts twice before and will do so again.”
Social media has been following along with the daytime drama as fans wait for Kelly’s return:
when the only reason for you to tune into Live! With Kelly and Michael is just to see if Kelly is still mad and if she showed up to work 😂 😂
— ¯_(ツ)_/¯ (@taeminpearl) April 21, 2016
I feel personally betrayed by Michael Strahan leaving Live with Kelly and Michael.
— Haley (@HaleyMuldowney) April 21, 2016
how would one audition to be Michael Strahan’s replacement on Live! with Kelly and Michael? Asking for a friend. #LiveWithKellyandMichael
— Christian Bishop (@amateurmatador) April 19, 2016
I don’t think anybody thought Michael Strahan was in, “Live with Kelly and Michael” for the longhaul. I always assumed it was short term.
— Jesse S. (@MadAssassin_) April 21, 2016
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