LIVE executives began pursuing Kelly Ripa’s husband Mark Consuelos last year to come on board as the new presenter, as Ryan Seacrest was “spread too thin” through his various on-air appearances.
An insider familiar with Ryan’s announcement that he is leaving Live with Kelly and Ryan after six years exclusively told The US Sun that his absence from the daytime talk show gave Kelly’s husband Mark increasing opportunities to shine on the program.
“Ryan has many different responsibilities and there has been a lot of discussion about what’s next for Live and ABC have focused on Mark as a natural fit.
“The intimacy with Ryan and Kelly was really good, but the chemistry with Mark obviously takes the chemistry to another level,” the insider said
At this point, Mark has co-hosted about 100 times and the audience response has been fantastic. By filling it out regularly, ABC was able to clearly measure audience approval.”
Meanwhile, a source close to Ryan countered that despite claims the ubiquitous host is too thinly distributed, he is actually leaving “because he has other interests he wants to pursue long-term.”
Ryan announced during Thursday’s show that he was ending Live with Kelly and Ryan after six years.
THE SHOW CONTINUES
The popular ABC show will be renamed Live with Kelly and Mark, Deadline reported.
Ryan will be leaving Live this spring and returning to Los Angeles from New York to film Season 21 of American Idol.
The daytime TV star said he will miss his “work wife” Kelly – who has hosted the show since 2001.
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Ryan added that he’s “excited to pass the baton to Kelly’s “real-life husband” Mark, and joked that the actor should “feel free to remodel my dressing room.”
He shared a montage of photos with Kelly, 52, on Instagram on Thursday as he announced his departure.
Ryan wrote in the long caption, “I will miss my work wife and all the laughs we share.
“When I signed on as a presenter for Live in 2017 it was originally scheduled for 3 years but I loved the job and working with Kelly so much that I extended my time and made the decision last year to stay for one final season.
“I was thankful that I could have a cup of coffee with our viewers every day, one of the best parts of the performance.”
Kelly says goodbye
Kelly returned the favor by sharing a photo of her, Ryan and Mark in retro costumes for Halloween on the show in 2018.
“Okay, we’re empty nests. When your friends become co-workers, they become family,” the actress captioned.
“Congratulations @ryanseacrest on surviving six winters in NYC! I am proud of you and will stay in your corner forever.”
Turning to her husband, she added, “And @instasuelos welcome home or in the contractual commitment phase of our relationship.”
Mark then shared a similar photo of the trio on Instagram and wrote: “Congratulations on your next chapter @ryanseacrest.
“I love you like a brother. I know I have some big shoes to fill…well actually they’re only a size 9 but you know what I mean. @kellyripa my ride or that.
“It’s going to be fantastic! I can’t believe that after all these years of listening to you for nothing, I found a way to get paid for it. Is this a great country or what?”
Reflecting on his departure, Ryan said in a statement: “Working with Kelly for the past six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career.
“She was a great partner, friend and confidante and while we will always be a part of each other’s lives, I will miss our mornings together.
He added, “I also want to thank Michael Gelman and the entire staff and crew – we created memories to last a lifetime, met some of the most incredible people and received a warm welcome into the homes of so many viewers across America.
“It was a memorable ride and now I look forward to passing the baton to Kelly’s ‘real life’ husband, Mark.”
He will continue his radio show on KIIS-FM and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.
Ryan’s successor, Mark, married Kelly in 1996, a year after they met on the sitcom All My Children.
They have three children together – Michael, 25, Lola, 21, and Joaquin, 21.
Mark and Kelly are known for their NSFW antics on social media, often sharing hot photos and exchanging naughty jokes online.
https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/7415576/live-kelly-ripa-pursuing-mark-consuelos-ryan-seacrest-spread-thin/ Live execs ‘started pursuing Kelly Ripa’s husband Mark Consuelos’ to host last year as Ryan Seacrest was ‘too thinly spread’.