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Who Will Join Kelly Ripa on 'Live!' After Michael Strahan's Exit?


Who Will Join Kelly Ripa on 'Live!' After Michael Strahan's Exit? (ABC)

Michael Strahan will depart Live! on May 13 to begin his new venture at Good Morning America, and speculation is swirling as to who will replace him.

Read: Kelly Ripa Takes On-Air Jab At Michael Strahan About His Divorces

Strahan was an unexpected pick when he became Kelly Ripa’s co-host after Regis Philbin left in 2011. But Strahan and Ripa developed a dynamic perfect for morning television.

So who will continue the magic? InsideEdition.com takes a look at who might fill the seat.

Andy Cohen

The 47-year-old, who hosts his own live show, Watch What Happens Live, is close with Ripa and has often filled in for Strahan. He swiftly came to Ripa’s defense after Strahan announced his departure. 

But Cohen is already juggling a lot of projects. When asked about the speculation that he may replace Strahan, Cohen said he was exhausted talking about it. He told US Weekly that with his own daily late night talk show on Bravo, his Sirius XM radio show and his other engagements, he has no space for more projects.

“I have 10 jobs!” he said.

Anderson Cooper

The CNN anchor was believed to be a frontrunner for the chair five years ago before Strahan was hired, and he and Ripa are close friends off set.

But Cooper has addressed the speculation in an interview with Andy Cohen on Thursday night, insisting he liked his current job.

“Look, I’m very happy at CNN,” he said, but added: “It would be a dream to work with Kelly, but nobody’s offering anything so…”

Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris has already proved his acting chops by hosting the Oscars without breaking a sweat. Plus the former How I Met Your Mother star is based in New York and his schedule isn’t as full as when Strahan was picked to join the show.

Mark Consuelos

Ripa’s husband of 20 years – himself an actor -- has hosted stepped into co-hosting duties beside his wife on multiple occasions.

But would it be too much for the pair, and the audience, for them to front the show together each day?

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Erin Andrews

Andrews filled in when Ripa took off a few days following Strahan’s announcement. Andrews, a Fox Sports reporter, is also a member of the ABC family thanks to her hosting duties on Dancing with the Stars. And why not have some girl power?

But since DWTS films on the West Coast and Live! films in New York, geography is an issue.

Ryan Seacrest

Seacrest is an experienced host with a wealth of TV hits under his belt. He’s been a frequent guest on Live! and he’s hosted the Disney parade alongside Ripa for ABC.

But he, too, is based in L.A. where he hosts a daily radio show. His schedule is also full with other duties, including hosting for E! and producing shows such as Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

Regis Philbin

Why not bring back the show’s beloved first host? Philbin filled the role for almost 30 years before leaving in 2011.

Since his departure, Philbin, 84, has said that he has not spoken to his former co-host.

When asked by Entertainment Tonight if he would consider returning to the show, he responded: "I’d have to think about it."

But moments later, he added: "Regis has had enough! I'm done!"

Philbin, who occasionally appears on the Today show with his other former Live! co-host Kathie Lee Gifford, seems to be enjoying retirement.

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(Credit: Instagram) 

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

What is not to love about the charismatic wrestler and actor? If Ripa wants to win daytime ratings, The Rock could be her man.

But considering his tight film schedule, having a full time day job would make it nearly impossible for him to be a member of the team.

(Credit: WWE) 

Daniel Bryan

When Strahan was picked to fill Philbin’s seat, the former NFL defensive end was a surprising choice – so why not have another beloved sports star take over the role?

WWE fans were somber after Daniel Bryan announced his retirement at 34 due to concussion trauma earlier this year. The charming sportsman isn’t a complete stranger to daytime TV; he appeared on the E! reality show Total Divas with his wife, Brie Bella.

However, Bryan is based in Seattle so would have to uproot his whole life to take a chance on something that he’d never done before.

Ludacris

While a seemingly odd selection, if you are one of the 6.5 million followers of Ludacris’ Instagram account, you’ll understand why he’d be a fun choice. Ludacris knows how to have good time, while sharing some incredible stories.

But due to his hectic schedule and the filming of the upcoming Fast and Furious sequels, it’s likely he will be ludicrously busy – so we’ll just have to continue following his adventures on Instagram instead.

(Credit: ABC) 

Mario Lopez

The former Saved by the Bell actor and Extra host has sat next to Ripa in the past as a guest host, however, he could be a contender for a full-time partner.

In a recent interview on Ellen, he played coy about rumors that he could be a permanent co-host on Live!

He said on Thursday: “I know, people were saying that. I love Kelly. I’ve guest-hosted with her a few times — she’s awesome. “

When Ellen kept pressing for a real answer, the 42-year-old responded: “I got to go over everything with Mrs. Lopez. She’s the real boss of the house, so we’ll see what she has to say about that.”

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