Swing a stick in the entertainment industry, and you’ll hit a Ryan Seacrest hosting gig. In his career he’s been the face (and voice) of American Idol, New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, E! News, American Top 40, and more. But today he announced he’s taking at least one gig off his plate: Live With Kelly and Ryan. The departure comes as Seacrest moves back to the West Coast where filming of the new season of American Idol is about to start.
“Working alongside Kelly over the past six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career,” Seacrest said in a statement to Deadline. “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.”
Host Kelly Ripa remains as the stalwart of the daytime talk show, solidifying even further her agency over the program by bringing in her husband, Mark Consuelos, as co-host for the newly rebranded Live With Kelly and Mark. It’s a far cry from when Ripa first joined the show alongside longtime host Regis Philbin in 2001 and he was calling all the shots — in a 2017 interview with The New York Times, Ripa revealed that Philbin had a strict no talking off-camera rule, urging Ripa to “Save it for the air!” That changed when co-host Michael Strahan came on to Live with Kelly and Michael in 2012, and almost certainly will not be the case with Consuelos.
Though other longtime daytime shows — The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Wendy Williams Show, Dr. Phil — have come to an end in the last year, this change-up seems to signify confidence that the show will continue for many more seasons. Seacrest’s initial contract with the show was for three years (he ended up co-hosting for six), and assuming Consuelos's is similar, that brings Ripa’s run on the show alone to a potential 25 years at least.
Philbin’s own tenure on the show lasted 28 years, so Ripa is nipping at his record's heels, having currently clocked in 22 years straight on the air. She’s quickly joining the ranks of even Oprah, who was on daytime TV for 25 years as host of The Oprah Winfrey Show. And Ripa will continue to reign over daytime television just fine without Seacrest.
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Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R.