Pity poor Kelly Ripa. The actress/talk show host/toothpaste salesgirl was "blindsided" for the 2nd time in 4 years Tuesday with news that her current broadcast partner, Michael Strahan, merely one of the busiest men in television today, would be leaving Live! With Kelly & Michael at the end of the season to move into a full-time gig on ABC's Good Morning, America, for which he has been a part-time contributor for the last 2 years.
Live!, you see, is distributed nationally by Disney, whose CEO, Robert Iger, is a former executive at ABC before being promoted in-house by the Mouse House. It was also on his watch 4 years ago that Ripa and producer Michael Gelman were left in the dark before it became public knowledge that Regis Philbin, whom Strahan succeeded, was "retiring", only to resurface doing commercials and taking a short-lived gig for Fox Sports 1 within a year of leaving Live!.
And so it is that Strahan will still work six days a week---we think---, commuting to Los Angeles for Fox NFL Sunday, unless his new deal with ABC/Disney prompts the end of that gig, which would make him the 2nd one to leave the long running pre-game show. ABC swiped Jimmy Kimmel away for a late night talk show several years ago, so you get the idea.
Iger gets the Weasel ears for keeping Ripa & Gelman out of the loop so that Disney suits could make a press conference after Tuesday's episode of Live! concluded. In protest, Ripa skipped today's show, with former Saturday Night Live actress Ana Gasteyer filling in. One gets the feeling that Ripa would be more than willing to bring in her actor-husband, Mark Consuelos, who has been a fill-in in the past, to be the full-time replacement for Strahan, who might not have time for any more Metamucil commercials for all we know.
It's either that, or obtain corporate sponsorship from Colgate and host the show solo next season.
And on that note, should Strahan remain at Fox in addition to Good Morning, America, maybe Procter & Gamble (Metamucil) could gain a share of corporate sponsorship for the Sunday show. Unless they already have......!