Original Night Court Judge Harry Stone was a talented amateur magician, but even he couldn’t have pulled off a trick like this.
Less than 48 hours after the revival inferred that Mark Consuelos is Kelly Ripa’s superior cohost, Ryan Seacrest announced that he’s stepping away from Live — and Ripa’s hubby is taking over full time.
The prophetic joke came midway through Night Court‘s Feb. 14 episode, when Harry’s daughter Abby (played by The Big Bang Theory‘s Melissa Rauch) mentioned that she prefers the Riverdale baddie to the American Idol emcee.
“A fun bonus is when you’re watching Live With Kelly and Ryan, and Ryan Seacrest has the day off,” she said. “Kelly’s husband fills in, and you get to see their sexual tension for a full hour.”
And now, Abby will get to see that sexual tension on display five days a week.
“What’s crazy is we filmed [that episode] in June,” Rauch tells TVLine. “So is it possible that in addition to our writers being wonderful and hilarious they are also psychic? Yes. Yes they are. Tune in to Night Court to find out other breaking news before it happens!”
Seacrest first made his debut as Ripa’s cohost in May 2017. He succeeded Michael Strahan, who made the rather abrupt transition from Live to Good Morning America in 2016. Seacrest and Ripa’s morning-show rapport would eventually serve as the inspiration for the ABC sitcom pilot Work Wife, which received a pilot order in 2020 but did not move forward to series.
Ripa and Consuelos’ relationship, meanwhile, dates back to the mid-’90s, when they first met on the set of ABC’s All My Children. They wedded in 1996 and have three children together.
The real-life marrieds played Pine Valley sweethearts Hayley Vaughn and Mateo Santos. They departed AMC in 2002, at which point Ripa was already a year into co-hosting Live (opposite Regis Philbin). Over the years, Consuelos has filled in for Philbin, Strahan and Seacrest more than 130 times.
“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 Thursday. “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. I also want to thank [executive producer] Michael Gelman and the entire staff and crew – we’ve made memories to last a lifetime, met some of the most incredible people and had the warmest welcome into the homes of so many viewers across America. It’s been a memorable ride and now I’m excited to pass the baton to Kelly’s ‘real’ husband, Mark.”