The countdown to Ryan Seacrest’s Live exit begins now.
ABC on Monday announced that Seacrest will make his final appearance as host of Live With Kelly and Ryan on Friday, April 14. Then on Monday, April 17, Mark Consuelos will make his debut as Kelly Ripa’s new cohost, at which point the morning show will be rebranded as Live With Kelly and Mark.
The previously announced transition — which NBC’s Night Court might have predicted — comes as Seacrest heads back to the West Coast to host American Idol‘s live shows in Los Angeles.
“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 February. “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.”
Added Ripa: “I’m so grateful to have spent the last six years beside my dear friend of too many decades to count and will miss starting my days with Ryan. Ryan’s energy, passion and love for entertainment is one of a kind.”
Seacrest was announced as Ripa’s permanent 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 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.
Are you going to miss Seacrest at the host desk? Looking forward to Consuelos’ formal debut? Sound off in Comments.