Well, this doesn’t look good: A day after ABC announced Michael Strahan’s departure from “Live! With Kelly and Michael” to join “Good Morning America” full time, co-host Kelly Ripa was nowhere to be found.
Instead, Strahan showed up Wednesday with substitute-host Ana Gasteyer, formerly of the network’s “Suburgatory” and guest star on “The Goldbergs.”
“Kelly’s off today,” Strahan said briskly, introducing Gasteyer to the screaming fans in the audience.
However, if those audience members read TMZ Tuesday night, they might be a bit suspicious: The site reported that Ripa was “livid” at Disney executives (the show is distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television) for not giving her a heads-up about Strahan’s exit and felt “blindsided.” Plus, TMZ added, show staffers think this proves that Disney brass cares about the health of “Good Morning America,” which has been sliding in the ratings, more than “Live!”
None of this came up on “Live!” Wednesday morning, of course. A show rep has not responded to a request for comment about Ripa’s absence. Strahan and Gasteyer cheerfully discussed the news of his new job.
“It’s the same channel,” Strahan reiterated about ABC’s “GMA.” “I’m not going anywhere. I was reading some stuff, and it sounded like I died!”
“I’m always available to guest co-host if I get a call,” he told the crowd. “Because I consider myself to be part of this family forever.”