Ryan Seacrest has announced he’s leaving the popular national TV morning show he’s co-hosted with Kelly Ripa for the last six years, “Live with Kelly & Ryan.” During the show on February 16, 2023, Seacrest — who’s about to begin his 21st season of hosting “American Idol” — said it’s a decision that’s been in the works for “a long time.” Meanwhlie, Ripa’s husband, actor Mark Consuelos, will join the program as her permanent co-host. Here’s what you need to know:
Ryan Seacrest Says Leaving Morning Show Was a ‘Tough, Tough Decision’
After Seacrest and Ripa settled into their seats at the top of the show, he took a deep breath and said, “So … Kelly and I have some news here. This is something that she and I have been talking about for a long time, and it was a tough, tough decision. Last year we spoke, and I made the decision to make this my last season as cohost.”
Seacrest called the decision “bittersweet,” and revealed he plans to move from New York, where “Live” is filmed, back to Los Angeles full-time once “American Idol” which premieres on February 19, begins airing live shows this spring.
“Listen, you are a gem, you are one of my best friends,” Ripa told Seacrest, “The greatest part of this entire experience has been that you’ve gone from being a friend to a family member.”
“You’re not getting rid of me because … I’m coming back to guest host and fill in right here in this chair,” Seacrest said, and then got emotional while talking about Ripa and what the show has meant to him.
“To have your kindness, your thoughtfulness, your levity, your friendship … I look up to you, I respect you so much,” he told Ripa, and then turned to the camera to speak to the audience. “I love the fact we get a chance to sit here every day and connect with you at home in your kitchens, in your living rooms, your work. There’s nothing like this on television. I’m getting emotional — I promised Kelly I would not cry.”
“Live with Kelly and Ryan” is the No. 1 daytime talk show per household and in total viewership, According to the AP. Ripa has been with the show since 2001, first co-hosting with Regis Philbin and later with Michael Strahan before Seacrest joined in 2017.
Seacrest originally signed on to co-host the ABC-produced show for three years but said “three turned into six because of the genuine fun of being on this television show.”
The pair then announced that Seacrest will be replaced by Consuelos, who has filled in on the show many times over the years and whom Seacrest called “one of my favorite people.” The show will be rebranded as “Live with Kelly and Mark,” according to Deadline.
Ryan Seacrest Says He’ll Stay With ‘American Idol’ and Radio Show
Seacrest has plenty of projects to keep him busy once he leaves his seat next to Ripa. According to Deadline, he’ll continue to be part of ABC Entertainment, hosting “American Idol” and “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.”
In an Instagram post about his departure, Seacrest wrote that he’ll also continue to host his radio show on KIIS-FM in Los Angeles and “focus my summer on opening three more Ryan Seacrest Foundation Studios in pediatric hospitals across the country.”
Seacrest has had to juggle filming “Live with Kelly and Ryan” in New York with filming “American Idol” in Los Angeles since the talent show moved from FOX to ABC in 2018. Though he’s able to film initial auditions, Hollywood Week and the Top 24 performances in Hawaii months in advance, Seacrest hosts the live performance and results shows throughout the spring in Los Angeles.
The host spent several recent days in Hawaii, as “American Idol” held its season 21 Showstopper Round. On February 13, he posted a photo of him eating a breakfast sandwich in a convertible.