After it was announced last week that Michael Strahan was leaving Live! With Kelly and Michael for a permanent hosting spot on Good Morning America, co-host Kelly Ripa was missing from the ABC morning talk show for the rest of the week, with different co-hosts filling in for her instead.
And now, after being gone for almost a week, Kelly Ripa is returning to the show on Tuesday, April 26, according to Variety.
In an email sent to Live! staff members on Friday, Ripa wrote “I wanted to thank you all for giving me the time to process this new information. Your kindness, support, and love has overwhelmed me. We are a family and I look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday morning.”
Since the announcement was made that Strahan was leaving the show to join GMA on Tuesday, countless celebrities have defended Ripa, including her former co-host Regis Philbin.
Talking to Entertainment Tonight, Philbin said “They should have told her in the beginning.”
In the same interview, he also complimented Strahan as a host and also said he wouldn’t be returning to the show as a co-host. Philbin retired from Live! in 2011 and was replaced by Strahan in 2012.
Another former morning television show host defended Ripa. Talking to People, Katie Couric said she loves both Strahan and Ripa but thinks that “she (Ripa) maybe didn’t feel as included as she should have.”
After the botched way that Ripa found out Strahan was leaving Live!, according to CNN Money, she got a personal apology from ABC and Disney executives, as Disney owns ABC. A source said that ABC regretted how Ripa was informed of the news.
As of right now, Live! has been renewed through 2020 and Ripa’s contract is set to expire at the end of the 2016-2017 season. If Ripa’s contract isn’t renewed, Variety said she could be possibly courted by rival daytime talk shows that conflict with either GMA or Live!, which could possibly mean the show would lose its place as the number two daytime show currently on air.
Ripa started her career on ABC’s soap opera All My Children, where she played Hayley Vaughan from 1990 until 2002. She reprised the role in 2010 when the show ended its original run on the network. She appeared as herself in the movie Cheaper by the Dozen, where Kate Baker (Bonnie Hunt) was being interviewed by Ripa and Philbin for their show.
Ripa joined Live! in 2001 after Kathie Lee Gifford left the show in 2000. She’s been a part of the show since then, hosting with Philbin until he retired in 2011 and has hosted the show with Strahan since 2012 and will work with him until he leaves the show, most likely in September.
No replacement has been announced for Strahan yet.