44° Good Evening
44° Good Evening

Michael Strahan's 'LIVE! With Kelly and Michael' replacement: 20 options

Who will replace Michael Strahan on “Live With Kelly and Michael?” Who won’t?

Strahan departed May 13, giving “Live” the summer to perform tryouts, and get someone in line by the November sweeps.

The next co-host must have two key attributes: He must have that elusive, ineluctable, mystifying, and obscure object of human character and personality known as charisma. What is charisma? You will know it when you see it. Strahan is pure charisma.

Next, he must have chemistry with Kelly. What is chemistry? You will know it when you see it, although it tends to vary with regards to Ripa. With Reege, the relationship was very nearly father-daughter; with Mike, more brother-sister — albeit a brother from a different mother.

I’ve assembled 20 possibilities here. Yes, they are stars and yes, also familiar. Their names often come up when this process begins anew. But they all have something in common: They know this show, and know Ripa, very well.

They understand what’s required of the gig because they’ve done it so many times, sometimes as guest hosts, or simply as guests.

They all have charisma.

But do they all have chemistry with Kelly?

Here they are, in descending order, although — honestly — differences are negligible:


Ted Danson

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Kevin Winter

Love the idea of Danson, but would he love it? Hard to believe. His humor tends to be dry and droll. Not the best fit with Kelly.

Rob Lowe

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Jason Kempin

A frequent guest, Lowe has that “wow” factor — the largely female audience at home wouldn’t mind him here every day. But he’s got a day job — in Hollywood. This is a long shot.

Mark Feuerstein

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Jason Kempin

Charming, funny, and will soon be leaving “Royal Pains.” Hey, why not?

Derek Hough

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Frederick M. Brown

Interesting guy, huge talent, although not sure this classifies as the best use of this talent. He works well with Ripa, but he’s also 30. Too young, by 10 years.

Josh Groban

Josh Groban arrives on the red carpet during
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images/Valerie Macon

A show and fan favorite, Groban knows “Live” as well as anyone, but you do have to ask, why wasn’t he chosen the last time around?

Jeff Probst

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 06: TV personality
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Frederick M. Brown

Another “Live” expert, but he does have that day job called “Survivor,” so this seems like a stretch. His name has to be on this list anyway.

Nick Lachey

Photo Credit: Getty Images /Kimberly White

Right age (42) and frequent guest, but some frequent guests are “frequent” only because they are available when needed. Lachey — overexposed on too many other reality series — may fall into this category.

Jamie Foxx

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Dimitrios Kambouris

Foxx, 48, could be a Goldilocks candidate — just about right. African-American replacing another? Check. Good storyteller? Check. Decent rapport with Ripa. Check. But he’s also got another gig; this show has served him for promotional purposes only.

Neil Patrick Harris

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 17: Actor Neil
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Dimitrios Kambouris

Of course NPH! Except, he’s too obvious. He always comes up on these lists. It’s almost obligatory by this point to get his name in here somewhere. Harris would be fine, of course, but he’s too well known. Audiences know him too well. Where’s the surprise in this pick?

Howie Mandel

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 11: Comedian/TV personality
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Michael Loccisano

Howie! Or Howie? Take your pick. He’s a good guest — funny, invariably, at least the few times I’ve seen him. But he would simply make this a different show, and more about him (or his rat-a-tat sense of humor) versus Kelly (with her rift style).

Anderson Cooper

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper talks about and signs
Photo Credit: CNN

Cooper is always on these lists, and I always tend to add this one question whenever I see his name: Would a “60 Minutes” correspondent, CNN anchor, son of Gloria Vanderbilt, a guy who’s done a million other things (who remembers “The Mole?”) be a good fit here? Obviously he could do it, and has done it. Obviously, ABC has usually decided, “next.”

Mark Consuelos

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 15: Actor Mark
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Mike Coppola

“Pillow Talk With Kelly and Mark?” That’s the immediate problem — or hurdle — here. They are married. What sort of spontaneity could they possibly bring to the air? He’s been a frequent guest and co-host, but maybe “frequent” is where it should stand.

Tyler Perry

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 15: Host/Narrator Tyler Perry
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Frederick M. Brown

Perry has been by here often and, possibly because of that, ABC has (or once did) see his appearances as some sort of audition. But this is a long shot. Does he really want to do this full-time when he’s got an empire to run?

Taye Diggs

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Frederick M. Brown

A fine New York actor who — at the moment — doesn’t appear to have a full dance card (a forthcoming game show for Fox), Diggs might make a good co-host. He’s been here often enough, but does he have the Kelly chemistry working in his favor?

Jerry O’Connell

Jerry O’Connell attends The Television Industry Advocacy Awards
Photo Credit: Invision/Paul A. Hebert

He has to be a leading candidate, at least a leading one on these wish lists. Lots of energy and lots of rapport with Ripa.

Mario Lopez

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 03: TV personality Mario
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Frederick M. Brown

Another good idea except he’s already got plenty of TV exposure. I’m also not sure his style, which tends to be studied, fits well with Ripa.

Ryan Reynolds

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 10: Actor Ryan
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Cindy Ord

Why not? This is a wish list after all. Reynolds would be a slam dunk. But he wouldn’t do it — ever.

Dwayne Johnson

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Jason Merritt

The Rock! Another slam dunk. Charisma and chemistry. Of course, this will never happen. He’s one of the highest paid actors in the world. He needs the show for one reason — to promotes his movies (and HBO series).

Andy Cohen

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 10: TV Personality
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Michael Loccisano

Yes, Andy, naturally. He’s perfect — a Ripa friend; lots of charisma; knows live television as well as anyone; knows reality/talk TV better than anyone. But he’s also spread thin (a reason why Ryan Seacrest isn’t even on this list).

Person X

Unknown male who might replace Michael Strahan on
Photo Credit: Dreamstime

This is the person who will almost certainly replace Michael Strahan. I don’t know his name. ABC doesn’t know his name either. He will be someone who will have appeared on none of these lists, someone you may have never even heard of either. But he is a lock. You can bet on it.



We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Entertainment photos & videos