UPDATE 12:32 p.m.: Michael Strahan will apparently be making an early exit from Live following Kelly Ripa's post-drama return. Sources tell People that Strahan will be stepping down on May 13, months ahead of his September start date on Good Morning America. "He'll take the summer off and GMA can integrate him early before September, and this will give Live! more time to find the co-host," the source says.
See original story below.
Though it's always good to watch a potential beef get gloriously squashed on live TV, one can't help but remember Live! With Kelly and Michael's hyper-eventful week with a cautious amount of fondness. Kelly Ripa, making her previously planned return to Live on Tuesday, walked out to greet the roaring audience while holding hands with co-host Michael Strahan and displaying a positive but resilient sense of optimism about the show's future.
Ripa, who Variety reports joked to the audience that "our long national nightmare is over," expressed her excitement that Live's problematic week of arrivals and departures had started a larger conversation on "communication and consideration and, most importantly, respect in the workplace." Ripa also revealed that she’s received a slew of apologies from various ABC higher-ups, who many have blamed for botching their handling of Strahan's recently announced exit.
"The best thing to come out of all of this [is] our parent company has assured me that Live is a priority," Ripa said, perhaps in reference to recent whisperings of the network's alleged plans to bump Live to make room for another hour of Good Morning America. "There is a commitment to this show and the people that work here and most importantly to you, the viewers who have watched us every day for 30 years."
Ripa also congratulated Strahan on his upcoming new gig at GMA, ultimately landing a well-earned standing ovation from the audience. The rumored Ripa v Strahan beef, it would appear, was little more than a network abysmally fumbling news of Strahan's exit and quickly learning a lesson. And now, with Strahan heading off to GMA later this year, we can enjoy the final months of Ripa x Strahan without the backdrop of alleged animosity. TV is safe again.