TV insiders said she agreed to come back after her bosses at Disney/ABC assured her reps that “Live” would not be axed — and despite the Strahan debacle — she is important to the network.
ABC insiders say Ripa has already proven she can carry the show on her own — she did so with guest co-hosts for a year after Regis Philbin left in 2011 — until Strahan joined full-time in 2012.
Source and more: Page Six
Meanwhile, for ABC to expand to a third hour of “GMA” would require enlisting all of its affiliate stations to clear the 9 a.m. hour for network programming. That would not be an easy process as many of those stations have long-term commitments to existing shows such as “Live” and other syndicated hits. It would likely require serious horse-trading between the network and affiliates.
For all these reasons and more, ABC reps should be taken at their word when they insist that “Live” isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. That’s as much of a certainty as the fact that ABC has just handed Ripa a truckload of leverage for negotiating a new deal to succeed her existing contract, which is believed to run through the 2016-17 season. Knowledgable industry sources say those discussions will begin sooner rather than later, probably as soon as Ripa returns to the “Live” set as expected next week
Source and more: Variety
Stay tuned as we continue to monitor the survival status of Live with Kelly & Michael…