Kelly Ripa chose Ryan Seacrest as her new co-host, in a move that can only be described as lazy, boring, and entitled. For one solid year the producers of Live With Kelly snowed us into believing they were actually executing a legitimate, above board search for the new seat. Instead, they were negotiating Ryan Seacrest’s contract and no one else stood a chance. That “no one else” specifically refers to Jerry O’Connell who seemed a shoe-in for the coveted gig.
According to Kelly Ripa, Ryan Seacrest is “a seamless, seamless broadcaster. There is nobody better. There is nobody that understands what 30 seconds of conversation actually means in in real time like Ryan does, and so he makes everything easy — it’s like a vacation with him.” That quote perfectly captures why this is a lazy decision. First, had Ripa took a chance on a newbie, she’d have to carry the load during the learning curve, and perhaps she’s grown out of that task. Michael Strahan was a left-of-center pick, and it required Ripa to do work. With Seacrest, she can sit back, relax, and trust his broadcasting prowess. Is that a good thing? It’s clear she can carry the show on her own, so why not give someone else a real shot at the seat?
From a creative perspective, this is also the wrong decision. Live With Kelly demands that its co-hosts discuss their personal lives at the top of the show. As a self-admitted workaholic, Seacrest doesn’t really have a personal life. He’s secretive about who he dates, and doesn’t have a wife and children. This show is supposed to relate to the masses, and who can relate to Ryan Seacrest? Jerry O’Connell, though also a Los Angeles guy, does in fact have a family and kids, and he’s extremely funny when describing their antics. We can call Seacrest many things, but funny is not one of them.
So why would Ryan Seacrest, who has a million jobs, even accept this offer, which requires that he move to New York. Well, why not? Without his American Idol salary, it goes without saying he wanted a new influx of cash, and this is it.
It’s also worth noting that choosing a white, rich male as a host rubs me the wrong way, especially given today’s climate. She could have chosen a woman, or any minority for the role, and she instead went with the guy who’s got everything. And if you’re going to go that route, then pick the teacher who guest-hosted and garnered positive reviews. What a disappointing, terrible decision, and the quote below says it best.
@ABC @LiveKelly @KellyRipa @RyanSeacrest Took Kelly Ripa a year to choose Ryan Seacrest??!!! That’s like standing in a Baskin Robbins for two weeks and choosing vanilla.
— GKR (@GKRgus1) May 1, 2017