Less than two weeks since Kelly Ripa announced Ryan Seacrest as her new “Live” co-host, reports are already surfacing indicating there may be trouble on the set — and it’s all because of those rumours that Ryan Seacrest could return to “American Idol” as host of the upcoming revival next season.
According to the New York Post‘s Page Six gossip column, the new on-screen duo are “already off to a rocky start,” with Ripa reportedly miffed that if Seacrest returned to “Idol” if would shift his focus away from “Live With Kelly and Ryan” — and she does not want to experience another situation similar to what took place when former co-host Michael Strahan left the show for another gig without telling her about it.
“She doesn’t want a repeat of the Michael Strahan situation,” a source told Page Six. “It’s like ABC is once again diluting the attention on ‘Live’. She wants to make sure her show is Ryan’s first priority, not ‘Idol’.” a source told us.
When ABC announced it had won the network bidding war to bring “Idol” back to TV screens, Seacrest immediately became the rumoured frontrunner to host – even though ABC has yet to announce who’ll be hosting the show.
According to Page Six‘s “insider,” however, Seacrest hosting “Idol” is a done deal — and is actually part of his overall deal with Disney/ABC Television Group, the parent company that produces both “Idol” and “Live”
“This isn’t some spur-of-the-moment deal. It’s a part of his move to ABC,” said the source. “It’s a no-brainer. He took the job for ‘Idol’ and to host ‘Live.’ It’s the only way ABC could pay him enough money to come over. They’ll have to announce it before upfronts,” the industry event at which the U.S. television networks reveal the lineups for the upcoming fall TV season.
However, a rep for Seacrest denies this entirel. “That’s untrue. He does not have a deal with ‘Idol’,” Seacrest’s rep told Page Six. “He’s in conversations. His ‘Live’ deal was made independent of any ‘Idol’ discussions. His priority is ‘Live With Kelly and Ryan’ and his radio show.”
While sources have told Page Six that “it’s been a rough week for Ripa,” other sources insist that she’s “100 per cent onboard” with Seacrest returning to “Idol”.
“Kelly is in the loop,” said another source. “She had approval over the co-host, so Ryan was her first choice. It was a very calculated decision by the network and by her. Everyone is thrilled. They’ve known each other 15 years… They really are friends.”
In fact, a different source claims that ABC plans to air “Idol” on Sundays in order to accommodate Seacrest’s busy schedule, which also includes his daily radio show.
“He’s not going to do anything to jeopardize ‘Live.’ He has a long-term commitment to the show. He’s excited to be living in New York, and this is a big deal for him,” the source added.
Meanwhile, a rep for Ripa declared: “It’s all false. She’s been fully in the loop.”
An ABC spokesperson added: “Everything is categorically not true.”
As for reports of tensions between the two, a source tells E! News that’s also bogus.
“Kelly and Ryan have open and transparent conversations. There will be no surprises. They are partners,” the source said.
“She is having the best time with Ryan and truly feels she has a partner in her co-host,” adds Ripa’s rep. “Should ‘Idol’ happen, she feels Ryan Seacrest is the heart and soul of ‘American Idol’ and therefore she’s 100 per cent on board.”
Seacrest and Ripa even addressed the “American Idol” rumours on a recent edition of “Live” — watch: