May 25, 2016
After a tumultuous month, ABC's "Live" talk show with Kelly Ripa may be narrowing in on a permanent replacement for departed co-host Michael Strahan, who abruptly left the gig to take a position on "Good Morning America."
According to Entertainment Weekly, actor Rob Lowe is in talks with the network to join Ripa on the syndicated morning program.
Ripa, a native of Stratford in Camden County, was blindsided by Strahan's decision to leave the show just a few years after he joined her as a replacement for Regis Philbin in September 2012. Lowe, 52, had been interviewed for the gig at the time and had filled in twice as a guest host.
Since the former New York Giant officially signed off on May 13, the network has brought in a string of guest hosts, from Matt Bomer and Jimmy Kimmel to David Muir, Fred Savage and Jussie Smollett. Ryan Seacrest is scheduled to appear on "Live with Kelly" in June.
According to ET, Lowe has a definite interest in working with Ripa, who took a week-long hiatus after Strahan delivered the news. After an awkward few weeks, Ripa told viewers the uproar over Strahan's exit had been settled.
Lowe's availability comes as his Fox show, "The Grinder," received the axe after one season. He's currently filming for a lead role in the feature "How to Be a Latin Lover."
"I hosted it with Kelly and had the time of my life," Lowe told ET on Monday. "I love her ... I love being able to talk to an audience every morning like that and just being fun, counter-punching, being silly, and talking about cool stuff."
ABC is also reportedly courting CNN's Anderson Cooper as a leading candidate for the role, though Cooper, 48, said he's happy at CNN and no offer has been made to him. He previously co-hosted the show with Ripa as a guest in 2014.
Lowe, whose children are now in college, said he's in a good place personally to consider an opportunity to join Ripa.
"You never know!" he told ET. "You never know."