Michael Strahan Leaving 'Live!' in May: 'It's the Best Solution for Everyone'

by Jackie Willis 10:54 AM PDT, April 26, 2016
Playing Michael Strahan Leaving 'Live!' in May: 'It's the Best Solution for Everyone'

Michael Strahan is leaving Live! With Kelly and Michael four months ahead of what was previously announced, sources confirm to ET.

While Strahan had initially planned to stay on with the daytime talk show until September, he will now be leaving on Friday, May 13. "It's the best solution for everyone," a source close to the show tells ET.

WATCH: Kelly Ripa Tears Up, Holds Hands With Michael Strahan as She Makes Her Return to Live!

"After meeting with the producers of both Live! and Good Morning America, and after speaking with Kelly and Michael, we have decided on a plan that best advantages both shows for the future," ABC said in a statement. "To that end, Michael’s last day on Live! will be on Friday, May 13, which not only gives the show the chance to have a nice send-off for him during the May book, but to also immediately begin the on-air search for a new co-host."

The statement goes on to say that GMA will "start integrating Michael into the show more often this summer before his full-time start in September."

WATCH: Michael Strahan vs. Kelly Ripa and 8 Other Celebs Who Didn't Get Along on Set

The news of Strahan's early departure comes just hours after Kelly Ripa made her return to Live! after learning last week that the former NFL pro had taken a position at GMA.

The two appeared amicable during Tuesday's episode, with Strahan complimenting his co-host several times throughout the taping. "I am so happy you are back. One thing I know about you, and you love this show, you love the fans, you love the staff," he gushed. "I love you, and I am so happy you are here because you brought me here with [executive producer Michael] Gelman, and this show has been transforming for me."

MORE: Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan's 7 Most Awkward Moments During Her Return to Live!

He added, "I know this show lives on because you are the Queen of Morning Television, and it will continue to go and I'm right down the street! You need me, I'm coming back to help out."

Ripa also wished Strahan the best at his new job. "I am thrilled for Michael. I am thrilled for you," she said. "This is a tremendous opportunity. I couldn't be and we couldn't be prouder of you and of everything we've accomplished together."

MORE: Kelly Ripa's Return to Live! -- There Was 'Tension' Backstage, Says Guest Bellamy Young

Here's a look at Ripa's first day back: