The 'Live! With Kelly' Co-Host Search Continues, Anderson Cooper No Longer Frontrunner?
By Antoinette Bueno
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One of the most highly coveted gigs in television is still up for grabs.
ET has learned that Kelly Ripa's Live! co-host will be announced before the new season starts in September, which could mean bad news for previous frontrunner Anderson Cooper. The CNN anchor is expected to play a heavy role in the news network's coverage of the 2016 presidential election in November, which could eliminate him from consideration.
Last month, a source told ET that Cooper, 49, made it clear to executives that he would like to do both Live! and his nightly CNN show, Anderson Cooper 360, if offered the chance. The journalist has been eyed as a potential replacement for Michael Strahan on the long-running morning show almost immediately after Strahan first announced his exit in April.
But ET has learned that a new name has joined the running to be Ripa's co-host -- actor Fred Savage. The former Wonder Years star is booked to co-host Live! three days in a row starting on July 13, and a source tells ET that the 39-year-old actor wants the gig. However, the source also notes that he’s reluctant to relocate his wife, Jennifer, and their three young kids -- Oliver, Lily, and Auggie -- to New York City.
Another big-name contender is Alec Baldwin, who co-hosted with Ripa last month. The 58-year-old actor definitely didn't shut down the rumors when he appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in May.
"I have always said I wanted to do a show where I could stay home," Baldwin told DeGeneres. "And the schedule of being able to stay home with my children is what I'd prefer. I do think about those things from time to time."
ET also learned in May that ABC is very much interested in Rob Lowe, after already having chatted with the actor about the position back in 2012, when ABC was looking for Regis Philbin's replacement. The job, of course, ended up going to Strahan. Lowe, 52, had impressed viewers at the time when he guest-hosted for two days.
"I hosted it with Kelly and had the time of my life," Lowe commented when ET chatted with the handsome actor on the set of his upcoming film, How to Be a Latin Lover, that same month. "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."
Another celeb who clearly wouldn't mind the gig is former 98 Degrees frontman Nick Lachey, who's successfully co-hosted Live! with Ripa before.
"That's probably one of the most coveted jobs for people who are in the hosting space, you know, in the business," Lachey, 42, told ET exclusively at 1010 WINS in New York City on Thursday. "I think it would be an incredible honor to be able to go and work with Kelly every day. I think the world of her and it's a great show, and I'm sure whoever gets that job is gonna be very deserving."
"I can only hope I'm on the short list," he added.
"I really haven't missed it," Strahan candidly told Chelsea Handler during his appearance on her Netflix show, Chelsea. "But I loved it. Don't get me wrong. I loved it. When you get a break, sometimes you kind of go, 'Wow, I kind of needed it.' I needed a break."