Ryan Seacrest Bids a Tearful Farewell to 'Live With Kelly and Ryan' and Kelly Ripa In Final Broadcast

The 48-year-old television host exited the program after six years.

Ryan Seacrest has officially signed off from Live

The 48-year-old TV personality completed his final Live with Kelly and Ryan broadcast on Friday, April 14, after six years of co-hosting with Kelly Ripa. The show will move forward on Monday with Ripa's husband, Mark Consuelos, by her side and will be rebranded as Live with Kelly and Mark.

From the moment Seacrest and Ripa stepped on the stage for Friday's broadcast -- which was pre-taped on Thursday -- it was clear that both were holding back tears. 

"Kelly just turned the corner and said, 'Am I gonna cry?' And I said, 'Maybe, because I am,'" Seacrest began, wiping his eyes.

"This is a disaster. We promised ourselves backstage we would not do this," Ripa chimed in. "This is a great day of celebration. We have too many great moments on this show." 

A slideshow of highlights from Seacrest's tenure on the talk show flashed across screen, in addition to a sweet video tribute from Seacrest's 4-year-old niece, Flora. 

"Over the last six years, you've given us a lot more than just laughs. You've introduced us to young Ryan, you've shared your whole family with us," Ripa said, noting that Seacrest's family was with them in the audience. "Together, we've enjoyed the good times and we've supported each other through the bad times. I've grown accustomed to seeing your face every morning."

Ripa also said, "This has been without question the best six years of my life, and although we have been friends for decades, I feel like I've gained through this process a younger brother slash oldest son -- that's how I feel about you. It's the weirdest thing."

For his part, Seacrest praised Ripa as his mentor and remarked that he was a "very lucky man." He also expressed gratitude for the opportunity "to try and deliver a smile, a laugh or two" to viewers each morning.

To his co-host, he declared, "You're incomparable, Kelly. There's no one like you. I'm fortunate to have this job where I get to talk and laugh and screw things up."

As the confetti on his final taping settled, Seacrest and Ripa spoke with ET and joked that the former would never truly leave.

"I think I'm on the schedule for July," Seacrest cracked. 

"He’s like the glitter of our show," Ripa continued. "He'll always be lingering." 

Amid jokes, it was clear that Seacrest was deeply in his feelings even after the show wrapped. 

"She was holding me up a couple times 'cause I could get very emotional," he told ET. "I've never been through anything like this." 

As Ripa went on to sing his praises, Seacrest became visibly emotional. 

"I’ve always known, and we've always known here, who Ryan is at his core, but all of his jobs are about featuring other people, and I’m so glad that we got to feature Ryan. Because he is one of the, I always say, one in a zillion. He is like the most special person -- talented, kind, conscientious," Ripa said, with the two agreeing to add in a quick "clumsy" to the list. 

"She knows the magic power she has," Seacrest, becoming weepy, explained of his reaction. "'Cause she’s authentic." 

Ripa concluded, "I like for him to see himself the way we see him." 

Seacrest announced his intention to exit the program in February. The media mogul plans to head back to California (Live is taped in New York City), where he will remain part of the ABC Entertainment family, continuing to host American Idol and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest.

A source told ET at the time that he had "been contemplating leaving the show for years and has been very conflicted."

"He truly loves working with Kelly and the Live crew. However, with American Idol's upcoming season filming in Los Angeles and other opportunities, he felt leaving the show was the right thing to do," the source said.

As for choosing Consuelos as Seacrest's replacement, the source said the decision "was easy."

"The network and Kelly wanted to avoid her and a new co-host not hitting it off," the source said. "Mark and Kelly have hosted before and it's always gone well with fan reaction."

Earlier this week, Seacrest hosted a private farewell dinner for the show's staff. 

"There really is no other place in our business like the Live show," Seacrest began his speech at the dinner. "I'm grateful to have been a part [of it] for six years."

He eventually turned his attention to the show's "leader," Ripa, and her husband.

"My brother, Mark. Congratulations. It's wonderful to go through this process with somebody that I love so much that obviously, I know, knows her better than I know her... ish," Seacrest joked. "But congratulations. I can't wait to watch... or tape it, sleep in and watch. Probably that, but congratulations, Mark."

He went on to thank the staff "for including me in this group," admitting, "I was nervous when I started."

Consuelos has been open about his excitement over his new gig, telling ET, "It's an honor. It's such an iconic show. That seat next to my wife is such a cherished seat. I consider her the best in the business."