Live with Kelly

Live with Kelly
Also known as
  • The Morning Show (1983–88)
  • Live with Regis and Kathie Lee (1988–2000)
  • Live with Regis (2000–01)
  • Live with Regis and Kelly (2001–11)
  • Live with Kelly (2011–12; 2016–present)
  • Live with Kelly and Michael (2012–16)

Presented by
Narrated by Tony Pigg
Theme music composer Gabriel Saientz
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 28
No. of episodes 7,580 (as of April 11, 2016)
Executive producer(s) Michael Gelman
Kelly Ripa
Location(s) New York, New York
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s) WABC-TV
Distributor Disney-ABC Domestic Television
Original network WABC-TV (1983–present)
Syndicated (1988–present)
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
720p (HDTV)
Original release April 4, 1983 – present
External links

Live with Kelly is an American syndicated morning talk show, hosted by Kelly Ripa. Executive-produced by Michael Gelman, the show has aired since 1983 locally on WABC-TV in New York City and 1988 nationwide. As of 2016, it is produced by WABC.[1]

With roots in A.M. Los Angeles and A.M. New York, Live began as The Morning Show, hosted by Regis Philbin and Cyndy Garvey; the show rose to national prominence as Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, which ran for 12 years and continuing as Live with Regis and Kelly for another decade before Ripa, after hosting with guest co-hosts for nearly a year, was paired with former NFL star Michael Strahan. The franchise has had longstanding success and has won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show and Outstanding Talk Show Hosts.[2] On January 19, 2016, the show was renewed through the 2019–20 season. On February 12, 2016, a special episode focused on Ripa's 15 years as part of the program. On April 18, 2016, Strahan and ABC announced that he was leaving the show to join ABC's Good Morning America full-time.



Executive producer Michael Gelman said in 1993: "the real concept of the show, in a symbolic sense, is that they are husband and wife ... they have their coffee mugs and they're chit-chatting about what's going on."[3] That is the basis of the show's signature "Host Chat", an unscripted on-air conversation between the co-hosts that opens each show. Then, a home viewer is called to answer a trivia question about the show, with the opportunity to win a vacation. The show then continues with interviews with celebrity guests, musical performances, and other recurring segments, including regular features showcasing fashion, food, health, and lifestyle topics.[4]

The format of Live! has been emulated by other successful talk shows such as the British programmes Richard & Judy, and Today with Des and Mel. However, it has also proven to be resilient against similarly-formatted talk shows from other syndicators or networks, seeing programs such as Mike and Maty, George & Alana, Caryl & Marilyn: Real Friends, Donny & Marie, Living It Up! With Ali & Jack, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, and Anderson Live all launch and end in short periods of time throughout its entire run, and fail to make any headway in the traditional 9 a.m. local time slot Live! has been traditionally slotted in for most markets.

The show is broadcast live from New York City, on weekdays at 9 a.m. for most stations in the Eastern Time Zone, and is tape-delayed for the rest of the country. Although the program is generally associated with the ABC network and airs on all ABC owned-and-operated stations, in many markets the program is syndicated to stations affiliated with other networks.[5] Live did not air in a morning timeslot on all ABC-owned stations until September 2013, as WLS Chicago programmed the 9 a.m. timeslot with The Oprah Winfrey Show as the originating station for the program in the 1980s, then Windy City Live after the end of Oprah, while the New York-based Live had aired on CW affiliate WGN since 2002 (although WLS had carried the show in an overnight timeslot earlier in its run).[6][7]

Recurring segments

Guinness World Record Breaker Week, New York Auto Show Week, Broadway Week, and Top Teacher Week are examples of features frequently visited on the show, highlighting a different aspect of the theme everyday that week. Live will also invite "whiz kids" to oppose the co-hosts at spelling, athletics, mathematics, sport stacking, and technology, among other tasks. A recurring gag with Philbin as co-host was him challenging seniors—preferably over the age of 100—at tennis, basketball, ping-pong, and bowling, for example. Also, regular contributors to the show include toy enthusiast Chris Byrne, style maven Lawrence Zarian, animal expert Peter Gros, automotive expert Alan Taylor, pediatrician Greg Yapalater, home and gardening show host Katie Brown, technology specialist Leo Laporte, entrepreneur Carley Roney, Science Bob, veterinarian Jennifer Jellison, and nutrition expert Wendy Bazilian.[8]


Every year at Halloween, the co-hosts wear dozens of costumes and portray some of the most famous and infamous names in pop culture.[9] The 2013 special, entitled the "Best Halloween Show Ever," had the most costume changes to date with over 50 in one hour.

In February, Live throws a wedding for a couple who writes in with reasons why they should be married on the show.[10] Viewer submissions are also accepted for their "Moms Dream Come True Special," where the co-hosts pay tribute to a select group of mothers.[11]

Live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, the show airs its Post-Oscar Special the day after the awards ceremony.[12] The co-hosts interview winners and presenters as well as other attendees on the red carpet, backstage and live on the show. Also, a panel recaps the best and worst of fashions worn at the event.

On location

Live has been to eight countries and nearly 25 states, logging 200,000 miles (320,000 km).[13] The list of remotes includes: Tampa, Hawaii, Monaco, Banff, San Antonio, Aspen, Walt Disney World, New Orleans, Disneyland, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Paris, Detroit, Chicago, The Bronx, Los Angeles, the USS Intrepid, Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Maui, Prince Edward Island, London, Scottsdale, the White House, Charlotte, Churchill Downs, Niagara Falls, Puerto Rico, Marina del Rey, Philadelphia, Branson, Mount Rushmore, The Bahamas, and the Dolby Theatre's set for the 85th Academy Awards. While on location, the co-hosts transplant the franchise's own brand of entertainment-oriented talk with the beauty of the particular location providing a colorful backdrop to the show's segments.


Co-Host Timeline

Co-host Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Regis Philbin
Cyndy Garvey
Ann Abernathy
Kathie Lee Gifford
Kelly Ripa
Michael Strahan

1971–1981: A.M. Los Angeles

The show has part of its origins in A.M. Los Angeles, a local show that was broadcast on KABC-TV in Los Angeles from 1971 to 1981 that was originally created and hosted by Ralph Story, with Stephanie Edwards as co-host.[14] When the format went national as AM America in 1975 (taking Edwards along with it), Regis Philbin assumed hosting duties of the Los Angeles version, with Sarah Purcell as his original co-host. Purcell departed the show in 1978 and was replaced by Cyndy Garvey. Philbin and Garvey hosted A.M. Los Angeles until 1981.

1970–1983: A.M. New York, The Stanley Siegel Show, Good Morning New York

Meanwhile, there were also two different morning-show predecessors on WABC-TV in New York City. The first was A.M. New York which debuted on May 18, 1970 as a local answer to NBC's Today show,[15] and was originally hosted by John Bartholomew Tucker. After he left in 1972, a succession of hosts came and went, until Stanley Siegel took over in late 1975. Under Siegel's stint, the show went from last to first in the ratings for a brief period, and from 1977 until his departure in 1978 it was known as The Stanley Siegel Show.[16] Following Siegel's departure for rival WCBS-TV, the show reverted to the A.M. New York name until its cancellation in 1980, by which point it had been hosted by Janet Langhart and Clay Cole. A few weeks later, WABC tried again with Good Morning New York, hosted originally by Spencer Christian and Andrea Kirby; Kirby would eventually be replaced by Judy Licht, and Christian was followed by the likes of Dick Wolfsie and longtime Eyewitness News reporter and anchor Doug Johnson. Like its predecessor for much of its run, Good Morning New York failed to make a dent in the ratings against Donahue on WNBC, and was cancelled in early 1983, with The Morning Show as its replacement.[17]

1983–1988: The Morning Show

The Morning Show, co-hosted by Regis Philbin and Cyndy Garvey, premiered locally on WABC-TV in New York on April 4, 1983. In 1984, Garvey left the show and Philbin hired Ann Abernathy, whom he remembered from his time at KABC-Television for her engaging personality, to assume the co-host duties.[18] After Abernathy got married and decided to return to Los Angeles, Kathie Lee Johnson (later Gifford) joined Philbin officially on June 24, 1985. Their chemistry proved to be successful as The Morning Show soon became number 1 in the market[19] and went on to debut in national syndication on September 5, 1988, when the title was changed to Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.

1988–2000: Live with Regis and Kathie Lee

Early on, Live matched its local success with impressive national ratings and established itself as a dominant fixture in American television.[20] Entertainment Weekly described Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford as "an agreeable mismatch" and their famous banter as "playful, edgy, and amusing."[21] Gifford's positivity throughout public scandals such as the 1996 accusation that her clothing line was being run under sweatshop conditions and her husband Frank Gifford's 1997 affair with a flight attendant resonated with the female demographic of the show, but ultimately made her a media target prompting her emotional departure on July 28, 2000. "Over a third of my life has been [at Live]," she said. "This is family. It's been an amazing journey."[18] Since her departure, Gifford has returned to Live on three occasions—for the show's 20th Anniversary special on September 14, 2007, to promote her book Just When I Thought I'd Dropped My Last Egg: Life and Other Calamities on April 14, 2009, and again as a guest to bid farewell to Philbin on his second to last show, November 17, 2011. Kathie Lee is now host of the live fourth hour of Today with Hoda Kotb; that show mainly airs an hour after Live! in most markets, though a few markets where both shows air at 10 a.m against each other do exist.

2000–2001: Live with Regis

When looking for Gifford's replacement, Philbin and executive producer Michael Gelman teamed Philbin with a handful of potential co-hosts, including Joy Philbin, Kathleen Murphy, Rosie O'Donnell, Jann Carl, Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Fountain, Gloria Estefan, Jillian Reynolds (Barberie), Caroline Rhea, and Suzanne Sena. This met with positive fan response and a 26 percent ratings increase.[22] Philbin won his first Daytime Emmy Award for Live during the six-month period, which he would go on to win twice with co-host Kelly Ripa. Ripa had auditioned four months into the search, on November 1, 2000.[23] Ripa was announced as the official replacement on February 5, 2001.

2001–2011: Live! with Regis and Kelly

Live! with Regis and Kelly's young-audience demographics increased by 80 percent, with Ripa credited for bringing "a new life to the show." Seven months into Philbin and Ripa's run, the September 11 attacks on New York occurred, with coverage beginning twelve minutes before that day's episode would have started. The show was pre-empted for a week following the attacks and returned September 18, 2001, with Philbin opening the episode saying:

The last time we saw you was a week ago this morning when our lives seemed normal ... then the unthinkable happened. Just then, our worst nightmare occurred—a second plane slammed into the South Tower. Now it was clear. This was a terrible act of terrorism. Then came the news that the Pentagon was hit and another hijacked plane crashed in Pennsylvania killing everybody on board. Today, the heroic effort continues and the death toll rises. But amid the despair, we continue to hope for signs of life beneath the debris. Exhausted rescue workers refuse to give up. Our nation has never been more united. Across the country, Americans are pulling together and everywhere you look, there are tremendous shows of support, patriotism, and faith. Terrorists tried to tear us apart but they failed. Instead, we as a nation have become stronger and have only been brought closer together.[24]
Live! with Regis and Kelly logo from 2009 to 2011

Shortly after celebrating his and Ripa's 10th anniversary together, Philbin announced on January 18, 2011 that he would leave Live!.[25] The show then held a "Regis Farewell Celebration Season", showcasing Philbin's top moments from 28 years on the program.[26] His final show aired November 18, 2011.[27]

2011–2012: Live! with Kelly (first era)

Live! with Kelly logo.

After Philbin's departure, the show was renamed Live! with Kelly. Joining Ripa were various co-hosts from broadcasting and entertainment. On November 21, 2011, Jerry Seinfeld was the first of 60[28] men and women to join Ripa at the co-host desk, including: Reggie Bush, Kyle MacLachlan, Russell Brand, Howie Mandel, Carl Edwards, Chris Harrison, Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Buckley, Michael Catherwood, Rob Lowe, Martin Short, Neil Patrick Harris, Peter Facinelli, Boomer Esiason, Ben Mulroney, Dan Abrams, Rob Thomas, David Duchovny, Pat Kiernan, Derek Hough, D. L. Hughley, Jesse Palmer, Carson Kressley, Carrie Ann Inaba, Mark Feuerstein, Jim Parsons, Nick Lachey, Jonah Hill, Michael Strahan, Apolo Anton Ohno, Joel McHale, Cat Deeley, Tyler Perry, Andy Cohen, Alec Baldwin, Josh Groban, Jerry O'Connell, Seth Meyers, Mike Greenberg, Kristin Chenoweth, Andy Samberg, Mark Consuelos, Lucy Liu, Taye Diggs, Randy Jackson, Mario Lopez, Matthew Broderick, Mary J. Blige, Ed Robertson, Michael Bublé, Matthew Morrison, Kevin Jonas, Tony Potts, Dana Carvey, Jimmy Kimmel, Kim Kardashian, L.A. Reid, Bryant Gumbel, Daniel Dae Kim, and Sam Champion.[29]

In April 2012, Live! debuted a new set described as a "contemporary downtown-style loft, spacious and yet maintaining the studio's warmth and intimacy."[30] It was the first major set re-design since the start of the show's 10th season in national syndication (1997–98).

In July 2012, People magazine reported that Meyers, Groban, and Strahan were the top three contenders in the running to replace Philbin.[31]

2012–2016: Live! with Kelly and Michael

On the September 4, 2012 episode, Michael Strahan made his 16th appearance on the show and was introduced as Ripa’s permanent co-host. The former New York Giants defensive end had begun his TV career on Fox NFL Sunday, a job he said he would keep even though it shoots in Los Angeles. The Ripa-Strahan chemistry proved to be successful. Live With Kelly & Michael had been the No. 2 syndicated talk show averaging a 2.8 national rating over Strahan’s entire tenure while Live With Regis & Kelly averaged a 2.6. Live With Kelly & Michael brought in 268,000 more audience members daily, on average, than the show attracted during the end of the Regis run.[32] On January 19, 2016, the show was renewed through at least the 2019-2020 season.[33]

On April 19, 2016, it was announced that Strahan would leave Live to join Good Morning America full-time.[34] The decision was revealed to the program's production staff just after that day's broadcast of Live, and officially announced on the program by Strahan the following day. Ripa, however, was absent from that day's episode, and ABC announced later in the day that Live would have guest co-hosts through April 25, 2016. Although speculated to have been a reaction to Strahan's abrupt exit, an ABC staff member stated to Variety that Ripa's sudden absence was a "pre-scheduled vacation".[35]

Ripa returned on April 26, 2016, using the opening of the episode to address the reception to Strahan's exit, and ABC's continued commitment to Live as a series.[36]

Strahan's final episode on Live occurred on May 13, 2016 and featured several flashback moments from the four years that he co-hosted the show.

2016: Live with Kelly (second era)

On Monday, May 16, 2016, Ripa began the second era of her Live career as a single co-host. The rotating seat of guest co-hosts has included Jimmy Kimmel, Jussie Smollett, Cedric the Entertainer, David Muir, Daniel Dae Kim,[37] Fred Savage, Seal, Andy Cohen, Common, Anderson Cooper, Mark Consuelos, D.L. Hughley, Joel McHale, Ryan Seacrest, Alec Baldwin, Morris Chestnut, Jerry O'Connell, Kevin Hart, John Leguizamo, Josh Groban, Jim Parsons, Dwyane Wade, Guillermo Diaz, Carrie Ann Inaba, Keegan-Michael Key, Tony Goldwyn, Taye Diggs, Christian Slater, Alan Cumming, Josh Gad, Nick Lachey, Chris Harrison, Michael Weatherly, Neil Patrick Harris, Busy Philipps, Chris Pratt, Ashton Kutcher, Zachary Quinto, Tyler Perry, Sam Champion, Matt Bomer, Ciara, Richard Curtis, Michael Bublé, Scott Wolf, Vince Vaughn, Megyn Kelly, Alex Rodriguez, Chris Hardwick, Billy Gardell, Max Greenfield, Joe Jonas, Billy Eichner and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

Critical reception

The New York Daily News gave the program a positive review, " … When it comes to the amount and playfulness of morning talk, nothing beats Live".[38] In 2001, 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2016 the show won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Hosts and in its 24th year, after twenty-one nominations, it won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show. In addition, its co-hosts have received two TV Guide Award nominations for Favorite Daytime Talk Show and multiple People's Choice nominations for Favorite Talk Show Host.

According to daytime television ratings, viewership averages 5 million per episode,[39] ranking number 1 in all big markets, such as New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Miami, West Palm Beach, and many others. Dominating its time periods, Live is the top-rated morning show and regularly the #1 syndicated talk show.[40]

International broadcast

Country TV Network(s) Weekly schedule (local time) Period
 Canada CTV Monday–Friday 9:00 am Eastern Time/Pacific Time 10:00 Mountain Time/Atlantic Time 10:30 Newfoundland Time
Varies in some markets to allow for local simsubs of United States stations


  1. Steinberg, Brian (April 20, 2016). "ABC's Morning Madness: Will Michael Strahan Blitz Score Touchdowns For 'GMA,' 'Live'?". Variety. Archived from the original on April 20, 2016. Retrieved April 20, 2016. The morning-news crew from WABC, which produces the program, simply turn around after their local duties and work on "Live," which has been led for years by executive producer Michael Gelman.
  2. Daytime Emmy for 'Live!'.
  3. "Live: With Regis, Without Kathie Lee". Times-Union. Google News. September 2, 1993. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
  4. "LIVE! with Kelly". Disney ABC Domestic TV Medianet. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
  5. Disney-ABC Domestic Television. "Live with Kelly and Michael Local Listings". Retrieved 2015-08-26.
  6. Knox, Merrill (2013-06-20). "WLS Adds 'Live With Kelly and Michael,' Drops 11 a.m. Newscast". TVSpy. Retrieved 2015-08-26.
  7. Feder, Robert (2012-05-13). "Daytime drama: How will ABC 7 make room for Katie & Kelly?". Time Out Chicago. Retrieved 2015-08-26.
  8. Latest Features.
  9. Exciting Roster of Guest Co-Hosts.
  10. 'Live!' Heads to Paradise from The Futon Critic
  11. Audience of Deserving Moms from
  12. ""Live! With Kelly" Presents A Special One-Hour Post-Oscar Show Live From The Kodak Theatre In Hollywood". TVbytheNumbers.
  13. Around the World in 28 Years.
  14. R.I.P. for 'A.M. L.A.' : 20-Year Run on KABC Ends With Cost-Cutting Move by Dennis McDougal. Los Angeles Times, September 24, 1991. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  15. Best Bets. New York, May 18, 1970, p. 52. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  16. "Give Us a Kiss, Stanley" by Jonathan Reynolds. New York, September 12, 1977, pp. 41-45. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  17. "ABC-TV Memo: Wasps Preferred" (Intelligencer). New York, March 21, 1983, p. 14. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  18. 1 2 How I Got This Way.
  19. Disney-ABC Domestic Television.
  20. Show Page.
  21. Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.
  22. Fans love the new format.
  23. A Revealing Audition.
  24. 'Live' Returns to the Air Following 9/11 on YouTube
  25. Ask Regis Philbin A Question! from
  26. 'Live!' Kicks Off "Regis Farewell Celebration" from
  27. Philbin's Last Guests.
  28. Jerry Seinfeld joins Kelly Ripa for first post-Regis 'Live!' shows.
  29. Schneider, Michael (September 15, 2011). "Live Producer announces how they will replace Reege". TV Guide.
  30. 'Live!' Gets A New Set from
  31. "Seth Meyers: Should He Join Kelly Ripa on Live!?". Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  32. "Michael Strahan Lifted TV Ratings for 'Live' With Kelly Ripa". 21 April 2016.
  33. Littleton, Cynthia (January 19, 2016). "ABC Stations Renew 'Live with Kelly and Michael,' 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire'". Variety. Archived from the original on February 6, 2016. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  34. Steinberg, Brian (April 19, 2016). "Michael Strahan Quits 'Live' To Join ABC's 'Good Morning America'". Variety. Archived from the original on April 20, 2016. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  35. "Inside Kelly Ripa's Awkward Absence From 'Live'". Variety. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  36. "Kelly Ripa Strikes a Powerful Chord in Her Return to Live!". Time. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  37. Moraes, Lisa de (4 May 2016). "David Muir, Jussie Smollett Join Kelly Ripa's 'Live' Guest Co-Host List – Update".
  38. Releases.
  39. "'Live' Takes Top Talk Show Honors". TV by the Numbers. December 1, 2011. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  40. "'LIVE! With Kelly' Grows in Target Markets and Demos". TV by the Numbers. March 1, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2016.

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