Ryan Seacrest Departs ‘Live With Kelly and Ryan’ After 6 Seasons

Co-host Kelly Ripa will next be joined by her husband Mark Consuelos, with the morning talk show rebranding to “Live With Kelly and Mark”

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest (Live with Kelly and Ryan on ABC)
Paula Lobo/ABC

Ryan Seacrest announced Thursday morning that his time on “Live With Kelly and Ryan” is coming to an end.

The morning talk show co-host’s exit comes with a larger rebranding of the series, which will see Kelly Ripa joined by her actor husband Mark Consuelos and a series title change to “Live With Kelly and Mark.”

“Working alongside Kelly over the past six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career. She has been an amazing partner, friend, and confidant, and although we will always be a part of each other’s lives, I will miss our mornings together,” Seacrest said in a statement provided to TheWrap. “I also want to thank Michael Gelman and the entire staff and crew – we’ve made memories to last a lifetime, met some of the most incredible people and had the warmest welcome into the homes of so many viewers across America. It’s been a memorable ride and now I’m excited to pass the baton to Kelly’s ‘real’ husband, Mark.”

An exact date for Seacrest’s departure was not given, but his plan is to relocate longterm to Los Angeles once live tapings of “American Idol” begin this spring. He assured on-air on Thursday, however, that he’ll be back as a guest host as-needed for “Live With Kelly and Mark.”

“You’re not getting rid of me,” Seacrest said. He recounted that his contract for “Live” was for just three years, but he’s stuck around for six due to the show’s familial environment on- and off-camera.

In her own statement, Ripa said, “I’m so grateful to have spent the last six years beside my dear friend of too many decades to count and will miss starting my days with Ryan. Ryan’s energy, passion and love for entertainment is one-of-a-kind.”

On air, she described him as “family.”

“Live With Kelly and Ryan” executive producer Michael Gelman said of the departure that “goodbyes are never easy,” but that they “look forward to welcoming Ryan back regularly with open arms.” As far as Seacrest’s replacement, Gelman described Consuelos as a “fan-favorite guest host for years.”

“Mark is no stranger to the ‘Live’ family. Having him join the show is so special for us and we’re sure that viewers will feel the same,” he said in a statement.

Ripa has hosted the talk show since 2001, beginning alongside Regis Philbin. This season, “Live With Kelly and Ryan” became the No. 1 daytime talk show ― network or syndicated ― in Households, Total Viewers and Women 25-54. “Live” has ranked as the top daytime talk show for 56 straight weeks among Women 25-54.

Watch Seacrest and Ripa’s live on-air announcement in full in the video below.