Kelly Ripa's Husband Mark Consuelos Will Be Her Final Co-Host

We have been waking up with Kelly Ripa for more than two decades. ABC's "Live!" and a cup of coffee equals the start of a good day. Over the years, Ripa has been joined by a slew of co-hosts. She first began her run with Regis Philbin. The two filled the anchor desk from 2001 to 2011. Philbin parted ways with the daytime show revealing on "Larry King Now," "I was leaving because I was getting older, and it wasn't right for me anymore."

Former NFL player Michael Strahan was next to fill the seat beside Ripa. The two delivered morning news and entertainment until 2016, when Strahan eventually left for "Good Morning America." When asked about his departure, he had this to say to The New York Times, "When it was time to go, it was time to go. Certain things that were going on behind the scenes just caught up."

It wasn't long until fan-favorite Ryan Seacrest joined the team. After six years of "Live!" he announced on the air that 2023 would be his last season, with promises to guest star in the future. Seacrest made the career change to focus on hosting "American Idol." However, the latest name in lights is Ripa's husband, Mark Consuelos. The actor has previously hosted the show, but this time around, it's a permanent gig. And he'll be the final butt in that seat.

Why Mark Consuelos is Kelly Ripa's final co-host

Ali Wentworth, a long-time friend of Kelly Ripa, gave a good explanation as to why Ripa's revolving door of co-host will stop with the man she tied the knot to. In an interview with The Sun, Wentworth said, "You can't have your husband co-host, and then later somebody else. It feels like this is where it's going to be for a while." Firing your husband for another celebrity would make for an awkward breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Plus, Mark Consuelos wasn't picked just because Ripa likes him. He is an actor and a great TV personality. Wentworth added, "I think after having [Michael] Strahan and then Ryan [Seacrest], it's almost like a natural thing to have Mark, who by the way co-hosts all the time anyway. And like, it feels like this is the final, final co-host."

Ripa also opened their premiere episode saying, "Joining me today, and permanently, until one of us dies is Mark Consuelos." That sounds pretty final, and with an undeniable chemistry between the pair, there couldn't be a better choice. Ripa took to Instagram to share Consuelos' co-hosting and guest appearances on the show over the last 27 years. He might be the newest anchor, but he is not new to the "Live!" family. However, not everyone is a fan of Seacrest's replacement.

Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos face backlash

It seems some people miss ABC's "Live!" pre-Mark Consuelos days. One fan tweeted, "Remember the days with Regis [Philbin], when REAL social & news issues were discussed?" Others even criticized Kelly Ripa, the long-time host, writing, "Kelly please LET Mark finish his sentences. Otherwise, this is gonna be hard to watch every day." And the couple's affection didn't rub everyone the right way. One viewer wrote, "It won't last and the fact that they are doing a lot of pda during the first segment are signs that something is going on in their relationship."

However, a few negative social media posts aren't the full "Live!" story. Friend of the couple, Andy Cohen, reminds us of this on his SiriusXM show, "Andy Cohen Live." He defended Ripa and Consuelos against the backlash and outlets that ran with it. "I have a bone to pick with the New York Post," Cohen said. "Mark and Kelly had their premiere the other day. The New York Post writes an article saying, 'Response to the show was bad,' and they quote 10 or seven or five negative tweets about the show. This is a national show that gets, I think, like five million viewers a day. It's the number one morning show." He argued that just a few negative tweets doesn't represent the full audience. 

Any major change takes some getting used to, but it seems like the show and Ripa and Consuelos' relationship will continue to be a success.