Indeed, her natural rapport with Philbin and the show’s relatable life stories helped it attract a daily viewership of six million. Ripa also helped to bring in a whole new audience, pleasing advertisers with a colossal 80 percent rise in the program’s youth segment. The hosting duo enjoyed a hugely successful working relationship for a decade before Philbin decided to call it a day.
Ripa famously turned into a blubbering wreck during the recording of Philbin’s final show in November 2011. The female co-host talked emotionally about how the 43 steps that the pair took from her dressing room onto the Live! with… set each day had changed her entire life. Ripa and the then 80-year-old Philbin finished the show by embracing before declaring that they loved each other.
Ripa then spent the next 12 months co-hosting the show with various celebrity guests, including comedian Seth Meyers and singers Nick Lachey and Josh Groban. But it was Michael Strahan who got the gig permanently in 2012. The former New York Giants defensive end spent three years in the Live! with… chair before leaving for its rival show Good Morning America.