It's been an exhaustive nine months of searching for "Live! after Regis Philbin's departure last November, but it looks to be drawing to a close soon. The producers have announced that they will be naming Kelly Ripa's new co-host on September 4th.
Ripa has helmed the show with a whopping 59 guest hosts since Philbin took his leave, and some of those have filled in more than once. Seth Meyers of SNL and NFL star Michael Strahan are among those with the top appearances, and it's been rumored for a while now that Meyers would be taking the permanent job of co-host. He shot down that talk, however, when asked about it last month.
"No, no, no, no, no," he said. "I'm really in love with the job I have."
While some fans have expressed that they want Ripa's hunky husband, Mark Consuelos, to take the job, Ripa says her marriage wouldn't withstand it. Word has it that the job will be given to someone who's already hosted, which has started a wave of speculation, although one can narrow down the choices by leaving out the women who have stepped up over the past few months. It's highly unlikely the producers would pair Ripa with another woman, banking instead on her ability to play off a member of the opposite sex. And although it's not ultimately up to Ripa, she seems to have made her choice already: Anderson Cooper.
"We have a connection like nobody else," she said. "I worship him!"
Cooper isn't a likely choice, but the producers may surprise us come September 4th. The guests that day will be Claire Danes and "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips.