TV personality Kelly Ripa is reportedly upset by the news that ABC has acquired "American Idol," fearing that the talent show might try to bring on board Ryan Seacrest, who was named as Ripa's new daytime show co-host less than two weeks ago.
According to sources, Ripa is concerned that "American Idol" will serve as a distraction from her own "Live" program, which has lacked a permanent co-host since Michael Strahan departed in May 2016 to host "The $100,000 Pyramid."
"She doesn't want a repeat of the Michael Strahan situation," a source told Page Six. "It's like ABC is once again diluting the attention on 'Live.' She wants to make sure her show is Ryan's first priority, not 'Idol.'"
ABC announced on May 9 that it would be reviving "American Idol," which had aired on Fox for 15 seasons beginning in 2002. And while Seacrest acted as though he was surprised by the announcement, many believe he plans to reprise his role as host.
"This isn't some spur-of-the-moment deal. It’s a part of his move to ABC," an insider told Page Six. "It's a no-brainer. He took the job for 'Idol' and to host 'Live.' It's the only way ABC could pay him enough money to come over. They’ll have to announce it before [the network's presentation of upcoming shows]."
Seacrest's representative has denied that his move to ABC was a package deal, adding that Seacrest was "in conversations" with the producers of the singing competition.
"That's untrue. He does not have a deal with 'Idol,'" the representative said. "He’s in conversations. His 'Live' deal was made independent of any 'Idol' discussions. His priority is 'Live With Kelly and Ryan' and his radio show."
While some have suggested that Ripa is angry about the development, others maintain that all is well.
"Kelly is in the loop. She had approval over the co-host, so Ryan was her first choice," a source said. "It was a very calculated decision by the network and by her. Everyone is thrilled. They’ve known each other 15 years. They really are friends."
Ripa's representative echoed that account, telling Page Six: "It's all false. She's been fully in the loop."
Shortly after Seacrest was named as her co-host, Ripa praised his reputation as a broadcaster.
"Ryan is a close friend and his star shines as brightly off camera as it does on," she said, according to The Associated Press. "His tremendous success is only matched by his impeccable reputation. Plainly said, everyone loves him, and so will our daily viewers."