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Michael Strahan joins Kelly Ripa as permanent co-host on 'LIVE'

by jmaloni
Tue, Sep 4th 2012 01:30 pm

Super Bowl champion and NFL broadcaster makes his official co-host debut on first-ever "LIVE! with Kelly and Michael"

Months of rumor and speculation ended Tuesday morning as Kelly Ripa proudly introduced legendary NFL star and "Fox NFL Sunday" broadcaster Michael Strahan as her new co-host during the inaugural broadcast of the newly rechristened syndicated talk show, "LIVE! with Kelly and Michael."

After an extensive search encompassing more than nine months and top personalities from every area of broadcasting and entertainment, Strahan joined Ripa Tuesday for his first official day as co-host. He previously had made several guest appearances on the show, and co-hosted with Ripa 20 times over the past two years.

"As a guest co-host, Michael's chemistry with Kelly was off the charts, and continued to grow each time he visited the show," said Michael Gelman, "LIVE's" executive producer. "The interaction between the co-hosts always has been what makes this show different from any other on television. Kelly and Michael's ability to play off of one another and just plain have a good time together creates great TV for the audience."

"We couldn't be more thrilled to have found such a great match in Michael Strahan," said Janice Marinelli, president, Disney-ABC Domestic Television. "We had a fun time this past year with the co-host search and all of the terrific personalities who sat in as guest co-hosts, but there was a very special connection between Kelly and Michael. Together they're the perfect partnership to lead 'LIVE' into another era of success."

"Kelly and the 'LIVE' staff have done a great job of evolving the show while searching for a new co-host, and adding new viewers along the way," noted Dave Davis, president and general manager of WABC. "Now they've found the right partner to continue that evolution. We're excited to add Michael's distinctive new voice to the 'LIVE' family, and can't wait to watch Kelly and Michael take the show to a whole new level."

Prior to joining the ranks of the top sports broadcasters in the country, Strahan's entire 15-year football career with the New York Giants was typified by the charisma and sportsmanship that made him a seven-time Pro-Bowler. He led the Giants to a dramatic Super Bowl victory in 2007. He also was named the NFL's 2001 Player of the Year by Sports Illustrated and the 2001 Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press.

With a natural affinity for people and ease in front of the camera, Strahan has held hosting duties for several series prior to joining "LIVE." He also has appeared on "Pros v. Joes," which pits amateur contestants against professional athletes in a series of athletic feats. Strahan co-hosted the family cable show "Backyard Stadiums" on DIY Network and built outdoor recreational projects with his co-host. In addition, he participated in the kid-friendly show "Giants on Deck" and the YES Network show "Sack and Renovate," in which he led a guided tour inside his 100-year-old home. Strahan also tackled the world of scripted network primetime television as the star of "Brothers," a 30-minute sitcom on Fox from Sony Pictures Television.

Emmy Award-winning talk show "LIVE! with Kelly and Michael" is distributed in national syndication by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. Produced by WABC-TV in New York and executive produced by Gelman, "LIVE" airs in more than 200 markets across the U.S.

Visit "LIVE" on the web at www.livewithkelly.tv, on Facebook, or follow "LIVE" on Twitter, @LiveKelly.

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