Kelly Ripa gets a new partner soon as Michael Strahan moves on to GMA. The two names mentioned most at the top of the list — Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen — are both consummate TV chatting professionals. But for Ripa, one makes far more sense than the other. That is, if ABC can swing it. Andy Cohen is the undisputed king of Bravo and the Real Housewives maestro – and he’s what the morning wants. Cohen has filled in for Strahan before (as has Cooper) and Cohen’s touch has proved perfect for the gig. He has a terrific, self-effacing style that puts the guests and Ripa center stage.
Cohen is a top-notch set-up guy who can also deliver the punchline. He complements Ripa’s exuberant style, especially with his perfected persona of the amused and fascinated observer. (That I can’t believe she just said that look, plus the quick trigger to push things further, is a Cohen specialty.) Live! is meant to deliver light fare with a touch of glitz. But in the current media-saturated world, the difficulty of standing out and getting shares to augment the hour often means eliciting a bit of light controversy — especially if a celeb will say or do something out of character. That content can last far longer on the Internet than an hour of Live! — driving views and winning viewers. Cohen is a connoisseur of viral content. He would shine an even brighter light on Ripa and the guests — and he’s a great remedy for Ripa’s current feeling of being left in the cold by the network. Besides, Cohen’s already got “Live” in the title of his hugely successful chatfest Watch What Happens Live. Check out how he subtly runs the show: