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Can they control Kelly? ABC in meltdown as they’re forced to send legal letter forcing Kelly Ripa back to work amid fears she’ll lose it live on air

 

  • Kelly Ripa will return to Live alongside Michael Strahan on Tuesday, according to a source close to Ripa 
  • There are claims she could have to face a lawsuit or legal letter from ABC
  • Her return comes after she was blindsided by Strahan quitting Live  
  • Strahan told Ripa and Live producer Michael Gelman Tuesday that he was leaving the show to go to Good Morning America in September 
  • Ripa has not appeared on the show since Strahan told her the news, and cancelled a planned trip to Turks and Caicos this weekend  
  • Ripa and Strahan’s relationship over the past four years has been ‘all for show’ according to a source
  • Strahan would allegedly throw regular ‘temper tantrums’ at work 

 

After refusing to appear on her own TV show for most of this week, bosses at ABC are worried that Kelly Ripa could ‘go rogue’ when she finally agrees to return to work.

According to Page Six, Ripa is still refusing to take calls from executives at the networks – still furious after learning she was being ‘overshadowed’ by her co-anchor Michael Strahan, who is to join Good Morning America full time.

The fear is that she could ‘do an Ann Curry’ and turn on her on-screen partner, poisoning the on-air chemistry between them for months to come.

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On-air split? Kelly Ripa (left on Wednesday) still isn't taking calls from Michael Strahan (right) and ABC execs — and her bosses fear she could go rogue and 'do an Ann Curry' on live TV when she agrees to return

On-air split? Kelly Ripa (left on Wednesday) still isn’t taking calls from Michael Strahan (right) and ABC execs — and her bosses fear she could go rogue and ‘do an Ann Curry’ on live TV when she agrees to return

Going rogue? Ann Curry was famously sidelined by NBC's Today show, but it lead to months of harmful chemistry between the presenters on-air

One insider told New York Post’s Page Six that they are worried she could go off-script. ‘They still don’t know if she’s coming back on Tuesday. Kelly won’t take anyone’s calls. She could get a letter this weekend saying she’s required to turn up to work under her contract, and if she doesn’t show up, she’ll face being sued for damages, such as lost ad revenue.’

An ABC rep has said of such a legal letter, ‘That is completely ridiculous and totally false’ but declined to comment further.

The main fear is that there would be such animosity between the duo that the show would be impossible to continue.

The tension could last at least until September when Strahan is due to leave, and it could make for some uncomfortable viewing.

Going rogue? Ann Curry was famously sidelined by NBC’s Today show, but it lead to months of harmful chemistry between the presenters on-air

Another ABC source told Page Six: ‘Kelly and Michael have been faking it for a while. They haven’t been getting on for some time. Things went south when he went part-time to GMA. She resents Michael’s success and her ego can’t take it. But what is ridiculous is that Live is still her show – she’s still the star.’

Sources close to Ripa have confirmed that she will join Strahan on Tuesday – just a week after she took time off from work and cancelled a planned trip to Turks and Caicos in celebration of her 20th anniversary with husband Mark Consuelos.

People Magazine reported that Ripa sent an email to her staff late Friday night saying: ‘I wanted to thank you all for giving me the time to process this new information.

‘Your kindness, support, and love has overwhelmed me. We are a family and I look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday morning. Love, Kelly.’

Kelly Ripa will be returning to Live alongside Michael Strahan (pictured togather last October) on Tuesday after a bitter and rancorous week that left her blindsided by the news that her co-host would be quitting the show and taking a job at GMA

Kelly Ripa will be returning to Live alongside Michael Strahan (pictured togather last October) on Tuesday after a bitter and rancorous week that left her blindsided by the news that her co-host would be quitting the show and taking a job at GMA

Sources close to the ABC star confirmed Friday that she would be joining Strahan on Tuesday, just a week after she took time off from work and cancelled a planned trip to Turks and Caicos in celebration of her 20th anniversary to husband Mark Consuelos

Her highly anticipated return comes after both sides traded blows through media after news of Strahan's desertion was announced earlier this week

Sources close to the ABC star have confirmed that she will join Strahan (pictured left and right) on Tuesday, just a week after she took time off from work and cancelled a planned trip to Turks and Caicos in celebration of her 20th anniversary to husband Mark Consuelos after Strahan broke the news

On Friday, Regis Philbin backed his former co-host Ripa and said ABC went behind her back ‘to a certain degree’.

In a video interview posted by TMZ, Philbin said the network ‘should’ve told her from the beginning’ that Strahan was leaving the show.

‘I can’t tell because I’m not there, but they’re going to be all right. They’re going to be fine.’

Philbin also made sure to take some time to congratulate the former football star on his new job.

‘Years ago I interviewed Michael Strahan on my show, and I asked him what he will do when he leaves the Giants. He said, ‘I want your job,’ and years later he got it,’ Philbin told People.

‘Now he’s moving on to Good Morning America. Next stop could be Washington.’

Philbin continued to say in the TMZ video: ‘[Michael] is great. He was great with the Giants, he was great on our show, he’s doing a lot of stuff.’

‘They’re going to use him down there [at ‘GMA’] because they’re in second place [in the ratings] right now.’

But the 84-year-old is keeping his distance from the ABC drama while defending his former co-host.

On Friday morning Strahan was out and about in New York City taking advantage of the warm weather as he headed to the gym and flashed a peace sign while enjoying a rare day off from work.

The time off was likely much needed for Strahan after his tumultuous week, and the emergence of claims that the overworked host had been losing his composure on the set of Live With Kelly and Michael due to his packed schedule.

Regis Philbin backed his former co-host Ripa and said ABC went behind her back 'to a certain degree' 

Regis Philbin (left) backed his former co-host Ripa and said ABC went behind her back ‘to a certain degree’

In a video interview posted by TMZ, Philbin said the network 'should've told her from the beginning'. But Philbin also made sure to take some time to congratulate Strahan on his new job

In a video interview posted by TMZ, Philbin (left) said the network ‘should’ve told her from the beginning’. But Philbin also made sure to take some time to congratulate Strahan (right) on his new job

Ripa, 41, took the week off from work and cancelled a planned trip to Turks and Caicos in celebration of her 20th anniversary to husband Mark Consuelos after being blindsided by the news that Strahan would be leaving Live and taking a job at Good Morning America come September

But 84-year-old Philbin said he is keeping his distance from the ABC drama while defending his former co-host Ripa

But 84-year-old Philbin (right) said he is keeping his distance from the ABC drama while defending his former co-host Ripa (left)

Rough week: The Live With Kelly and Michael host has had a difficult week after announcing he would be leaving the show to join the team at Good Morning America

Rough week: The Live With Kelly and Michael host has had a difficult week after announcing he would be leaving the show to join the team at Good Morning America

Strahan

Strahan

Staying cool: A source close to Ripa claimed on Thursday that Strahan had recently been throwing ‘temper tantrums’ on the Live set because he is so overworked

Multiple sources close to Ripa told DailyMail.com earlier this week that she had initially been offered that slot on GMA a few years ago, but turned it down 

Phonies: Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan’s relationship over the past four years has all been for show according to a source close to Ripa (above in October as Ripa receives her star on the Walk of Fame)

 

 Page Six spoke to a source close to Ripa, 45, who claimed Strahan’s nonstop work commitments caused the former football star to throw ‘temper tantrums’ at work, during which he would scream at Ripa and the show’s longtime producer, Michael Gellman.

The source added; ‘He acted like he was in a locker room, not a dressing room.’

The source also said of the relationship between Ripa and Strahan, who by all appearances seemed to be good friends both on and off the set; ‘They could not stand each other, and whenever they communicated off-camera, it was always through their reps.’

Perry and Caroline Williams, who were at Monday’s taping of Live With Kelly and Michael, spoke to DailyMail.com about their experience, and said that there did appear to be tension between Ripa and Strahan.

The couple said the co-hosts appeared warm and friendly with each other at first until an audience member shouted out during the commercial break; ‘Kelly, can you like to sign Michael’s book for me?’

The host responded by awkwardly looking through the woman and did not speak a word according to the couple, who added that the the female audience member remarked after the incident; ‘I guess that won’t be happening then.’

One day later, Strahan told Ripa he was quitting the show.

The network’s decision to move Strahan, 44, comes two years after he first began appearing on GMA in a limited capacity, showing up two days a week and leaving early so he could make it back to Live in time for their 9am taping.

Multiple sources close to Ripa told DailyMail.com earlier this week that she had initially been offered that slot on GMA a few years ago, but turned it down.

‘Two years ago Kelly was offered Michael’s current role of contributor to Good Morning America. She turned this down as she was committed to Live and didn’t want to give less to the show that she had been focused on for well over ten years and then kept a ratings winner after Regis left,’ said one source close to the popular morning host.

‘Michael then scooped up the role and started saying yes to everything ABC and Disney had to offer.

‘Kelly felt that she and Michael Gelman, Live’s executive producer, were left to be the only two people solely focused on the show.’

The source went on to say; ‘This began creating tensions internally as Kelly and Michael Gelman were having to work to Michael’s schedule as Live become less of a priority for him.

‘Kelly isn’t shocked that he did this as she’s watched him advance his career off Live’s success for years now, she is just disgusted and angry that he did this behind her back with her bosses.’

Strahan was spotted hitting the gym with girlfriend Kayla Quick on Wednesday in New York City

Bad timing: Strahan was spotted hitting the gym with girlfriend Kayla Quick on Wednesday in New York City

Strahan broke the news that he was leaving a day after Monday's show (above)

Sensing it: Perry and Caroline Williams, who were at Monday’s show (above), said that there was tension between Ripa and Strahan during commercial breaks

Saturday Night Live alum Ana Gasteyer (above) filled in for Ripa on Wednesday

Filling in: Saturday Night Live alum Ana Gasteyer (above) filled in for Ripa on Wednesday

Multiple sources close to the show told DailyMail.com that the staff feel they too have been ‘blindsided’ by a boss who made the decision to just stop showing up for her job.

‘They feel like Michael’s taking the high road but Kelly’s the one who blindsided them by not showing up for work,’ said one source.

‘The feeling is that how she’s acting is deeply selfish.’

The source went on to say; ‘Staff are upset that she’s not there. They are pulling a double shift today while she’s left them in the lurch after her tantrum.’

The program tapes the live show and a second show to air on Friday morning each Thursday.

Filling in for Ripa for both tapings was another popular ABC personality – Dancing With the Stars host Erin Andrews.

Saturday Night Live alum Ana Gasteyer filled in on Wednesday and Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell will guest co-host Monday.

A source close to Ripa told a different story, saying; ‘Live staffers are upset. Kelly has been inundated with calls and messages from the team.

‘They blame Disney management and want her to come back to work as they see her as the star of the show who also has their back.’

Double duty: The program tapes the live show and a second show to air on Friday morning each Thursday. Filling in for Ripa for Thursday's live show was another popular ABC personality -  Erin Andrews (above)

Double duty: The program tapes the live show and a second show to air on Friday morning each Thursday. Filling in for Ripa for Thursday’s live show was another popular ABC personality – Erin Andrews (above)

Back in action: And it was Andrews who was picked to tape the second segment on Thursday, which aired Friday morning (above)

Back in action: And it was Andrews who was picked to tape the second segment on Thursday, which aired Friday morning (above)

Ripa remains quiet on the subject, with the fact that she was told the news just before her much anticipated vacation making an already tense situation ever worse according to multiple sources.

‘What should be a really happy time for her and Mark has now been destroyed as rather than focusing on her family she and her team face an uncertain future with a network that she doesn’t believe supports her,’ said on source close to Ripa.

‘It really is a David and Goliath battle for her.’

Strahan on the other hand talked about his new job during Wednesday’s Live show and then again next day during an appearance on Good Morning America.

He made a point to praise Ripa on both occasions, a wise decision given the fact that she reportedly did not hide her anger upon learning the news on Tuesday.

The New York Times revealed what happened when Strahan broke the news to Ripa, Gelman and WABC general manager Dave Davis earlier this week.

The group was informed of the meeting at the last second on Tuesday and waited 20 minutes for Strahan to arrive.

Ripa said to Davis after Strahan told them he would be leaving; ‘Didn’t I tell you this was going to happen? I told you two years ago this was going to happen.’

Gone girl: Ripa emerged for the first time since learning he co-host was quitting on Thursday, getting into a car outside her Upper East Side townhouse with husband Mark Consuelos (above)

Gone girl: Ripa emerged for the first time since learning he co-host was quitting on Thursday, getting into a car outside her Upper East Side townhouse with husband Mark Consuelos (above)

Michael Strahan says he’ll ‘need tips’ for waking up early

Multiple sources at ABC told DailyMail.com on Wednesday morning that Ripa was refusing to turn up to work until Strahan leaves the show.

Ripa was spotted for the first time since getting the bad news earlier this week on Thursday morning, emerging from her townhouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side with a large smile plastered on her face.

She dashed straight into a waiting car with her husband, but not before making sure photographers camped outside got a photo of her new book.

Ripa was carrying a copy of Malcolm Gladwell’s book David and Goliath when she left the house, which examines the probability of improbable events.

The book draws its title from the biblical battle in which David manages to slay the giant Goliath despite being much smaller and weaker than his powerful adversary. David then goes on to become the king of Israel.

The subhead on the cover reads; ‘Underdogs, misfits and the art of battling giants.’

Ripa stayed holed up in her $27million townhouse on Wednesday after calling out of work in the wake of Strahan’s big announcement.

 

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