“She doesn’t want a repeat of the Michael Strahan situation. 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,’ ” a source told us.
On Tuesday, ABC announced it was reviving the hit talent-competition show a year after it completed a successful 15-season run on Fox.
The network has yet to announce Seacrest as the host. A source close to the media mogul said he’s still mulling it over. And although Seacrest played dumb about the “Idol” announcement on-air, insiders told us the gig is a big part of his deal.
“This isn’t some spur-of-the-moment deal. It’s a part of his move to ABC,” said the insider. “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 upfronts,” where networks present upcoming shows.
“That’s untrue. He does not have a deal with ‘Idol,’ ” Seacrest’s rep commented. “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.”
Sources have told us it’s been a rough week for Ripa, but others insist she’s “100-percent onboard” with Seacrest and “Idol.”
“Kelly is in the loop. She had approval over the co-host, so Ryan was her first choice. 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,” an insider said.
Another insider said “Idol” will air Sunday nights to accommodate Seacrest’s schedule, which also includes hosting his daily radio show.
“He’s not going to do anything to jeopardize ‘Live.’ He has a long-term commitment to the show. He’s excited to be living in New York, and this is a big deal for him,” the source said. Ripa’s rep told us she’s as excited as Seacrest, “It’s all false. She’s been fully in the loop.”
An ABC spokesperson added, “Everything is categorically not true.”