AceShowbiz - Kelly Ripa was hosting "Live with Kelly and Ripa" solo for several days as co-host Ryan Seacrest took a sick leave while waiting for COVID-19 test results. Interestingly, the ratings for the episodes without Ryan saw an increase, which rather proves that Kelly is still the heart of the show.
"Early overnight ratings for Monday and Tuesday shows that, with Kelly hosting solo, they actually went up with Ryan out sick," a source claims to OK!. "The assumption amongst a lot of the TV elite was that Ryan was the ratings machine behind 'Live With Kelly and Ryan'."
The insider continues, "Since Ryan replaced Michael Strahan sitting next to Kelly each morning, that show has climbed to the top of the ratings, even beating 'Dr. Phil' to the number one spot. However, with Ryan out sick and Kelly holding the fort down by herself, they didn't lose any viewers."
Meanwhile, some TV insiders dub Kelly "the most underrated star in television." The sources go on to say, "She is the heart and soul of 'Live With Kelly and Ryan' and isn't treated with the respect she deserves. Finally, the bosses are waking up and starting to worry what would happen to the show if Kelly decided to leave."
"She has made it clear that she wants to transition from in front of the camera to behind, producing and writing. Good luck finding another Kelly," the insiders add.
Kelly revealed on Tuesday, October 20 that the reason behind Ryan's absence was because he was waiting for his test results for COVID-19. Thankfully, the test came back negative. "UPDATE: Great news.. test came back and he's negative! Ryan will be back tomorrow!" the show announced on Instagram.
The "American Idol" host allegedly "had a minimal cough, and out of precaution wanted to make sure he had a negative test before going back to 'Live', which he did."