On Monday, October 19, the Live With Kelly and Ryan Instagram account shared a video of Ripa, 50, sitting alone behind the talk show’s desk in their New York City studio. “Live now! Ryan took the day off,” the caption read.
The next day, the longtime radio personality, 45, was once again missing in action. In a separate video shared on the daytime show’s Instagram page, the crew cheered for Ripa as she filled them in on Seacrest’s progress. “UPDATE: Great news.. test came back and he’s negative! Ryan will be back tomorrow!” the caption stated.
In September, the cohosts returned to set in New York City after filming remotely for several months amid the coronavirus shutdown. Ripa and Seacrest have been hosting the long-running daytime series since 2017. While spending time in Los Angeles amid the pandemic, Seacrest sparked speculation that he would be making the west coast his permanent home, but a source denied the rumors.
“There is no truth to the rumor he’s not moving back to New York,” the insider told Us Weekly exclusively in June. “He will go back when the show decides it’s safe to start up production again at the Live set in New York.”
Ripa, for her part, enjoyed an extended stay in the Caribbean with husband Mark Consuelos and their kids, Michael, 23, daughter Lola, 19, and son Joaquin, 17, after shelter-in-place guidelines were enforced.
“They were there in the Caribbean when the lockdown happened and so they just stayed there,” a source revealed in May.
While adjusting to the new normal of filming from home amid the global health crisis, Ripa had a little assistance from her eldest son, who pitched in to help make remote TV magic. During a May episode of Live, the journalist admitted that the New York University student had been “producing [her] end of this show” while home from college.
“So he really is sort of working while he’s finishing [school] because he’s set to ‘graduate’ from college,” she explained at the time. “But I said to him, ‘Well, look at you. I mean, here you are. You’ve got a job before graduation. That’s got to make you feel good.’ He’s like, ‘Uh, yeah.’”
Despite the many roadblocks Ripa and her team have had to navigate amid the pandemic, the All My Children alum is feeling safe and secure. As she celebrated her 50th birthday with family on October 2, an insider told Us exclusively that the Daytime Emmy winner “has never been happier” than she is now. “She is in the best physical and mental shape of her life,” the source added.
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