Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest: Is he the secret weapon to success after Regis Philbin left 'Live!' talk show?

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Did Kelly Ripa strike gold when Ryan Seacrest signed on to co-host “Live! with Kelly and Ryan” in 2017?

Ripa sparked backlash recently for bashing the late “Live!” patriarch Regis Philbin in her first memoir, claiming the legendary broadcaster made her life incredibly difficult behind scenes. She added insult to injury by admitting their communication was almost entirely nonexistent when he retired in 2011.

After Philibin, Ripa was paired up with Michael Strahan for four years before he made a hasty exit from the program for a bigger gig on “Good Morning America.”

Now five years into her and Seacrest’s working relationship, it appears as though she’s found the perfect person to help her star status shine bright as Seacrest has brought his charming appeal — and rolodex of high-profile contacts — to the daytime TV show table. 

Sources told Fox News Digital that Seacrest was always “easy to work with” even when his plate was overfilled with responsibilities. The budding media mogul not only hosts multiple shows across a variety of platforms, he also works behind scenes as a producer on some of the biggest television shows. He’s estimated to be worth $450 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

KELLY RIPA CONTROVERSIES: REGIS PHILBIN WASN’T THE ONLY ‘LIVE!’ CO-HOST IN TENSE RELATIONSHIP WITH TV ANCHOR

Ryan Seacrest may be Kelly Ripa's best secret weapon as he's everyone's favorite daytime television host.

Ryan Seacrest may be Kelly Ripa’s best secret weapon as he’s everyone’s favorite daytime television host.
(Getty Images)

“He was a consummate professional and extremely easy to work with,” one insider said. “He was very busy, as he is always was doing several jobs at once, but was kind to everyone and well-liked.”

It seems as if “Live!” viewers have noticed his hard work as one Instagram user said in part, “The show’s ratings go up because of you. She is a boring host,” while another added that Seacrest was “the star of that show.” 

KELLY RIPA SILENT AS MEMOIR RECEIVES CRITICISM FOR HER COMMENTS ABOUT REGIS PHILBIN

Seacrest worked for nearly a decade as the afternoon radio host on an alternative station in Southern California before replacing longtime KIIS-FM morning show host, Rick Dees, in 2004. 

In 2002, he made his “American Idol” debut, and has stayed with the program for two decades, through a variety of celebrity judges, directors, networks and reboots. At one point, Seacrest was so highly coveted, that he signed a two-year deal to stay with “Idol” for $30 million.

Simon Cowell, the creator of the popular singing competition show, stepped down as a judge in 2010 to pursue another one of his reality programs, “America’s Got Talent.” 

In 2017, Seacrest shared a throwback snap with Randy Jackson and Cowell, writing, “They’re gonna kill me for posting this #tbt.”

Ryan Seacrest hosted an afternoon radio show before replacing Rick Dees in the morning at KIIS FM in Los Angeles in 2004.

Ryan Seacrest hosted an afternoon radio show before replacing Rick Dees in the morning at KIIS FM in Los Angeles in 2004.
(Jeff Kravitz)

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest have hosted the Daytime Emmy Award-winning "Live! with Kelly and Ryan" since 2017.

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest have hosted the Daytime Emmy Award-winning “Live! with Kelly and Ryan” since 2017.
(Daytime Emmy Awards)

Ryan Seacrest worked with Simon Cowell from the beginning of "American Idol" until Cowell left in 2010. 

Ryan Seacrest worked with Simon Cowell from the beginning of “American Idol” until Cowell left in 2010. 
(Paul Drinkwater/NBCU)

Simon Cowell said he would "work with these guys again" if he had the chance to after appearing on the 2016 "American Idol" finale on FOX.

Simon Cowell said he would “work with these guys again” if he had the chance to after appearing on the 2016 “American Idol” finale on FOX.
(Kevork Djansezian)

Cowell reunited with original judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson during an episode of Kelly Clarkson’s talk show and admitted his “No. 1 wish” would be to “make another show” with the original “Idol” crew.

“Our legacy, genuinely, are the artists who we discovered over the seven-year period. That’s what I’m most proud of. The show’s ratings were great, that’s one thing, but it’s who has come through the process and has made it all worthwhile,” he said. “And that’s why genuinely, if I could choose who to work with all over again, I would work with these guys again.”

KELLY RIPA JOKES MARK CONSEULOS IS GETTING ‘ATTENTION ON THE STREET’ AMID CRITICISM OF HER NEW BOOK

While Seacrest was hosting the No.1 watched show in the country, he was also building upon his empire at E! News, and secured a $21 million deal to host red carpet coverage in addition to various programs. One of his biggest moves was creating and earning executive-producer credits for the highest-rated show on the E! network, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”

What was supposed to be an ordinary sushi dinner with Randy Jackson turned into one of the most pivotal meetings of his life when Seacrest was introduced to the Kardashians.

“I remember it so clear,” Kim recalled their first introduction while guest co-hosting “Live!” with Ryan in 2017.

“I was having dinner at this restaurant in Los Angeles called Koi,” Seacrest said before diving into a conversation he remembered about a meal with Randy Jackson in 2006. 

Ryan Seacrest created "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" in 2007, which ended its run in 2021 after 20 seasons.

Ryan Seacrest created “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” in 2007, which ended its run in 2021 after 20 seasons.
(Jeff Vespa)

Randy Jackson first introduced Ryan Seacrest to Kim Kardashian in 2006, which sparked the reality television series for the famous family. (Pictured in 2013) 

Randy Jackson first introduced Ryan Seacrest to Kim Kardashian in 2006, which sparked the reality television series for the famous family. (Pictured in 2013) 
(Charley Gallay)

Seacrest went on, “He and I were having dinner … He says, ‘Yo yo yo, Kardashians are over there. They’re going to be hot man. They’re going to be something.”

Kim added, “We were having dinner with our friends. We had no TV show career, aspirations or anything. Randy says to us, ‘Man you gotta work with Ryan. You gotta do something, you and Kourtney. You have to do something. We had no idea what he was even talking about.” 

“Yo Randy, thank you,” Seacrest said before Kardashian added, “I dont think Randy gets credit for that.”

KATHIE LEE GIFFORD SUPPORTS ‘GREAT FRIEND’ REGIS PHILBIN AMID KELLY RIPA DRAMA

“Keeping Up with the Kardashians” first aired in 2007 as a half-hour reality series, and catapult the entire family into celebrity status. The 20th and final season of the show aired in 2021 before moving to Hulu. 

Seacrest then networked his way into multiple spinoffs, including “Khloe and Lamar,” “Kourtney and Kim Take New York,” and Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami.”

Kris Jenner and Ryan Seacrest (pictured in 2007) became household names thanks to "Keeping Up with the Kardashians."

Kris Jenner and Ryan Seacrest (pictured in 2007) became household names thanks to “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”
(Jeff Vespa)

Ryan Seacrest began co-hosting Dick Clark's "Rockin' New Year's Eve" in 2005 along with serving as an executive producer. 

Ryan Seacrest began co-hosting Dick Clark’s “Rockin’ New Year’s Eve” in 2005 along with serving as an executive producer. 
(Ron Wolfson)

Even before Seacrest took on the Kardashians, he was co-hosting “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve” and performed most of the speaking roles due to Clark’s limited speech as he recovered from a stroke. The show was renamed to “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest” in 2009, and he took over full executive producer and hosting duties following Clark’s death in 2012.

In 2021, ahead of Seacrest’s 17th year at Times Square when the ball drops, he signed a multi-year deal extension to continue hosting the New Year’s Eve extravaganza for an unknown amount of time.

Seacrest has not been without controversy. In 2018, a former E! stylist accused Seacrest of sexual misconduct, which launched an outside investigation. After a two-month process, the counsel determined “insufficient evidence to substantiate allegations against Seacrest.”

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Seacrest became Ripa’s biggest ally on TV when he joined “Live!” in 2017 for a permanent co-hosting role after Michael Strahan’s abrupt exit. 

Strahan, who was notably missing from Ripa’s new book despite having been by her side for four years beginning in 2012, announced his resignation from the show only minutes after Ripa found out.

In her new book, she wrote about having trouble working with Philbin from 2001-11, how she was not allowed to use her own hair and makeup team, and didn’t receive a wardrobe budget. 

Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan (seen in 2013) had a tense working relationship in the four years they co-hosted "Live!" 

Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan (seen in 2013) had a tense working relationship in the four years they co-hosted “Live!” 
(Theo Wargo)

Kathie Lee Gifford and Regis Philbin reunited on the "Today" show in 2012.

Kathie Lee Gifford and Regis Philbin reunited on the “Today” show in 2012.
(Peter Kramer/NBC)

Regis Philbin introduced new co-host Kelly Ripa in July 2001.

Regis Philbin introduced new co-host Kelly Ripa in July 2001.
(Spencer Platt)

Ripa also noted that her name “had to be smaller than Regis’s name on the “Live!” title card and branding. 

She wrote that receiving the offer to host came with a warning, “They want to make sure you know who your boss is.”

Despite her tumultuous experience working with Philbin professionally, Ripa recalled enjoying her time with the TV show host in the real world. Philbin passed away after suffering a heart attack in 2020.

“Off camera and outside of that building, it was a different thing,” according to Ripa. “The handful of times we spent together, I so enjoyed. We went to the same resort once on vacation, and he came to a dinner I hosted – one of the favorite nights of my life. I never laughed so hard.”

A “Live!” insider exclusively revealed a slightly different story to Fox News Digital and said, “Regis just seemed not nice. That’s it. Kelly was way more friendly and down to earth.” 

However, those close to Philbin, including Kathie Lee Gifford, noted that working with Philbin was a great experience. “I worked with him for 15 years. We never had one unkind word between us,” Gifford shared.

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